Day 4

Yetebon

Our Motivation

Day 3Today found the team settling into more normal sleep patterns (fewer of the ‘It’s 2am, why can’t I go back to sleep?!’ issues…) and routines of the medical and Day 3dental clinics.  Isabella has found a home at the hospital helping the staff with the prenatal clinic and rounds.  Mike and Bill have been making the trek over to the hospital to help with surgeries and then returning to clinic.  Marshall has been making good headway in his attempt to see every single tooth in Yetebon!   Jenny has been instrumental in helping several patients at Day 3Project Mercy and the hospital who have been in dire need of her skills – she’s even making appointments!  Joanne, Mary, Kathy, Judy, Sally, Burt, and Mimi have been stalwart in their work in the clinic with several hundred children seen in 3 days so far – they’re due for a vacation and it’s only Wednesday!  Weldon has been our intrepid support staff and paparazzi – you know lives are being changed when the guy who normally sits at the back of the church is standing on a platform in front of a thousand little kids snapping pics like there’s no tomorrow.

Hosp & FlagThis was the first morning where some of the frustrations of the reality we’re in had a voice: there are clearly too many issues on too many levels to be addressed by a small team in a fixed time-span.  We all want a sense of completion and this is going to be hard to come by.  Yet, in the morning devotions, we were Hosp & Flagreminded that the motivation for coming and serving cannot be the task in front of us: the jobs we want to do, the things we want to accomplish, etc.  No, the motivation must come from what has been done already – namely Christ and what he wants to accomplish.  Our job is to show up and be willing instruments to be involved in whatever enterprise the Lord has for us.  The origin of a river rarely sees where its waters flow and the effects they have.  In a similar way, we really have no sense of what our work here will accomplish for the kingdom yet we believe that God is at work through us and in us.

Hosp & FlagAfter supper, we were treated to an oral history of Project Mercy and the vision for its future delivered by Marta.  It was humbling to know what she and her husband have been through and that we get to be participants in their story by caring for their nearly 1600 children here at Project Mercy.  They are the first to give the glory to God for what he has done here.  We join them in that chorus as we crawl into our beds, ready to get up and do it again because of what Christ is doing here.

Addis

Greetings from the Medical Team, its day 4 here in Addis. We started our day with devotions and a prayer time where we prayed for each other.  Even though we are a small group of 8, we had never all gotten together until we hit Ethiopia. Now it seems we have always known one another. It has been such a gift to work with this group.

We are being spoiled by our cook Winchet. Todayís breakfast is Spinach pancakes. Who says we have it tough.   We then set out for the Bole SIMS project for home visits.

Driving through Addis is amazing. The roads are filled with cars, buses, donkeys, and people of all different dress, some peddling some begging, or just on their way to somewhere. We arrived at the Project office and there split into 3 groups. 2 of the groups were doing medical visits, and 1 did home visits. We were accompanied by our interpreter and a guide. I don't know how they can find these dwellings.  The homes we visited are tucked into these small alleys.  I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that I think these roads where put in by the Romans.  We visited 3 homes. One of the women whose names means "The World" when we asked what we could pray for said World peace, and for all those people suffering around the world from catastrophes. I thought how amazing, here is this woman, living in this small room, HIV+, and she is praying for the world.

We then met back at the Bole project office for lunch and a coffee service.  One of the support groups from the Bole project was hosting the coffee service. When we say in the US lets have coffee, we mean maybe meeting at Peets or Starbucks. But here it is a whole other story. We are talking taking green coffee beans, roasting them, and then grinding them, which I volunteered to try. It is a lot of work, none of this electric grinder. We are talking a wood container and a metal pipe thing that they used to grind the beans. These ladies would make fine baristas. It had to be finely ground, and they were checking my work. They then brew the coffee over hot coals. They serve this with popcorn and bread.  It was fabulous, and just enough caffeine to send us on our way for the afternoon visits.

Gayle new friendWe split up again into 3 groups. This time I went with Hardwin back to MTW/SIMS office.  We got to visit 3 women   Once again we are walking on these ancient cobblestone streets. Into these dwellings that are small and dark, but Meshud motherthese women carry themselves with such grace.  It was the third home that were moved me.  We went into this home of this beautiful soft spoken woman. As she was answering our questions we found out her 11 year old son Meshud had just been diagnosed as HIV+. I think at that point my mind just went numb and my heart started to break. I know how I felt when being diagnosed with cancer, and I had options, but here was a boy just starting out in life with HIV. The other thing that was heart wrenching was when the Mom told us how guilty she felt about her boy being sick.  She was Muslim but allowed us to pray for her and her son.  We prayed about a forgiving God who sent His Son Jesus to take away that guilt. We took her picture and will take them home in our hearts.

Dessie

lab in DessieOur Ethiopian medical team is working with harmony and efficiency.  FrankWhile day 3 showed pictures of our doctors and nurses, today we look at the work of our lab technician. He serves a key role in checking for parasites (worms). In Ethiopia just like most developing countries, parasites are a major issue for about 40% of the children. And talking about the kids, we love them and they love us back. Big time!! Here’s a picture of Frank enjoying a spontaneous group hug. We are also sending a group hug to all our U.S. family and friends.

God’s blessings.