Dat 7

Harsh Realities

PictureToday saw the conclusion of our screening at Mekane Yesus church where we were able to see over 150 children.  The meeting with the parents at the end of the day went very well with a commitment on the part of the community to form a committee to begin the CHE process.  While the community was more affluent than our first site at the Full Gospel church, fully 25% of children suffered from intestinal parasites and nearly 20% from chronic wasting.  Dessie does not have a dentist and oral hygiene is highly variable – the majority of children will clean their teeth every other day either with a finger or a stick.  Over 30% of children at both sites have significant tooth decay.

It is impossible to avoid the struggle just to live here in Dessie – life is very hard.  We pass beggars, street children, the disabled and their fragile homes made of plastic tarps and sticks every time we go to the clinic sites. Today saw new lessons and stories given to the MPPC team.  We met a father and son who are now in Dessie after having fled life-threatening persecution for their Christian faith in a rural village.  None of us have ever faced the challenges this family has and they encourage us with their resilient faith

PictureMany of the children seen today have lost parents and were brought in by relatives or friends.  One mother of 4 little girls was able to bring in 2 of them for screening.  The father is dead and it is unknown how this mother is able to feed, clothe and care for these four children.  After looking at these two beautiful young girls who were doing quite well, we were able to turn the conversation to the mother and encourage her.  PictureShe began to cry when the immensity of her job and how well she was doing it was affirmed – a touch and a word of love for a mother of four, fighting for her family. Another mother carried in a child of 8 on her back.  He was born with cerebral palsy after a long labor and she feeds him every meal.  After his health screening, we marveled as she wrapped him in a blanket and hoisted him onto her back for the dusty walk home.  The love of mother for child is universal, and humbling.

PictureThe pastors of Mekane Yesus were very encouraged by the participation of the community in the CHE health screening.  Attendance by Muslims from the neighborhood was strong.  The screening was very successful both in facilitating the relationships between Christians and Muslims as well as establishing the church as a leader in promoting the health of the community.

Please pray for rain.  There is drought here and it is already affecting the supply of hydroelectric power leading to rolling blackouts during the day.  If there is no rain soon, famine will follow.  Please pray too for the endurance of the team, we have 3 more days of screening.

 



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This morning we awoke to the sound of rain as well as to the Muslim’s call to prayer.  Whoever said we needed to bring an alarm clock?  I don’t  believe anyone has used one. Praise the Lord for the rain as Addis has not had the early short rains that usually come starting in February.

Some of us continue to be ambitions by starting the day with a run/walk but today those who did came back dripping wet, happy and refreshed for the day.  Thanks to Irene, we had a good fruit salad for breakfast.

We then left for the International Evangelical Church where we celebrated Sunday worship with this congregation.  We met at church John White (a physician with Missions of the World-MTW) and his wife Jessica along with their three children, Walker-5, Georgia-4 and Parks-3    Later we would have dinner with them. Also at church  Brian March, a 28 yr. old missionary with MTW, met us at  and he spent the rest of the day with us.  John and Brian have been a great support on clinic days.

pictureThe minister, Dr. Steven Bryan taught on 1Samuel: 9-12. “Chasing Donkeys, Finding God”.

“God seeks to honor His name by seeking a people who bear His name.
We cannot bear His name as long as we are primarily concerned for our
own  name.  God works through our sin making us want the care of a
shepherd and he gives us the graces that lead to grace. “

pictureAs I sit here in church far from home I wonder am I a person touched by God to bear His name?  Can I love as we have been called to love?  Only by His grace-His spirit.  He has done these things in us for His glory.

As the rain continued lightly we boarded the bus again and headed to the Garden Paradise Restaurant where we ate such items as chicken barbeque, kabob and pasta.  We returned to the guest house and Brian brought his guitar.  We were entertained with an afternoon of fellowship singing Christian songs together.  It stopped raining and luckily we never loss electrical power, a very common occurrence here.

pictureThe White family arrived with fixings to make pancakes for supper. While Jessica and a few of our team took to the kitchen, the male component chatting on the front porch, some of us played with Walker, Georgia and Parks.  The guest house became lively with activity.  I’m not sure who was having more fun as we laughed with the children delighting in the stickers, coloring and puppets.  All 15 of us sat  down to a pancake supper.  Pancakes never tasted so good.  We topped off our dinner with See’s candy lollipops for dessert.  What a fitting meal for us – the children of God.  John and Jessica are from North Carolina and have been in Addis Ababa a year.  They have given us insights as to the complexities of dealing with health issues here in Addis.  The evening ended with our stomachs full and minds relaxed.

I praise God for the day of rest, song and relaxation with fellowship and time for reflection.  I was reminded of God the Father of us all as we played and laughed together.