Day 3

I awoke to beautiful Ethiopian sunshine streaming in my window. My first thought was “I’m in Ethiopia!” Here I am in a country that just a few months ago all I knew of it was that there was an Ethiopian Eunuch mentioned in the Bible. Now, here I am, in Ethiopia, being amazed by the people, language, food; saddened by the poverty and injustice; all while being inspired with seeing the work of courageous Christians who daily say “God use me”.

Marta held our attention in the morning as she described her journey with establishing “Project Mercy”. Many miracles have occurred by God’s hand, accompanied by Marta and her husband, Demy’s labor. When a recent famine struck, Project Mercy responded and saved thousands of lives. She described this as placing a band-aid on a gaping wound.  Marta is constantly looking for ways to improve this mission base, and creating things to make the sustainability of health and cash crops possible. This could be described as teaching the people to fish instead of handing out fishes. On a tour of the campus we saw some examples of this. There is a dream of planting fruit trees at each “Gojo” (house) – a papaya, mango, and avocado to improve diet and income. At this point, a woman named, Sara, has taken on the challenge of nurturing seedlings & grafting to produce trees to test at Project Mercy. What a nutritional boost that would be!

After lunch we headed out to our first medical clinic in the town of Buee. I must admit that even though I have been on a medical mission trip before, before each clinic I am nervous. The questions of “who will I see, what will happen, am I equipped” are always daunting. A knowledge that God is in control, and that he has put me on the most amazing team was quickly realized. A white van full of white “Doctors” definitely draws a crowd. Michael, Sally M., and Phil Strong unflinchingly went into crowd control mode, and looking for the sickest patients. It didn’t help that when one person coughed, everyone started coughing!

We all divided to our stations and conquered. I landed in my favorite place “Triage”. Here I have the fun of taking vitals, seeing the patients laugh hard when I practice my newly learned phrases, and trying to ask the right question. My personal challenge is slowing down- it is great practice at this point for me to focus on each person, letting them know they matter instead of just a body I need to get from point A to B. What a privilege to interact with the Ethiopians in such a basic level. At the end of the day my mind is filled with interesting cases, faces whirling in my head, a deeper appreciation for my team, some very hilarious situations, a knowledge that God was with us, tired feet, and a question of “What’s going to happen tomorrow?”