Tonight I am tired and almost overwhelmed by the days events. What an
amazing and challenging place is Kono District of Sierra Leone!
Our team (Phebian, Paul, myself, Pastor Joshua, Benjamin-body guard
and our driver) set out to Tefaye this morning to do a clinic in
partnership with the local health center.
What an experience! From 11 am until 8 pm we saw over 60 pts and the
last hour were using flashlights to see. We tried to see everyone but
at the end Phebian had to turn a few people away because it was dark,
we had not eaten all day and we still had to drive 1 1/2 hrs back to
Koidu. But at least we could tell them Phebian would be back soon.
Paul and I worked out of the same room about the size of one exam room
at JR all day. Phebian and Pastor Joshua worked with us. Our first pt
was a 2 yr old child who had been run over by a motorcycle yesterday
and came in with major swelling and bruising on his face. We
determined he did not have a intracranial bleed (CT scan would have
been nice) and gave him antibiotics to prevent a wound infection. Our
last pt we had to do an extensive debridement of an infected ugly foot
ulcer and clean it all with someone holding a flashlight for me to
see. In between those pts we diagnosed cases of malaria, acute
typhoid, probable HIV, neurofibromas, asthma , ear infections,
malnutrition, PID, STDs and HTN and probable cancer of uterus. One pt
was carried in to our room and I literally thought she was going to
die right away. She had high fever and abdominal pain and was severely
dehydrated and incoherent. We prayed for wisdom then gave her a shot
of ceftriaxone, a dose of cipro, Tylenol and had her slowly drink a
liter of oral rehydration therapy one sip at a time. Several hours
later she walked out of the room looking much better.
Today I was constantly reminded about our need in this place for God.
What I can do is limited. What do you tell a 45 yr old woman here who
comes in with abdominal pain for a year and you feel a large firm
abdominal mass and suspect uterine cancer? Here I am humbled by our
lack of power and ability to fix problems. It is easier to pray here.
In this place we cannot do much of anything of our own strength. So
many of the people I am meeting here have such a strong faith in God
and I am deeply moved by this expression of faith surrounded by so
many things that you and I take for granted
One more thing. We have plenty of meds but ran out of bags or
containers to put them in. Stuff we take for granted at JR is precious
over here. Now I understand better why Phebian wanted that crate and
why she packed it in with all kinds of things.
I continue to be impressed by Phebian and her team. Her courage to
stand in the gap for her people is impressive. She is persistent,
calm, protective, articulate and focused. Pray for her. This role will
demand so much of her. But she is ready.
Finally earlier today we visited the World Vision base her in Koidu
and met the district director. They want to partner with us. What they
do is complimentary to our mission. This relationship will serve
Tomorrow on to another village. Keep us in your prayers. Tonight on
way back got stopped at police checkpoint and Paul and I needed to
show passports but God( and our uniformed police body guard)got us
through no problem.
By the way. Our uniformed police guard who usually guards the vice
president in Freetown makes $25 per week salary in a country where a
coke costs one dollar. Poverty is overwhelming here. And yet man
Benjamin is a wonderful man and a huge help to us.