Thursday, April 10, 2008

Swaziland April 2008: Day 3 and Day 4

Day 3: Logoba

422 patients were seen. It seemed like a busier day than most with a lot of sicker patients than we had previously seen. We saw a lot of children who came without parents looking for healthcare all on their own. They had heard that we were there and brought themselves to the clinic with some significant and serious complaints of illnesses that needed to be treated. We gave the medications knowing that there were no parents for them to return to and that they were truly responsible for themselves. An 11-year-old with significant developmental delay and a seizure disorder with left hemiparesis arrived on his own seeking help for his seizures. Because of his developmental delay, he was unable to really communicate other than to tell us that he frequently fell down. A 38-year-old male with skeletal tuberculosis also with lower extremity paresis came for help. He was unable to walk, and his wife and he were both HIV-positive. A whole family devastated by two serious diseases.

Sometimes I wonder where the resilience and fortitude comes from. Looking around at the mass of people waiting to be seen, it was clear that survival was a common theme. But surviving at what expense? The team was more subdued today, and I think realized the magnitude of what they were doing. There is no other way look at what we do other than with hope and compassion.

Day 4: Zombodze

A day, not unlike the rest with 438 patients seen. We did have a late start and an early ending, and still saw a large number of patients. While the team traveled to the site I met with the Baylor team to discuss the healthcare of Pepe. We were able to come up with a nutritional program that would be beneficial and insure her possibility of having a comfortable life for a least a period of time. A young mother and her baby came to the clinic. Both turned out to be HIV-positive. The baby was severely malnourished as the mother had no money and was feeding the baby a dilute porridge. A little eight year old girl who had been raped last year and was seen by Sabine came back for a visit and was looking really well and had recovered from her horrendous experience.

Children's Cup has continued to grow with 19 missionaries and seven more on the way before the end of the year. Additional Mercy Centers and Care Points are being added and a new church opened just a few weeks ago, which we attended tonight. The mission here is beyond words. The growth and out reach to those who are so vulnerable is occurring at a rapid rate. We are fortunate and blessed to be a very small part of it.

In all things give thanks,