Sunday, April 07, 2013

Nepal Day 1 in the middle of the night

Sleep is elusive. It's 1am here in Kathmandu, and the mind is racing, the emotions surfacing, the fear of the "mountain" is there. We arrived after 48 hours of travel, tired and with all our luggage and the medications, supplies and equipment. We rested, got to know each other, had fellowship and had our orientation, getting ready to start the "climb". I asked the team to reflect on the question of "why". Why are we here, and why did we chose to do this. Many have asked me "what" Medical Mercy does, and that is easy to answer. We bring needed healthcare to the children who need it. I am then asked "how" do we do that. That is easy to answer as well. We hold medical clinics, we build medical clinics and staff them with nurses and local doctors when we can, we train local teachers to become healthcare workers so they can continue to deliver needed health are, we teach first aid, we show them how to filter their water, we show them how to brush their teeth, and we show and teach them good hygiene. But the question I am rarely asked is "why" do we do what we do. Few really want to know. They are more interested in the "what" and the "how". Both are more tangible, easier to get their minds around. So when I'm asked about the "what" and the "how", I wait for the "why" and if it doesn't come, I offer it. I've asked the team to reflect on the "why" this week. I've asked them to be prepared to answer the question if ever asked. I have my answer. It took awhile, but it is there. It's solid, indisputable, non-negotiable, never needing defending, and personal. It is what gives me the strength to climb this "mountain" this week, this "mountain" of long days in clinics, sick children, at times frustrated because we can't "climb" higher because we just can't, and the slow trek upwards of making a child healthy enough to be able to smile and not feel pain. I have an answer as  to "why". I'll share it with the team at the end of the week , and trust that the team will share their answers with me. We may find that we all have the same answers to the "why". We leave in a few short hours for the "base". I need to get some rest, and prepare for the "climb". But before I do that, I'll spend a few minutes talking to someone who knows me and what my reasons for "why" are. He's the answer you know. 

In all things give thanks,