2006-11-03 Friday Evening

After our usual 6:30 am breakfast, we were off to the hospital to join those staff who worship before work each day. Frank and Judy have been leading these. Then Sally Jane, Tara and myself went to pray for the mom whose little 7 day old infant died yesterday. We had seen the sick baby on our hospital tour on Tuesday and Sally Jane had worked with the baby and mom for quite a while, trying to help the baby nurse. She had a deformity of one hand and likely some others as well. It saddened us so for the mom and the dear little one.

Phil and Tara have been working at the hospital all week. Tara works with Sister Masserat who is the Director of Nursing and Phil sees patients and helps the docs in the out-pt clinics. They have been quite busy there and very much appreciated by the staff. Also learning about medicine and nursing in Ethiopia. Phil spoke tonight at wrap-up about how wonderful it was to talk to his wife and 2 of his kids this AM. We all have signed up for our 3 min. phone-call home over the next week. Know that we all are thinking and praying for all of you, our loved ones.

Marshall, Judy, and Arleen did their usual excellent work in the dental clinic at the hospital. Arleen was very pleased to have finished a full cleaning on her last patient of the day – Phil’s translator Kidist.

The rest of the team was off to the Bu-i Clinic where we worked yesterday. Riding in the van to and from the clinics is amazing. There are people and animals walking along the roadsides. It is often the children who are herding the cows, goats, and horses along, carrying their long thin herding sticks. Then there are the horse-drawn carts (taxis) carrying many people, and the donkey-drawn carts carrying everything else. It is quite a trick being a driver here. We pray for the driver a lot.

As soon as we arrived, Chris was involved with a young man who had been brought in unconscious to be seen by the regular clinic staff. Chris worked with them evaluating the patient who eventually needed to be sent to the nearest hospital for more intensive testing and treatment. There are no labs or x-ray departments at these rural clinics.

We saw 70 patients today. With 2 docs, that’s a lot. One 7 yr. old boy came in with his aunt and uncle. His mother had died, possibly of AIDS. He had sores all over his face. Meds were ordered and Chris got the family to agree to take him to a hospital near their home for HIV testing. He is suspected to have AIDS.

The highlight of the day for me was when the 4 women with their malnourished babies who we had seen yesterday, came to get the special powder called “Atmet” used here at Project Mercy to provide excellent nourishment for the children here.. Marta had agreed to give us 8 big bags and the women wore the biggest grins imaginable getting it. Such a transformation from their forlorn faces yesterday! We took pictures of them all.

Several really funny things happened today. The first was when I got stuck in the filthy bathroom. The door wouldn’t open and I was pounding and kicking and finally got rescued by a fellow who was getting quite a kick out of this spectacle. Once I was rescued, I got a good laugh out of it, too. But NOT until I was safely out of there!
The other hilarious event was watching Hospital Administrator Gary perform in our Daniel and the Lions puppet show. I asked him to be the 2 bad men who try to get Daniel killed. “I’ve never done a puppet show,” he said. “Oh, it’s a snap,” I said and he fell for it. Well, he did his part quite well, and sat down. But there was another scene for his bad men, and he jumped back up and quickly put those puppets to work again. We all were laughing, the audience and Frank, Gary and I. What fun!

Tonight some of us went to Peggy and Gary’s for a movie. Friday night, you know.

The Lord is with us in everything. It is amazing to watch what He does in and through us and the Project Mercy folks, and those we are serving. We all feel incredibly humble to be here and blessed beyond words.