Day 3: Our day is best captured by how it ended, with our team sharing heart-tugging stories from the visits with HIV/AIDS beneficiaries and gratitude for the chance to meet and teach the men and one woman who were at the teaching seminar. For the second and last time on our trip, the team split into two parts, with not only home visits but patient counseling and support group activity filling our days. At the seminar, we continued our teaching, covering topics from eye diseases to the heart and lungs. One highlight was the chance to break into small groups and demonstrate the physical exam to these workers, some with incredibly little formal training. We finished with a repeat of an exercise from last year, where we asked 6 of the workers to take the part of a patient with a medical problem, and then triage them from sickest to least sick. A lively discussion was held amongst all of the workers, and we felt heartfelt gratitude from them as they asked God's blessings on all of us when we were finished. We remain in awe of how these workers attempt to treat any and all medical problems they encounter with so little in the way of resources, and were humbled to recognize how little of our areas of highly specialized medicine mattered to them.

Two of our team led women support groups for the HIV/AIDS beneficiaries. Recognizing the wish to get closer to the women as they opened the discussion, one of our MPPC elders asked the women in her group to share one of the moments of joy in their lives that they remembered. There were none to recall. Abused as children and later as wives, cast out by family, unable to keep the children they bore, their lives were of complete despair and misery. One woman was rescued from a dung heap where she had been left to die. But they now had at least the hope of participating in the project, and as the gospel of Jesus was being shared with them, an even greater hope.

Other teammates continued with home visits. The homes, some literally only about 3 by 6 feet in size for a family, had cardboard or mud-covered walls plastered with magazine pages as decoration. Barefoot children played amongst dung and mud. Yet the people were gracious, offering coffee and a pillow to sit on the floor for their visitors. We will see many of these people tomorrow, when the medical clinic opens in the Bole district for the first time, part of the expansion of the project funded in part by MPPC.

Please continue to pray not only for us, but also for those we will see here on our mission.