Friday, March 12, 2010

Mercy ships life

I just wanted to say that being here is the most exciting thing, its
amazing being part of an environment that absolutely loves God and
shows it everywhere they go....
Even though I am probably working harder than I ever have before, it
feels like a holiday and when you see God's love everywhere you go you
can't help but be encouraged.
I just wanted to share some of the amazing things that have happened
so far.... Being here really is like being on a roller coaster... all
day every day....

In just over two weeks I have seen more lives torn apart by physical
disability and devastation than I have in my whole life.... Now this
tends to have a bit of an impact on the most hardy person (even though
that's clearly not me).
Somethings have honestly brought me to tears...
...for example when you see someone with a massive tumour the size of a
coconut, growing on the side of their head and walk around with a scarf
covering it up, its hard to deal with, especially when they are
standing right in front of you...

Now seeing this isn't actually the hard thing it’s the fact that even
though the only thing you can see on their face is their eyes, you can
still see the years of torment and pain in their eyes....

Now on the other hand when you see these patients after their surgery
and the transformation that takes place and the change that takes
place in their eyes its truly inspirational and makes all the hard
work worth it.... hence the feeling of being on a roller coaster....

I am definitely learning a lot.

There are so many amazing things that have happened so far which have
been such a blessing for me to be part of. One of which was at an
Ortho screening day. The night before the screening I was told that
they wanted me to be one of two Ortho screeners for hundreds and
hundred and hundreds of patients, where there would be only two people who
would decide if they saw the surgeons or not. Now two things went
through my head - I was quite honoured that they felt I was competent
enough to make such clinical decisions and the second was that I felt very
out of my depth.... I didn’t just feel like a fish out of water here, I felt
like a fish in the African desert. So before I went to bed I had a
really good chat with the surgeons about who they could and couldn't
help, and then after that I revised like a final exam at uni....

anyways I remember that night praying to God - please please please
help a brother out.... give me the wisdom to know who to accept and
the strength the turn away those we cant help and please let me show
your love in everything that I do....  now understandably I was a
little daunted with the situation of having to see hundreds and
hundreds of patients and knowing that I would have to be the one to
turn a lot of them away, however I took some comfort in knowing that
there would be someone else to help me in the process.

Now in answer to my prayers, I was absolutely fine and to prove God
has a sense of humour in answer to my insecurities, I turned out being
the only one doing the screening as the other person was needed in
with the surgeons for the whole day....

... so it was little old me and hundreds of Africans waiting to see if
they could be helped.... and one by one by one by one by one.... I saw
everyone of them... about 300 - 400 in all (when a crowd is that big
it’s hard to estimate). Now I had to tell a lot of them that we couldn't
help them but for these we would always have people willing to talk
and pray for them... and they all went away listened to and helped out
as much as we could.....

Now I had told a lot of people we couldn't help them but there was one
little girl with ataxic cerebral palsy and significant brain damage which the Ortho surgeons could clearly do nothing about. She was the cutest girl I have ever seen
and when she stood up, because of her poor balance she would hold her
hands out and try and grab you and when she did manage to grab you she
would give you the warmest hug (no joke it felt as though God himself
was hugging you). Now I really couldn't bring myself to tell her that
we couldn't help her - so I went in and got Doctor James McDaniel (who
is an amazing man of God) and told him about this little girl. He was
more than happy to come out and talk to the family, and to hear him
speak was truly amazing...

He gave this little 7 year old girl a big hug and told the mother that
this little girl was a special gift from God and not a curse (which is
what a lot of them have been told their whole lives). He then went on
to say to the mother that God only gives special gifts to special
parents and that she was a special parent that God had trusted this
child unto.... now words cant explain what these words did for the
mother... even though we couldn't help her physically, hearing
those words would have done far more than what they could have done
with their hands in surgery...

It was such a blessing to be part of something special like that....
In the Word of God it says that when you feed the hungry; give
drink to the thirsty; shelter the homeless; clothe the naked and care
for the sick, you are doing it to God himself,

well being here and doing these kinds of things I have experienced
something amazing... when you do such things and when you see the
smile on those faces you help.... you really do see God himself
smiling back at you, through them....

And one thing I realised was that God really does have a plan for everyone we see and even though we can’t help them all- we are just handing them back over to God who could do a much better job than we ever could....

anyways this is just one story of God working during His day...

God is Good
And I am definitely enjoying the roller coaster ride...