Thursday, June 14, 2012
The medical clinics are finished.
Good evening friends, Well the last medical clinic of our trip wrapped up today, and I want to say it was a tough day. Not physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We arrived and the crowd waiting for us had grown to about 450 people. The need is so great, as I have mentioned, and we knew as we pulled into the school we would be disappointing many people. This is a day I have come to dread. Having to close down the clinic and turn people away. We work to see as many people as possible, but the numbers are so great we can never treat them all. There were 4 men who rode a boat across Lake Victoria and then walked 8 miles the to the clinic. This shows how important a doctor is to the remote villages. Incredible. Today we saw 290 medical and 41 dental with 44 teeth removed and 1,092 scripts filed. We also disbursed vitamins and pain reliver to over 200 people who did not get to see the doctor. We treated a home for the blind and crippled. It is not about numbers, but our reach into the community was strong. Than you God for expanding the team like the loaves and fishes. The clinic itself ran very smooth. The process we had in place worked so well. The doctors and dentists and pharmacy and prayer room were a well oiled machine. The team has been just incredible. Everyone worked together and even lifted each other up when someone needed it. This team was the hands and feet of Christ. Be very proud of your family or friend. They displayed God's light, love, and grace. The difficulty came from having to deal with the local politicians. The LC 1 (the mayor of the village Lucero) had a heart to see his community served and was thankful we were there. Unfortunately he wanted us to see everyone sitting under the tree as well as a number of others he brought or had brought to the clinic. This is tough. He have us the ok to set up the clinic in his area, so we wanted to assist him. The process became difficult when he kept bringing 'special cases' to be seen immediately. Mike did a great job is explaining to the mayor that if we saw all the people he wanted us to see then we wold not be able to see as many people who had been waiting for two days. Pastor Edward and Mike did a fabulous job of coming up with solutions to see as many people as possible ad the mayor was agreeable. The people became more determined to try and see the doctor though as the day went on and began to move for the waiting tree to crowding the door by the doctors. It became very active. We tried to have our helpers get people to back up, but it was not working. As the mayor was working with Mike I pulled him aside and spoke to a politician like an never have before! I gained his agreement that we had a plan he agreed with and we were implanting that plan. He thanked me and I thEn told him we needed his help to back people up. I told him we were going to have people hurt by pushing and shoving and neither he or us wanted that. I was a little afraid I had over stepped my bounds, but he agreed and went to work. It still did not work. The people are under a darkness in Lucero. They were aggressive and desparate. They had no hope except the medicine. Even in the prayer room Kysia mentioned that people wanted her to pray for them because she would place a hand on thei back or shoulder and they felt the touch of a white person had special powers. Wow. I do not want to make it sound like today, or this clinic for the 3 days, was all bad. There were many people who smiled and thanked us and were so special. Many people listened to the gospel and made decisions to start following Jesus. We had our local pastors there to feet and follow up. There was light and God was present. The last days of a clinic is always hard when you tell peopLe they will not see the doctor and you will not be back the next day. Hardest thing I have ever done. My heart breaks whe I think of the faces I had to tell I could not get me to see the doctor. Ultimately hope was there. When Mike and I told the crowd that we would not be back we did tell them how many of their family and neighbors we had seen and the crowd said Thank You. The people have nothing. But they have hope. They came I hopes of relief and our presence and interaction did show them hope and love. It was just a hard day, but God was there and with us and the entire team emptied themselves to serve others. Finally, I want to say we have a incredible leader in Jody. He is always positive and u.pbeat and encouraging. Jody makes sure everyone has what they need and keeps tabs on the team through the clinic. He is a fantastic leader and a dear friend. We did have a special event for dinner. Pastor Edwards father hosted us for dinner at his home. We got to meet Paul, Edwards dad, and mother and siblings. They had a huge spread laid out for us in front of his home and we all sat outside and broke bread together. It was a traditional Ugandan meal of cassava, posho, marooned, g nut sauce, cabbage, beans, rice, tomatoes, avocado, chicken, and goat. Everye loved the food and the fellowship with Edwards's family. Our partnership and friendship with Edward is special. He is a good man and his heart for the people he is called to serve is so big. What a great way to end the evening. Well almost e end of the evening. As we were driving back to the hotel we canme upon numerous trucks in the road waiting to enter the sugar factory and they were blocking the road. We could not pass on either side due to the ditch. The team got to experien e a little more Ugandan culture as we exited the bus and let our driver attempt to turn the bus around in the middle of the road without gettig stuck in the ditches or hit by other vehicles trying to pass the trucks. A bunch of Muzungus standing in the dark on the side of the road looked a bit out of place! Thankfully our driver is amazing and got turned around and we began the long road home. T.I.A. (This Is Africa) I apologize for sounding so negative abo clinic today. I am drained emotionally and spiritually. I helped Mike today with crowd control and staging and as I mention yesterday I have no idea how he does it. I have many great memories of today and people I prayed with and talked to. It was a good day. Just a hard day. I am off to bed. Good night my friends! Chris