This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not
that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Medical Clinics

We've now assisted Sister Freda with 3 mobile medical clinics.  These clinics are easily one of my favorite and one of the hardest things I do here in Kitale.  I absolutely love that we are able to bring medical care to some of the neediest people in the world, but I hate finding these people in such horrible conditions.  Often with minimal clothing, run-down houses and insufficient food supply they are struggling to survive.  It breaks my heart to see such suffering, but it brings me joy to know that God is caring for these precious souls- and that he's using me, my team and Sister Freda's staff to share his hope and love.  We witness all kinds of illnesses at these medical clinics.  In the communities that we visit no one can afford to pay the cost of a doctor visit or a hospital stay so whether their illness, wound or infection is mild or severe, treatable or life-threatening, there is nothing they can do about it.  I am so thankful for people like Sister Freda who so full-heartedly serve the God they love that they spend their lives helping those who often can't help themselves.  She truly understands that God calls us to be a shining light of his love.   

Here's an excerpt from an email I sent to my family just after returning home from helping with one of Sister Freda's mobile medical clinics:

We did a mobile clinic today in an impoverished village not far from the Kitale town center. The people in this village live in rounded, teepee like structures made of sticks, scraps of plastic and other materials they have managed to scavenger. There medical conditions were horrible. There basic necessities aren't even met. All the babies were extremely malnourished, which makes their bellies protrude outwards. So many infected wounds and sickly bodies. People with entire legs full of puss- green puss in fact- and feet bulging with such bad infections that when rubbed with hydrogen peroxide created not a bubbling reaction but a smokey vapor. Never have I seen anything like it. Trust me when I say it was so great to help meet there medical needs. But ultimately I wish I could do more to help sustain their health. I spent 4 hours removing jiggers from the bottom of their feet. You literally take a needle and dig out the bug and the egg sacks that have been laid in their feet. Some people will have over 20 jiggers in one foot. Even though we removed the insects embedded in the bottom of their feet, they now have open sores that, because of their living circumstances, bandages will not be able to keep covered. This means jiggers will continue to come back. No one in the village had shoes so Howie went to town to purchase some for them- probably about 40-50 pairs. I'm hoping that they'll stay in their possession and that they won't be a source of conflict in the village. Everything here is so sensitive. It's not easy to give anything away- people will always fight over it and there is a fear that someone will just steal it from them, possibly hurting them in process. Hopefully their chief can help keep things in order.  We ended the medical clinic telling them about God's love and how is the only one who can meet their every need. They especially enjoyed singing songs at the end. I'm praying that through this clinic they will see God's love and their hearts will long to glorify him.

a few pictures from the last two medical clinics

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