I’m always excited to get to do hands-on nursing. I know our medical teaching is incredibly helpful, prevents problems, and is much more reproducible than just me giving out some band-aids, but I sure miss the hands-on aspect of nursing at times! This is one reason why this last week has been so neat for me.
We were able to bring two visiting doctors from America to the village of Ankazotsara. They taught about disease transmission, gave out de-worming pills, shared the Gospel with 100 people, and had a clinic in the little schoolhouse! I was concerned at first that people might not come due to trust and shyness issues, but they came in droves, praise the Lord! The doctors were very patient with everyone, and, along with “normal” illnesses, got to see some tropical diseases like elephantiasis (pictured above).
During clinic time, a 4-year-old boy named Etsiky was brought in. He had fallen two days prior, and looked like he had a broken arm. He had had no pain medication the whole time. His parents didn’t know how to care for it, so his arm was just hanging limp and swollen by his side. :( The family had no money with which to take him to the hospital (hospitals here don’t treat without money given up front), so they were just going to leave it like that. I talked with his parents, assuring them we would help out financially, and they agreed to let me take them to the hospital the next morning. Sure enough, Etisky had a broken arm. The bad news was that the bone had started to heal improperly. Etisky needed an orthopedist to re-break the bone, set it properly, and put on a cast. The initial doctor exam, x-rays, and medicine were not very expensive. The total came to $7.50. But a trip to another hospital to see an orthopedist and get the procedure done (since they don’t have the right capabilities at the hospital that is close) was going to be more expensive. Praise the Lord, there is a group of believers in the Czech Republic who sent us money specifically to meet medical needs, so we were able to use that to get Etsiky to the specialist! We were also able to pray with him and his family, and share how God can heal through miracles or by the wisdom and skill He has given to doctors. I have seen many children and adults in the villages with mangled or useless limbs from never healing right after a break, so to be able to prevent this in this little boy was such a blessing to my heart and to everyone involved.
The smiling photo of Etsiky is from before his accident. The pitiful picture of Etisky crying was the day we took him to the hospital. We were trying to makeshift a sling and teach his mom ways to decrease the swelling. We ended up demonstrating how to properly use a sling on his good arm, and, once the pain medications kicked in, his mother was able to put the sling on his hurt arm. She said it helped bring the swelling down, praise the Lord!
I always struggle at the end of my letters to you because there are SO MANY amazing, wonderful, corrective, exhortive, inspiring verses I want to send you! If I sent them all, however, each update would be hundreds of pages long, so let me just encourage you with this and I will wrap it up. :-) The words of Jesus from Matthew 11:28-30:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
May God bless you, my friends and prayer warriors!
P.S. The medical care in this country might be super sub-par, but the views are beautiful! This one's from my veranda (yes, I live in a paradise):