- Written by Kimberly Pepmiller Kimberly Pepmiller
- Created: 26 May 2018 26 May 2018
Today brought the conclusion of our medical clinic. We began the day in normal fashion with worship, prayer and praise with the local church partners, our Tanzanian health care workers, the patients waiting and our team. The patients seemed a bit more feisty waiting in line today. It seems they wanted to make sure they were seen on the last day.
Today Sarah was able to travel to a local hospital to follow up on care for a patient and make some connections for future treatment needs. The woman with the severe infection who was sent to the hospital for had a great night and was able to discharge in much better health and go home. Sarah was able to connect an ophthalmologist with one of the local pastors who can assist his ten-year-old daughter with cataract surgery and help connect their other children with resources for glasses. Another patient presented today with inability to eat or drink for close to one year. The probable diagnosis for the patient is esophageal cancer. The woman has been connected to the local pastors who will help her navigate the next steps of this healthcare journey, which may include further testing, treatment or hospice care. The woman's son is also very ill and needs to seek further care elsewhere. Sarah and the health care team were able to share stories of success and needs for continued prayer and guidance.
Our team saw 340 patients today. Overall for the week we were able to provide both spiritual and physical care to just over 1300 patients. Common diagnoses and healthcare concerns remained the same for the patients today. Bacterial and fungal infections remain the more prevalent of the issues.
At the end of the day we gathered together as a full team to say our goodbyes. It is always challenging to develop relationships and then at the end of the week to say farewell. However, relationships are the lasting imprint of our trip and will serve as excellent memories for all. The local pastors are hopeful to have a few extra parishioners in church as a result of the efforts this week as people heard the Gospel and received health care. The patients were connected to their health care personnel and will hopefully seek future follow-up care from them. The week was a success in terms of accomplishing these two main goals.
The final highlight at the end of the day was the appearance of Mount Kilimanjaro in its great majesty. We played tourists and pulled off to the side of the road to await the final clearing of the clouds as it appeared for the close of the day. Our evening was spent reflecting and enjoying some final times together as a team as we begin to prepare for final adventures and travel home. We have completed our service, impacted those here in our care, and created a lasting influence in each one of us.
“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?