Day 6

Keeping the Streak Alive

PictureAfter a highly successful two days in the Full Gospel Church area, the visitors from MPPC moved today to Mekane Yesus Church for the first day of a two-day event. The question on every lip as the day began? “Can this team keep its success streak alive?” As the day unfolded the answer was never in doubt. Manager Frank credited the presence of Christ as the key, saying, “With God all things are possible.” Team Captain Steve agreed, adding, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness.”

Fans were quick to note that the MPPC had made many miraculous acquisitions that contributed to this third straight great day. Full Gospel Pastor Aforek and staff, Mekane Yesus Pastor Waynu and staff, and CHE director Melaku were gracious in the way they participated with and worked side-by-side MPPC throughout the day.

PictureThe MPPC team had the best early morning workout any team could want with a devotion based on a passage from Philippians that spoke about compassion. This proved providential as Amy later saw a young man whose condition brought tears to our eyes. His serious congenital heart disease, easily treated in the US, will no doubt shorten his life dramatically as he lives in Dessie. Heart surgery is simply not available in this part of the world. The seeming unfairness is heartbreaking, yet our time with him brought us closer to the Saviour as we joined in this young man’s suffering rather than simply observing him from a distance.

Frank and Kathryn, in the leadoff spot of vital signs, were strong throughout. Sally and Mimi, at the difficult position of blood drawing and testing, hit home runs all day long with the very young kids (down to age 1) we were seeing. The cleanup part of the lineup, clinicians Amy, Christl, Mike and Steve, did not disappoint as they examined, did public health teaching, and prayed with children and their families.

PictureAt day’s end, the church leaders with whom we worked declared the time at Mekane Yesus another great success. Waynu commented, “I am very happy. To see the Christians and Muslims of this community coming together is wonderful.”

On a more serious note, we are one day closer to the ‘Messie in Dessie.’  Frank “The Eyes” Marsh is currently on the disabled list with a thumb injury none of us believe he’s faking anymore.  Mike “I swear I used to be able to play” Van Noord is still looking for his jump shot.  The event may take on international and intergender implications with a former Ethiopian Air Force team guard (Melaku) as well as Christl “Look, I made another basket!” Kirchner from the MPPC team joining the fray.  Stay Tuned…


pictureMy daily routine is filled with emotional rollercoaster.  I start my day with gratitude that I could get my daily run with my new running partner in Ethiopia.  It soon changes to whining about getting a “daily dose of diesel (George’s definition of smog)” during my run.  But then, I feel blessed during our morning devotion to hear how God touches our lives in many different ways from our team member. 

pictureEach morning starts with visit to “beneficiary” which is a wake up call.  They have nothing compared to what I have, but they have much more gratitude.  They give praises to God for what AIDS Homecare Project supported by MPPC and SIM in Ethiopia is doing for them.  Why and how can they be so grateful to God?  Am I not seeing what they are seeing?  Would I be able to give thanksgiving if I am inflicted with HIV and have their living conditions? 

pictureOur clinic starts in the afternoon and I feel inadequate treating these patients.  My 21 y.o. patient is asking how she will be able to eat when I tell her she will need to have most of her molar teeth extracted.  I don’t have an answer for her. Only thing I can do is pray with her.  Deep inside, I can’t help but ask God the question why.  As clinic continues, I see a young woman who is so happy to be seen in our clinic and tells me all of her medical issues.  I am thrilled to have answers for her; at least I am doing something here. 

pictureMy struggle continues.  Where is God?  Does God see what I see?  How can these people praise God?  Then, I hear His voice, “My Grace is sufficient for you” and I feel his presence and peace.  After all, it is not I who is in control.  It is He who is in charge and He knew us even before we were in our mother’s womb.  It is He who has a plan for each and all of us and His plans are far greater than I can ever imagine. God did not send me here because of my skill; He sent me here to learn from these people who already know the sufficiency of God’s grace.