Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Busy Time

Finally, I have many things to write about.
The ship is booming with life at the moment. The screening process is still taking place but we also have patients coming in for surgeries. Something marvellous for me is the aft gangway, where the patients normally come on board, is not able to open so all the patients come past reception and me. It is absolutely amazing having people coming on ship with their various problems, such as cataracts, non malignant but still fatal tumours, bow legs, and so on coming through. Then the same people leave bearing eye patches, bandages on changed faces, and casts on legs.
God is certainly keeping us busy for there are a few off ship programs. Pray for my friend Becca who is working her silly, but happy, on so many things. God has placed Burquets, a type of cancer only found in impoverished countries, on the heart of her and Suzanne. She is also teaching, doing internet classes, and her regular job as a nurse. There are some days, though I sleep in the same cubby room as her, where I barely even see her.
I did have the chance, and took it, to go with Becca to visit the Burquet kids in the hospital. They are not on the ship but staying at a local hospital. A hospital in Togo is very different than a hospital back home (USA). Back home people tend to only share a room with one other patient, the patient is provided with food and bed clothes, and the whole place is sterile – to the point there is a hospital smell. The room we entered had four beds with about eight people (the patients’ mothers were staying with them as they were all children) inside. It was a concrete room and the door led directly to the outside, which is good as there was not air-conditioning. Apparently, it became so hot that one of the men in the room, an uncle, bought fans not realising he would need money for food.
It really wasn’t the condition of the room itself which made it a hard visit but the condition of the four patients. There was one who had stomach cancer (not a burquets kid) and was incredibly skinny as if he had gone through the last stages of anorexia. It was much to Becca’s credit that she got him to smile, because he was definitely suffering. Another child, a burquets kid, had a tumour growing behind his eye causing the eye to be on the verge of popping out. What makes this disease sad is it is completely treatable but people don’t have the knowledge or the money to do so, so kids die here in Africa for practically nothing.
As you can probably guess, Satan is not very happy with us at the moment. There have been quite a few attacks on moral, body, and spirit. Multiple times I have heard crew mentioning a weight or a lacklustre when they wake in the morning. Satan has also pounded people’s brain with problems or set up various blocks to what we are doing. God is good and triumphant so nothing has caused Satan to have the victory but we would sincerely love your prayers over here.
As for me, Megan is here, and she has the knack of keeping me busy. We have been to the pool, the busy market place, up a mountain (Coloradans would call it a hill), hung out with friends, slept in a house off ship, and so forth. More than the obvious that I have my sister here who I haven’t seen in almost a year, there has been much good coming from this. As said above, I’ve been out and about more. The other is how good the people are here. Many people, including my very busy friend Becca, have helped me with arrangements for this. They have shown me so much love.
For now, since I can’t think of anything else, that is it.
Thanks for reading my blog