Day 2: Our physicians Paul, Hardwin, Amy, Doug, and Burt, along with Julie, our ophthalmology nurse, went to the Ethiopian Evangelical Church to participate in a comprehensive healthcare training program for village health workers. This program was coordinated and planned by Rachel Weller who is a missionary, born and raised in Ethiopia, with a nursing background herself. Her vision of this training program is to expand the knowledge and training access for rural villages for health and nutrition for as many people as possible.

There were twenty-nine rural healthcare practitioners, each from their own specific clinic, some as far away as the border of Sudan/Ethiopia. In many cases, these clinics are the only source of healthcare for thousands of patients for hundreds of miles. Some of these clinic workers took up to 3 days to travel to this program. As you can imagine, they were thrilled to receive this kind of medical teaching on so many topics. In all rural settings there are rarely any doctors available to provide any healthcare. This kind of teaching will help them deliver better healthcare for their patients through new diagnostic and teaching skills. The teaching presented quite a challenge since the range of expertise from the practitioners ranged from some that have years of experience all the way to those with only one month of nursing assistant training. One practitioner had one month of training and was sent out to run the rural clinic with the textbook "Where there is No Doctor." They taught an overview on how to give a physical exam and the majority of the day was spent on pediatrics. Most of the clinic workers had very little or no previous training in these topics. We focused on teaching how to recognize, treat, and prevent the deaths of such common illnesses as malaria, measles, diarrhea and dehydration, pneumonia, and malnutrition. We used slide, videos and interactive small groups and tried our best to overcome the cultural and language (Amharic) barriers we were presented with.

Doug remarked at the end of his pediatric training, "That teaching we gave today will probably save more children's lives than my other six African medical mission trips combined."

The other half of the team, Gayle, Linda, Mike, Nancy, Duane, and Mimi, spent their day with Andy and Bev Warren, missionaries, learning about their ministry dedicated to HIV/AIDS patients. Over the past five years they have collaborated with the Ethiopian government and other US churches, including MPPC, to support their vision and this cause to bring down the mortality rate, help with end of life care, provide medical assistance and nutrition, support for housing, and spiritual care. They help all beneficiaries from a variety of religious backgrounds including Ethiopian Orthodox, Muslim, and Christian families. The morning we spent with orientation, and then we moved to the new Bole Clinic in the afternoon for home visits. This new clinic opens this Wednesday which has been sponsored by MPPC.

We had three teams led by one of the project team members, and we walked long distances to make home visits for numerous patients. The experiences this afternoon ranged from talking with a woman with AIDS whose husband doesn't want to get tested or even admit that he might be sick, a family with a father who is on Anti-Retroviral Drug therapy, along with his 5-year-old son, who also lost his mother to AIDS not too long ago. His new wife is also HIV positive and will become a new patient in their care. A woman heard the gospel story today from Linda, our elder, and asked Christ into her life today in her hut along with other family members and our team all praying together. We went into a tiny little house with a traditional coffee ceremony, with the coal burning in the house, with one small bed, and three children, and the mother has AIDS. The 4-year-old son had multiple bruising with unknown causes, but knowing that this family will be seen in clinics on Wed, we took some digital photos to show our pediatrician, Doug. Our team was so touched by the gracious and warm reception by all the families they visited today.

We ended our evening with our wonderful Ethiopian dinner and shared our experiences for hours. We continue to see God's provision in our safety, travel throughout the city, the people we have met, and the blessings yet to be seen.