Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mozambique: March 2007

Pastor Rob from Minnesota

Isaac and CArol, missionaries with Children's Cup, who are responsible for the Mozambique project

They came...they prayed...

The church has come to together....
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Mozambique: March 2007

My "kidney stones" have finally passed...

Getting ready for the first day of church...

Chrys and Dave putting on the final touches..

Minnesota team and Carol getting ready for church service
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Mozambique: March 2007

The Church/school/care center...and maybe part medical clinic

Nkombe...the village where we are at

The children....

The sick...who we couldn't treat...
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Swaziland: March 2007

Parliament member visiting the clinic



...and they came, and came, and came...
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Swaziland Medical Trip March 2007

Dave and Chrys in the pharmacy


Libby and Teresa

David and a teaching session
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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Swaziland-Mozambique Medical mission trip: 13th of March through the 19th of March 2007

For a small team that went for such a short time, the results were spectacular. Despite a few interruptions and obstacles, much was done and patients were seen. Dave and Chrys our two pharmacists, Kelly and Libby our two nurses, Philip, Libby's son, and me, made up the small team that traveled to South Africa this time. We were blessed to have the Children's Cup missionaries, the healthcare workers, the HIV testing group, and 25 student nurses help us see patients.

Day one: Tuesday, March 13

Due to some flight arrival confusions the team was split on arrival in Swaziland. However when we were all together with me being the last one to arrive, we began our work immediately. From the airport I went to the Wellness Center and lectured for three hours to the healthcare workers on advanced aspects of physical examinations. The Wellness Center has been nicely decorated, painted, and curtains have been placed. The medical files were in file cabinets, the pharmacy was well-stocked, and the exam rooms were sparkling. But the time I was done with teaching, evening was rolling around and we returned to the Mountain Inn for dinner and rest.

Day two: Wednesday, March 14

We began our day of clinics at the Mangwaneni Care Point. When we arrived, Abraham had already set up the pharmacy, the exam tables, and registration for the patients. Within 15 minutes of arriving we began to see our first patients. 25 student nurses from the local nursing school arrived to assist with basic physical examinations and vital signs. They were clearly competent and familiar with a basic level of disease interpretation. In addition, a minister of parliament arrived to see what we were doing. Local media where there and I'm sure this helps with Children's Cup's involvement in Swaziland. Unfortunately within two hours of the medical clinic I began to have right flank pain, and sparing all the details, within hours I was experiencing severe renal colic with a passing kidney stone. An evacuation by ambulance at night to a city in South Africa, a two night three-day stay in the hospital, two CT scans, 2 emergency surgeries canceled, and finally discharge when the stone passed into the bladder, was the extent of my medical emergency. During that time the team worked above and beyond their call. They saw patients, were patient, and continued to do the work that we were called to do. 220 patients were seen that day.

Day three: Thursday, March 15

While I was in the hospital, the team held its second day of clinic at the Fonteyn Care Point and saw 225 patients. The types of patients seen were no different than what we have seen in the past but a lot of older patients seem to be the norm in the clinics this time. Dave and Chrys worked the pharmacy efficiently and were able to identify some areas that needed some fine-tuning. Kelly, Libby, and Teresa saw all the patients and did a very nice job of making sure that all those who came were seen and cared for. Philip did a great job of helping patients move and Charles and Kristin worked hard in helping the team see as many patients as possible. As for Daran, he was with me the whole time that I was in the hospital. On this particular day, sleep for me was in order awaiting a decision for surgery or not.

Day four: Friday, March 16

The team left Swaziland on the way to Mozambique. A team from Minnesota had arrived for painting and construction work at the new center in Mozambique. I had my final CT scan which confirmed that no surgery was needed. Daran and I got into a car and drove from the hospital to Mozambique and meet up with the team. Upon arrival in Mozambique the two teams met and made the first visit to Nkobe, an impoverished community. Because the city of Maputo in Mozambique is overpopulated, people are being moved from out of the city into small desolate communities in the African bush. Nkobe is one of those. A new facility had been constructed serving as a church, a school, and a care point. There is a good possibility that it can serve as a medical clinic as well. The teams identified areas that needed painting and construction and prepared for the work that needed be done.

Day five: Saturday March 17

We traveled to Nkobe to begin our work. The Minnesota team worked hard in painting the building with the help of several of the medical team members. Chairs were brought, in preparation for a church service that will be held tomorrow. Isaac and Carol Williams are two of the new missionaries with Children's Cup who have unique ethnic backgrounds: Brazilian and growing up in the Amazon. They both speak Portuguese fluently and as Mozambique uses Portuguese a second language, Carol and Isaac will be at Nkobe caring for the children and Isaac will serve as pastor.

Day six: Sunday March 18

Over 225 people show up for the first church service at the new constructed building. Pastor Rob from the Minnesota team, and Pastor Isaac, preach with a local pastor to these wonderful people who came for the very first church gathering in Nkobe. We were overwhelmed with their love that enthusiasm for hearing the word. There was singing and dancing and worship. This was an experience that many of us will never have imagined. We traveled back to Swaziland silent but filled the memories of that morning.

Day seven: Monday, March 19

We left in the afternoon for the United States. We decided to hold an impromptu medical clinic and 8:30 in the morning we saw patients right up until the time we left at 11:30 for the airport. We saw 110 patients. Our travel home was uneventful and another medical trip is completed.

And it is done...

Over 550 patients were seen in 2 1/2 days. A new church was born. 69 patients were tested for HIV of which only 10 were found to be positive. I pray that this is an indication that the education and efforts of all those in AIDS prevention is working. All is well in Swaziland, with Teresa, Daran, Ben, Charles, Kristin, Carol, Isaac, the rest of the Children's Cup missionaries, and the healthcare workers, leading His charge for continued grace in a country that is isolated with children who are no longer forgotten.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ready, set, go....

We just got back from Egypt, and some of us are leaving tomorrow for Swaziland and Mozambique. We'll be working at the Care Points in both countries and doing an assessment for a possible medical clinic in Mozambique. The team is small, but the mission is big. Be with us as we travel:
and me....