Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clinic Day at CURE Niger-Day 2

Tuesday morning rounds at the Hostel at CURE Niger...everyone likes to have their picture taken!

What's different about these pictures? Issufou our beloved facilities manager at CURE is delivering supplies to the families and patients. He is such a dear man and tries very hard to ensure everything is clean, hospitable and welcoming. No wonder the patients and families are reluctant to leave at times!
Here is a little fellow first day post-op. He is doing well in this picture but later on threw a fit when the physical therapist tried to get him up and using a walker. He is so precious! He enjoyed blowing bubbles that my friend Christine Lehman brought on our rounds. Bubbles are a great blessing to all, bringing a smile on the children and even adult faces.
Today began as usual with staff devotions. Josh Korn is one of the spiritual directors and is going through a series on the Passover and Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. He is showing the parallels between their exodus from bondage in slavery and our exodus from the bondage of our sin. It is such a joy to hear God's Word explained in French. Some passages of scripture are easier for me to understand in French as it is such a rich language. After our usual joyful greetings with each other, we went to our various responsibilities.  A group of us went on the usual daily rounds with the pastoral team. It is always fun to visit all the patients and their caregivers, especially on Tuesdays. Christine Lehman comes bringing her cheerful bubbly personality and of course her bubbles. I call it a Bubble Blessing. Chris is so patient with the children and helps them blow the bubbles. We take turns praying in whatever language we can knowing that it is the LORD GOD who we are praying to.....there are so many languages spoken here! I find it overwhelming and exhausting trying to speak French all day. It is good though to practice. Today I prayed in French. Yesterday I was so exhausted I went quickly to English.
After rounds and a meeting with Leron Lehman the hospital Executive Director (lots of meetings in Africa) I went to the consultation clinic. Today there were plenty of people bringing their children with hope of healing. Sadly not all cases can be treated here. We are a pediatric surgical hospital. We do not admit children with illnesses that we are not equipped to treat.  It is always sad to tell people that their problems are not treatable by us or not treatable at all. One sad case today was a beautiful baby born with one normal hand and the other hand was just a tiny stump with a few buds where the fingers should have been. What a darling contented baby! The aunt brought the baby with the mother.  They came with hopes that something could be done to develop the hand. Sadly, she was told that nothing could be done surgically but that the family should train and raise this beautiful daughter to compensate with use of her right hand. It was so tragic. Yet suffering and birth defects are very common here and they both took the news very stoically. I am praying for this dear little girl that she will grow up knowing that she is made by God, loved by God and important to her family and community. May she come to hear the Good New of Jesus Christ early in her life.
We saw lots of children with bowed legs in need of nutritional support. We saw a case of scoliosis which was severe enough to need surgery soon. The young girl was 17 and her curvature of her spine was beginning to accelerate......she needs surgery before it compromises her breathing. The Doctor had to explain that we could not operate here as we do not do spinal surgery. We are praying she will be able to get help at another CURE facility, if not she will have to go to Morocco.
It was a wonderful day. I was feeling very tired around 2:30 but decided to visit the Ward...we call Pavillion. Angele the Nurse Manger was in the midst of a moving project getting ready for the new Wound dressing room (Salle du Pansements). I like a project that involves organization. It was so good to see what Angele and the team accomplished. Apparently we are going to use the new room tomorrow. It will be more spacious and convenient for the patients and nurses.  We are gearing up for a surgical camp next week....everyone is on high alert!

More than ever, I need to be immersed in God's Word and praying for the spiritual equipping for the challenges here. One scripture that helped me today is in Psalm 57:1, 9-11

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You:
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities[overwhelming situations] have passed by...
I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the nations.
For your mercy reaches unto the heavens, And Your truth unto the clouds.
Be exalted O God above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Praise God for His help in equipping me to come and being all wisdom, patience, love and goodness that I need.

Tomorrow I'll be in the Bloc....that means the OR...theatre depending where you are coming from.
I probably will not post tomorrow as I have a dinner invitation. 
What a blessing to receive such kind hospitality!

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