Friday, October 16, 2009

10/5


What I thought was difficult yesterday turned out to be worse today. Our entire group went to the new Hope Center in Mathare Valley 2 in a different section of the same slum. The main road was wider but even more trash covered the area. We held a medical clinic from 9-8:30 and we saw 125 patients in that time.

I held a child whose ear infection was so bad both ears were draining cloudy liquid and the flies were swarming them. He smelled of urine and infection and his skin looked gray because of all the dirt. I am ashamed to say but it was the first time I really had to remind myself to be Jesus to him. Jesus would hold him tight and not wince from his condition. Jesus would wipe his ears and shoo the flies and clean his hands and face. Jesus would treat him as the prince he was and pray for him.....So I did. I will never forget this boy or his mother. She had a 3rd degree burn covering her arm from shoulder to elbow that our team cleaned and treated for her. She was so brave and strong. She didn't cry out or flinch as they peeled away the dead dirty skin. The pain of it would have brought the best of us to our knees. When we were done, she wept with gratitude and hugged and kissed each one. Her name is Elizabeth. (God would put her in our path for the next two days as well and Elizabeth accepted Christ for the first time on the 3rd day. This is what it is all about.)

The road in and out of this area was very narrow and the first time I have felt any fear. The thought of travleling that road for the next four days is not one I'm looking forward to. It takes about 15 minutes and the bus windows must be closed so the heat is intense. It is lined with desperate men who have turned to unhealthy coping conditions to survive. They bang on the windows and shout at you. The bus cleared the roofs by maybe 3 inches. It felt like hell on earth. It is their existence. I can manage the drive in.

In some ways, today was amazing because we weren't just taking a tour, we were actively helping. We were doing tangible things. Part of our team played with the children as they waited. I worked the second station half of the day taking height, weights, temperatures, and blood pressures. They then saw the nurses or doctors. I helped with patient exams the 2nd half of the day. Each patient was then prayed for and given meds and multi vitamins.

We saw an undending case of worms one after the other and fungal infections on their skin and in their hair. We saw hernias and pneumonia and countless colds. We saw chicken pox and a suspected case of TB in a baby. We saw this beautiful baby girl with pneumonia, a double ear infection, and a fever of 103.3. She also had worms and would have for sure been hospitalized in the states. We gave her an antibiotic. I'm not sure how she can make it in those living conditions. It was one of the many times my limits crushed me.

I played with children, comforted nervous mammas, took vitals and saw patients (I'm not a real doctor, I just play one on the mission field) prayed for people, and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I could serve God in this way, in this place, at this time....alongside our amazing team! I am struggling with my feelings. Many tears have come. Laughter too. I have seen the ugliest of uglies and the beauty of Jesus. I am wreaked. I am devastated. I am trusting God to show up big in the next few days.

We ate dinner at Mary and Wallace's home. It reminds me of Trevor's house in Jamaica. The food was yummy and it was good to share about our day. The bumpy road and the bus fumes have worn this tired body out. Tomorrow we start our VBS and ''bring the light.'' Our Bush team will head out tomorrow and I will miss them. I love those girls.

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