I know that I have not written in a long time. This last month has been a big struggle for me. It is so hard to continue to work and feel like you are alone on the battles for the patients. I have lost count of the number of patients I have lost and I have seen things that are so horrid I have been instructed to not share them. It has been very hard for me to see the ‘rays of sunshine through all the bleakness’. I have just felt helpless many days. To be completely transparent, I don’t even know if my focus has been on Christ. I spend so much time caring for and worrying about the patients and then feeling sorry for myself (because I don’t know if anything I do is making a difference), that I have many days forgotten the whole reason I am here. Please keep my attitude in your prayers. I want to focus on some things that have brightened my days and how you have helped in so many ways.
Here are the faces of those you have helped.
Tamerach (Honesty) is a thirteen or fourteen year old girl who came to the Hospital because of severe malaria. She knew she was pregnant but had no idea how far along she was. She comes from a village not far from here. Her father brought her to the hospital. He is as skinny as a toothpick. His eyes are sunken in and his skin just hangs off his bones. His clothes make him look bigger than he is, but if you look close you see two things. One, he loves his daughter. Two, they are very poor. Tamerach was raped about 9 months ago. She ended up going in to labor and delivering a sick little boy. They were in the hospital for over a week. Tamerech is doing much better, but her son is premature, not eating and had an infection at dishcarge. So many of YOU have contributed to their care. A hat and blanket for the nameless boy. A breast pump to try to get nutrients for the baby. Money for food, medications, transportation and other needs.
There is no such thing as HIPPA here. There is good and bad in that. Sometimes the sister or mother of one patient will be helping another patient express milk, bathe or use the restroom. Because of this the whole ward knows what is going on with every patient. In general, they like to have the encouragement from one another. Tamerech’s neighbor (the gal in the next room) was also a rape victim. I have forgotten her name, but we will call her Ababech. She came in with severe preeclampsia and she ended up delivering before the baby was old enough to survive. Ababech and everyone else on the ward knew that you all were helping Tamerach. When Ababech was discharged home, her father came into Tamerech’s room while I was rounding. He wanted to pray and praise God for all that He was doing!
I received the first shipment of knitted hats (109 to be exact) and receiving blankets since my blog about the hats. The families just love them! The nurses were trying to put them on and asked it they could be made in larger sizes. Thank YOU for YOUR hard work and love! A family is coming to see Soddo this weekend because they read my blog and their teenage sons have collected over 400 hats for the new borns. It is overwhelming that in there short trip here they want to take the time to come and help in the ministry here. I am so excited to meet them!!!
Yesterday, I finally got the pictures for one of the orphanages done. They were just ecstatic. They always are able to bring a smile to my face. If you have any ideas for art projects for them or have supplies please send them! Here is a small sampling of some of the pictures for the kids.
There are several patients I would like to tell you about that you have been able to help by financially supporting me. One is a mother of 5. She had delivered all of her babies at home. The last she tried to deliver at home, but couldn’t. The babies body had delivered, but the head was stuck. She had to travel 12 hours with the baby’s body out on public transport. She ended up having a hysterectomy because of the infection. She didn’t have enough money to pay all of her hospital bill or even get a ride home. Today I was able to pay the rest of her bill and give her money to travel the 12 hours home.
Another mother came in with a uterine infection in labor. She has a beautiful little baby. After surgery she was very sick. She has been in the hospital for almost 6 weeks. Her family deserted her. Her baby wears a hat knit by the loving hands Cheryl Polluck, antibiotics were purchased, another couple paid for her entire hospital stay and yesterday she was finally able to go home.
I could write pages on the patients that have helped.
This last month I had two visitors, Michelle Palma and Lindsay Bahn. I enjoyed watching them pour their hearts out into work for these people. The gave their love, taught the nurses, worked with patients, gave blood, brought tons of medical supplies, encouraged me and so much more.
Thank you for all that you have done.