Thursday, October 15, 2009
First real clinics in floodway areas
My eyes are heavy, my back aches, my feet are nearly numb, but my heart is light and my spirit filled with joy. Today was the first of several clinic filled days to come. How we got to the locations we served today is a miracle. I had planned to hold two clinics but was dismayed to find out at 2pm yesterday that due to miscommunication, there was no location! However, God was not surprised and already had other plans for us.
This morning faithful workers Dave & Becky Majam, Frank Egalla, Jeff Anderson (Field Director), and I were joined by five volunteer doctors and one nurse. Our first clinic was in the middle of a small road that leads to an area still under water. In fact, many of these people are paying P100 or just over $2 to pay for someone to row them to their house! The church of the pastor who coordinated the morning clinic is still under water. All his Bibles, books, musical instruments are surely destroyed. And yet he jumped at the chance to host a clinic, even if it was held under a tarp right next to the river that invades his home. We served about 180-200 people in the morning and saw plenty of skin diseases, coughs, diarrhea, and bronchitis. At one point the crowd got overwhelming, pushing and getting angry with each other out of desperation to be seen. I got help from some of the other team members and said a quick prayer for control and the crowd soon quieted down. No surprise of course!
After a quick lunch we headed to the next clinic location in another part of the floodway. This clinic was in an evacuation center on a covered basketball court. Praise God for lots of room to manuver and line people up! The other nurse and I triaged the patients and sent them to the appropriate doctors. They were then sent up to the "pharmacy" for their medications and instructions. Each patient received a Gospel tract and saw the compassion of Christ in those who served them. At this clinic we served about 160 patients, including a young man with leptospirosis, a rat-urine disease that abounds in flooded conditions. It is a very deadly disease and many are dying here from it. We were able to start this young man on antibiotics early and will be praying for his healing. He cannot afford hospitalization, even if he needs it!
Thank you for your prayers, the whole team felt those prayers and definitely saw the need for them. Tomorrow we are taking the day "off" for team meetings and regrouping after today's "trial run." I now have an idea of what will run the clinics more smoothly and efficiently - the beauty of hindsight. We have 7 clinics planned over the next week with the possibility of two more.
There is still need for funds to purchase more medications. I was not able to buy antihistamines, decongestants, or more potent antibiotics. I am always trusting God for the necessary finances to
provide more clinics and a better assortment of medications for these dear people.
And as always: Soli Deo Gloria!