Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of Clinic

Lena and I got up at 6am in order to catch the bus to the restaurant for breakfast and then fellowship time with the team.  Lena was asked to sing with the musicians during these times, and although she is a little nervous she steps in to go where the Spirit leads.  Esau and Lena gave their testimony in the midst of our singing and bible study that we had in our large group.

I left early for the clinic in Israel's SUV.  We talked on the way through the hills to Villa Sandino about how he had eaten Vermont maple syrup while in the states before, so I told him that I would mail some down to him.  Sam, Erick, Annu, and Alejandra helped with setting up and rearranging the pharmacy before the clinic started as others helped with more counting.  Before the first prescription was filled, Sophia prayed for us and the role that our department played in the clinic.  We knew before we started that there was no way that we could do the work, but we had to allow God to work through us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  The day was fast-paced and the prescriptions from the seven American and three national doctors filled the red baskets at all times.  

Alejandra and I busy on the first day of clinic
We took a break for lunch and I met with Lena at the church.  We ate the sandwiches that we made at breakfast and had some chips and a cold drink.  Everyone was abuzz with the events from the first day of clinic and sharing stories about what they had experienced so far.  This was a much needed break, and Sophia was able to replace the screw that had falled out of my glasses - PTL!  Our team had the special blessing of a visit by Pastor Norman, who was one of the hosts for last years GHO team that included many of our teammates this year.  He traveled over 90 miles by motorcycle from Juigalpa, where a new church was planted, to thank the team for the physical but more importantly spiritual care that they provided for his area.  What a tender moment!  

Pastor Norman and Lloyd
In the afternoon Arjun and Kelsey joined us in the pharmacy.  Both young people were so interested in learning about what happens in the pharmacy and quickly learned the ropes to fill prescriptions to be checked.  We started to get accustomed to afternoon rain shower, where gatos y perros descended from the sky.  La farmacia had a large window that was partially covered by a black tarp to keep the rain out, but the wind kept blowing it away from the ropes holding it down and sprayed us with water.  I tried putting a couple gallons of Benadryl on the window sill to hold it down, but a huge gust came and smashed the plastic bottles to the floor.  Needless to say, we had a full-on disco floor where we slid around when moving about on the back wall of the pharmacy!  Roy, the GHO administrative assistant, rounded up some large bricks that withstood the wind and rain, thanks be to God for him and all his hard work to keep all aspects of the clinic running smoothly.

We saw many things on the scripts that just broke our hearts.  I prayed over each one and the conditions that were presented, from a one month old covered with scabies (no treatment available that would not cause more harm than good) to pain and breathing issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even folks who traveled 3-4 hours just to be seen in the clinic.  Roxanne came over with two young angels who had just had all of their teeth removed at the dental clinic - to see the hurt in her eyes and the appreciation in the eyes of the kids and their mom for her compassion is touching.  

We finished with lots of help - Erick rounded up all the folks he could to prepack, and then worked with Alejandra to label the different tables/areas in the pharmacy so that the helpers later in the week could find things a little eaiser.  The biggest blessing for me was the organization of supplies and tools that Cory did before we boarded the bus - he took the time to just pick the room up and get things back in order, despite spending all day at the church working with the building project that Chuck Damon and Eric were doing build a porch for the church.  I could tell he was tired, but he just kept working until we were all told to head for the bus.

After we returned to the Santo Tomas, we ate supper upstairs at the Rest Aleman.  Lena is able to get vegetarian meals after Rolando talked with the staff there - they find her each night for the rest of the week.  We eat the staple for Nicaraguans - gallo pinto (beans and rice) with most meals, with eggs in the morning and alternating beef and chicken at night.  Drinks are plentiful - gatorades, soda, and coffee are offered.  After we clear the tables and form a circle and start to worship in song, praise and prayers, and fellowship.  Tricia shared of seeing Jesus in the eyes of a young girl brought to the clinic by her mother. 
"Momma with her child who developed meningitis as an infant. They both taught me a lesson about loving Jesus."
Around 10:30 it was time to head back to the hotel for some sleep.  Lena is so good at washing out our clothing in the sink with the supplies that we brought, and we enjoyed some warm water in the shower after Mike and Laura explained how to properly use the "widow-maker."  After I mixed our gatorade drinks for the morning, Lena and I shared the pictures and stores of the day, and then it was off to bed.

Thoughts for the day ..

  1. When we put God first and seek to honor and glorify Him in all that we do, our actions lead to a longterm impact on those that we bless
  2. I am blessed beyond measure with the woman God has granted to be my wife.  I am able to reflect at all that she does for me and our family everyday, and to see her spirit reach out here, away from the hustle of "life" - it is absolutely amazing
  3. We are running low on children's medicine even after the first day - need to get the word out to bring more chewable vitamins and liquid analgesics

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Don't Be Like Mike

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Thankful that God has granted me a second chance (quite a few, actually) through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love the Lord, my family, and enjoy endless laps of swimming and circles on a motorcycle. Follow Jesus.