Dat 5
     Addis

PictureWe went to the Kolfe clinic today, once again dodging cars, people, and donkeys in the street as our bus drove.  It was a very busy day in the clinic.  We saw almost 100 people for medical problems.  There were more children here than in Bole. Picture About 80% of the people were HIV positive. There were many complaints of stomach pain, eye irritation, and children with coughs.  It is no surprise that so many have eye irritation. The air constantly smells like a campfire.  Wood and coal are used for fuel.  Robin and Andrew were in full force with the puppets for the children.  They sang songs like He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands with the puppets.  But the puppets had to be put away when the children got too excited and started hitting them.  PictureWe managed to close up shop on time today. We are getting more organized now that we know what to expect.  We had a delicious dinner of chicken casserole, rice, and broccoli with zucchini.  Then it was time to blow off some steam playing games.  Robin proved invincible in a game of Balderdash.  George came in a close second.  I saw others playing a game called Guillotine but I am not sure how this game is played.  It must have been fun judging from the laughter and squeals.  Then it was off to bed to rest up for another day of serving the Lord.Picture


Dessie

PictureOur day in Dessie started with a lovely breakfast and a musical grace. We spent time in morning devotions discussing love and the Good Samaritan parable told by Jesus. Having long term Ethiopian missionaries and native Ethiopians as part of this mission team keeps us Westerners grounded in the real issues facing this nation, such as poverty and the desperation that it creates.  We drove through the streets of Dessie to our clinic site for the day, which was an educational experience and an adventure in itself. The sights and faces that we see through the car windows are hard to describe and harder to forget.

This was our second day at Full Gospel Church; the children screened today appeared more impoverished and less healthy than yesterday but no less engaging and precious. Today we had a smooth flow through the different stages of the clinic which included physical assessments, spiritual teaching, health education, puppet shows and spontaneous singing. Some children were screened and referred for more complex medical follow up diagnostic testing/treatments. The children were given stickers when they had their blood tested (check out the photo).

Some of our faithful interpretersThe children were taught about the love of God through every smile and hand that they encountered at the clinic. Over the past two days, twenty or more children prayed to accept Jesus into their hearts, and many other spiritual seeds were sown. They learned the importance of washing their hands for avoiding disease, something we Westerners take for granted, but which is difficult for these children given most do not have running water. The children gathered enthusiastically anytime a puppet helped teaching Bible stories and health education. Soccer balls were used to teach about the gospel and also to grow Ethiopian-American friendships. Spontaneous songs sang by our team were rewarded by a united effort by the children, even those in some of the assessment stations. My ears listened to much more than heartbeats today.

Marjorie at her clinical stationAt the end of our two-day clinic at Full Gospel Church, about 75 children were screened and many lives were touched by God’s love – ours’ included. The statistics were compiled and compared to those of last year (the first year done). The parents came for a meeting to learn of their children’s health trends. Our head physician, Mike and our Ethiopian nurse, Mimi, presented the results to the families. This year’s health trends show that malnutrition is causing stunted growth for a majority of the children, anemia and dental cavities remain a concern for some, but last year’s teaching had made an impact on the health of the children and likely their families as well. The exciting comparative news is that the children were taught last year about wearing shoes and washing hands to avoid intestinal worms. This year the children had nearly 10% less intestinal parasites than last year.

The children and parents gave us a warm good bye. Back at the guest house we had a delicious dinner, team devotions, and time for just hanging around. After everyone else went to bed, Mimi, our Ethiopian nurse and Tonja stayed up doing “homework”. They listened to the crickets and distant hyenas, (Yes, hyenas!).  During this precious time, Mimi told of her people, their history and culture, and her rich love for Jesus. The Ethiopians are a good and gentle people in need of the love and redemption that the Heavenly Father offers. Please continue to keep them in your prayers.