Tuesday Travels- VietNam, week 3

People, Places, Pursuits

from our trip to VietNam in 2000

typical street scene
typical street scene

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3 scenes from the Cao Dai Temple near Ho Chi Minh City, (Saigon)
3 scenes from the Cao Dai Temple near Ho Chi Minh City, (Saigon)
exploring the Cu Chi tunnels , used by the Viet Cong during the VietNam War


Tuesday Travels- VietNam, week 2

Embroidered table clothes, silk paintings, marble sculptures and lacquerware are some of the handiwork we have brought home from VietNam, much of it as gifts for our family and friends who supported us in our mission trips. Visiting the shops where the items are made and sold was always a highlight of each trip.

Vietnam 2004 035

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daily reminders of our visits
daily reminders of our visits

Tuesday Travels- VietNam, week 1

April 30, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the official end of United States military involvement in VietNam. On that day in 1975, the American Embassy in Saigon was evacuated as the North Vietnamese army entered the city, thereby establishing what they now observe as “Reunification”.

via The Vietnam Center and Archive: Exhibits – The Fall of Saigon.

My husband and I have travelled to VietNam to serve on humanitarian aid teams with Vets with a Mission (VWAM).

a husband and wife clown team; Vietnamese had never seen clowns
a husband and wife clown team; Vietnamese had never seen clowns

DSC00105 DSC00114 DSC00124 DSC00144 DSC00154 DSC00040 DSC00044 In 1988 VWAM was founded by a small group of VietNam veterans who wanted to make a positive impact on the country in which they had served. Like my husband, many other veterans have served on their teams, as well as their spouses, children and other interested persons.

National Geographic Traveller:Vietnam

Every Tuesday in April I will show you the country of VietNam as it has been since the end of that conflict. Please share your thoughts and feelings in the comments.

Touching lives in Panama-a medical mission trip

I have volunteered on several teams with CompassionLink, an organization that serves to provide


One of the privileges of being a health care professional is travelling to other countries to provide care to under served people. So, I have volunteered on several teams with CompassionLink, an organization that serves to provide


Our team giving medical consultations, dental care, and vision exams for eyeglasses.

two health care professionals, one in a native costume
Dr. Aletha with a local healthcare worker
a makeshift pharmacy at a rural clinic
our team pharmacy
a man making faces at a little girl
one of our nurses entertaining children (he is now a physician)

Visiting the famous Panama Canal

And one of the pleasures of travelling is when our hosts express their appreciation by showing us the local sites and culture. In Panama, of course, that meant a visit to the Panama Canal, an engineering marvel. The landscape and people of Panama are also captivating. Add to that a warm and usually sunny climate, made for an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Miraflores Lockes-Panama Canal
Panama Canal ship
cows in a pasture

enjoying a dance performance at our last group dinner before heading home

dancing ladies in native dresses of Panama

How you can touch lives with Compassion

CompassionLink welcomes volunteers for their projects  on either short or long term assignments.

Use their free resource Compassion Link Journal,an international journal of theory and practice in compassion ministries produced by Assemblies of God World Missions.

Buy earrings or a necklace at Jewelry for Hope.

Listen to a free webinar-

Conversation on Compassion Ministry

Thanks for exploring Panama and the HEART of health with me . Please share this post and follow Watercress Words. I appreciate your interest and welcome your comments about this post or just to say hello.

                  Dr. Aletha 
Raymond and Dr. Aletha standing at the Panama Canal

Words about fasting and helping

What is true fasting? Maybe not what you think#Isaiah#CHaRA#faithhopelove

“Fasting, abstinence from food or drink or both for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes.
The abstention may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent.
Fasting has been promoted and practiced from antiquity worldwide
by physicians,
by the founders and followers of many religions,
by culturally designated individuals (e.g., hunters or candidates for initiation rites), and by individuals or groups as an expression of protest against what they believe are violations of social, ethical, or political principles.”
Isaiah 58 , HCSB
True Fasting
“Why have we fasted, but You have not seen?
We have denied ourselves, but You haven’t noticed! ”
“Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,
and oppress all your workers.
You fast with contention and strife to strike viciously with your fist.
You cannot fast as you do today,
hoping to make your voice heard on high.
Will the fast I choose be like this:
A day for a person to deny himself,
to bow his head like a reed,
and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
Isn’t the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
group of people sitting under a tree
relief outreach by CHaRA
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?
nurse with boy giving shoes
nurse distributing new shoes to children
 © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.




sharing the HEART of health with CHaRA- Construction, Health, and Relief Acts

photos by Dr. Aletha during a volunteer trip to Africa to assist CHaRA with their humanitarian work



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Exploring the HEART of faith, hope, and love

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                              Dr. Aletha 

These three remain, faith, hope and love, and greatest of these is love.  
1 Corinthians 13:13                          
 Lightstock graphic -affiliate link 

“noble beyond her years”

Please read this updated post about Kayla-

A Shining Spirit- Kayla Mueller



I cannot think of anything else worth saying today other than to express my sadness  for and sympathy to the family of Kayla Mueller. On  the evening news last night I heard Kayla’s aunt describe her as “noble beyond her years.”

I had never heard of Kayla until a few days ago, but her story touches my heart. I have a son about the same age; and like her, his work and passions take him all over the world. I cannot imagine getting an email like the one her parents received confirming her death.

At only 26 years old, Kayla had already traveled to India, Israel, Palestine and Syria on humanitarian endeavors and in Arizona worked at a women’s shelter and with AIDS patients, according to the news reports. And in a letter she wrote to her family from captivity, she expressed regret that she was causing them pain.

I hope the memory of this beautiful young woman brings some comfort to their grieving hearts.