Dat 5

What a delightful day!  A crisp Ethiopian sunrise overlooking the Great Rift Valley is a wonder to behold (is it built into our genes?) and that’s what we get to see every morning here.  I made it up to the hospital early to buy some additional medications, and walked partway back to the main Project Mercy compound enjoying the scene.

Pic1We decided to take a different tack to the crowd control challenges.  This time, before the rest of us got off the bus at Buee, Michael working through our translator Mimi, spent about 30 minutes introducing us to the crowd, telling them exactly how many of them we could see, getting them to agree to take responsibility for their behavior and, even though each of them felt ill, to look out for the sickest among them and to bring them to our attention in an orderly way.  And to realize that even if we couldn’t see them, God would reward them for looking out for their brothers & sisters.  Meanwhile, the rest of the team sat in the bus just beyond the crowd, and sang and prayed – what a sight!

We also took the time, based on our previous day’s experience to let them know about the conditions we were NOT prepared to treat, and dismissed people first thing if one of these was their only problem. 

Pic2God was watching over us and answering our prayers.  The tone was entirely different from the previous day.  There was no pushing or grabbing as we walked through the crowd looking for the sickest patients.  Everyone was orderly, and we no longer sensed the desperation we had noticed previously.

After that, we all began seeing patients.  Even here the tone was much better – at times almost a playful spirit was evident as we worked with our translators & the patients.  It was a joy and great privilege to work in that environment as part of this remarkable team of almost 20 people.  Before we knew it, the day was over.  This was the kind of witness we had all hoped & prayed for.  We felt welcome, even comfortable in Buee, and we were very impressed that these desperately poor people could stay calm and collected when we troubled to frame the situation for them, and respectfully & lovingly ask for their help and cooperation … or did it have more to do with the group in the bus praying & singing.  Praise God! Pic3