On October 10, Josh and I joined a team of 15 medical professionals and leadership coaches for a 2 week journey to Manipur, India. It was an incredible experience!
Once we got to Manipur (which was an adventure in itself) we traveled from Imphal to Kangpokpi to Mao and back, with a few side trips. The team served at Kangpokpi Christian Hospital and at the Community Health Centre in Mao. Some of our team members also contributed to conferences on leadership and missions, hosted by the local partners. As I have mentioned before, the partnerships represented in this trip have been developing for years, and it was awesome to see the strong friendships that have been forged across such long distances.
While we were there, we did witness poverty, illness, and political unrest, but even more than that we witnessed kind and hospitable people who welcomed us like family. There were dance performances and skits put on in honor of our visit, and I don’t think I have ever had another week so full of delicious (and exotic) food! Everyone wanted to greet us, and to thank us. It was truly humbling to see how excited people were about our visit, and the lengths they went to in making us feel welcome. I didn’t imagine that, halfway around the world, I would feel so at home.
The hardest thing for me was not being able to contribute to the medical team’s efforts. The team worked so hard every day – despite a few illnesses and the challenges presented to them – and the people they served were so grateful for their care. In the short time that we were in Manipur, the clinical team saw over 1000 patients, and the surgical team performed 40 surgeries. I just hope that our efforts documenting the mission can help sustain these projects and keep changing lives!
Kudos to the whole team! It might be a miracle that such a large group of people could get along so well and work so productively together during such a long trip. Many of the team members are “veterans” who make this journey once or twice a year. You’re all amazing in my eyes, and I hope you know that the work you did – that you continue to do – is truly changing lives. Thanks for tolerating our cameras, our questions, and our lessons in “owling.”
As promised, I have a lot of photos and video to share with you. You can see more of the photos on our Flickr photostream. Watch for more detailed video posts to come, as I start piecing together the hours and hours of footage!
Once again, we have our family and friends to thank for making this trip possible for us. We owe you many, many thanks, and many stories. :)
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