- Written by Kimberly Pepmiller Kimberly Pepmiller
- Created: 22 May 2018 22 May 2018
The second clinic day began a bit later since it was not necessary to complete the initial clinic set up. This allowed for a more leisurely breakfast at the hotel. For breakfasts, we have been enjoying eggs, toast, fruit, potatoes and sometimes beans. We took our thirty-minute ride to Uchira and arrived to a small group of patients waiting for our arrival and care. The morning began with one of the local pastors greeting the crowd and leading them in song and prayer. Clinic began running around 10:30 AM.
Pastor Armstrong again began each group of patients with evangelism. Today's message focused on the concept that we are providing the patients with medical healing. However, God is the ultimate healer. The goal is to continue to share the Gospel message with those in attendance. Team members continued to work in familiar areas of the clinic today. Tristan and Julian obtained vital signs for each patient while Lisa weighed each one. Jamielynn, Maddie, Tess, and Kimberly continued to work with Tanzanian nurses to obtain chief complaints from and health histories with the patients. Megan worked alongside Shara and Tanzanian technicians in the pharmacy. Krista partnered with one of the local pastors and offered prayer to every patient as they left clinic. Sarah served as the rover and assisted wherever needed. The seminary students from the Lutheran Church of East Africa were unable to serve alongside us today as they are back in class.
Overall we were able to see 185 patients. The quantity of people arriving for care is much lower than what we normally expect and see for MMT clinics. However, the quantity is not as important as the quality of the physical and spiritual care provided. The national ID registration continues for all Tanzanians, so we are thinking this government requirement is impacting the ability of people to attend. Common ailments seen today were similar to yesterday. Many patients are being treated for skin infections, fungal infections, upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, diabetes and hypertension. Today there were several significant wounds that came through clinic. A couple patients had surgery prior and were left with some very obvious scars, which is a result of different education and surgery techniques used here in Tanzania. The positive is that these surgeries are now available treatments in these developing countries. Several other patients presented with lumps in various locations that could be suspicious for cancer. Many of the infections presenting are related to lack of proper hygiene. Health education will always remain an opportunity.
The evening was spent at the hotel for dinner, debrief and devotions. The hotel staff have been doing an excellent job keeping us fed with soup, rice, potatoes and a meat or two to choose from. During the clinic day, there are several women who spend many hours preparing lunch for our whole team and the pastors in attendance. We are enjoying items such as rice, matoke (green bananas), potatoes, a meat of some sort in sauce, cabbage and watermelon. Our team is getting a chance to try the local food selections.
Tomorrow brings a new day to use our talents to fulfill the calling and plans God has for us. We were sent to help, and we are hopeful to be able to continue His work tomorrow.
“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?