Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Trip to a Village and to the Hospital

Yesterday we went to a village about 2 hours away to visit a man that we were told about who had some sores on his leg that “would not heal.”  We were told that he didn’t want to go to the hospital because he was afraid they would simply cut the leg off above the problem.
In the village with the man with the leg issue and cough.
We went with Anita (from Kibidula) and Meda (who has worked in that village for some time and knows the people there and the needs.)  Meda has also worked for Kibidula.  The village is up in some high hills (or mountains.)  It is so very dry there.  There had been a group that had brought water to the village, but something has happened to the water supply line and there is NO WATER there now.  It is now in the middle of the dry season and it is so dry and dirty.  People have to go about an hour away to get water.   I believe it is then from a river, so it is not clean water even then.  Things like drinking and cleaning seem to have become low priority for many in this village with this great lack of water.
Missing toes, swollen leg and foot
We have been told that people turn to drinking homemade alcohol made from fermented bamboo juice to forget their worries, pain, hunger and thirst.  This only leads to bigger problems.  The man that we went to see has had a problem with drinking this alcohol.  We could not get clear and correct answers from him regarding how long he had been having the problem with his foot (he said it started in June, but it is obvious that it has been a LONG TERM problem.)  He also gave his age as 60, 40 then 30 when he was asked (by us once and twice by the hospital.)  Without proper answers it is much harder to determine the cause and thus treat the problem (instead of just treating the symptoms.)
Another home in the dry landscape (Anita, Meda & Doug)
He did decide that he wanted to go to the hospital (we are hoping to get to the CAUSE of the problem with proper diagnostics.)  His grandson went to get his brother to go with him to be at the hospital.  We drove the man to the hospital and stayed until a doctor arrived (was called back in from his home.)  We did not have room in the vehicle for us, the sick and wounded man, and the brother.  The brother was given money to take a daladala to meet us at the hospital.  He arrived just as we were getting ready to leave (after being there for about two hours.)  At most (all that I have seen so far) hospitals here, someone needs to stay with or come visit the patient daily to cook and bring them food and to attend other personal needs.  These things are not supplied by the hospital.
Waiting at the hospital (another 1.5 hour drive)
We are praying that answers can come for this man and that (as he has said) he has truly stopped drinking so he can start healing.  He does attend church at times.
Monica - widow - children have all died
We also visited several other homes in that village.  One lady, named Monica, is a widow and all of her children have died.  She lives in a hut back behind the Seventh-Day Adventist church.  At times people will bring her a little food.  With out rain and water, she is currently unable to grow food during the 6 months of the dry season.  Anita (who had been to the village previously and understood many of the needs) had brought some food, drinking water, money, Swahili Bibles, and Swahili message books to share with those in need.  After visiting with Monica and praying with her, Anita made arrangements for her to get some food and we filled her bucket with drinking water.  She was so very grateful for these needful things.
Meda, Anita and the lady that gave up alcohol and accepted Jesus!
At another home the lady has given up drinking and has joined the church.  She makes bread and sells it.  She has been able to greatly improve her house (metal roof, cement on the brick walls and cement on the floor in one room.)   It has greatly improved the cleanliness.  We visited and were able to fill her container with good clean drinking water before we left.
The newer house is on the right.
We also met many other people with medical, physical and spiritual needs.  Anita gave out several Bibles and books to those that could read and that wanted them.  We gave out all of the drinking water, and food also.
Scars from a healed burn (and both hands)
For most of us (reading and writing this), we have water to drink, brush our teeth, wash our faces and hands, bath, wash our dishes, to cook, and even wash our clothes.  Some of us even have enough to water a little ground for some garden produce.
Village children
Many of us have some food to eat (maybe not exactly your favorite, but normally more than just corn flour and only enough to eat it now and then.)
A very typical dry view of this village
Many of us really are not “just barely surviving.”  So many of the people that we see are barely making it.  And when I say barely making it, I mean being able to be alive.

These are tough people here.  They understand hunger and thirst.  They understand eating to live instead of living to eat.  They work hard to survive.  They understand a need for something better.  Those that are Christians have a much better understanding of thankfulness than we do.  Each day for many of them is a gift that others won’t even realize.  (So - maybe you have more to be thankful for today than you realized?  I hope maybe this story will encourage you to be thankful for ALL the blessings you have today.  I know I have LOTS to be thankful for today!)
Two men hauling sunflower seeds.
During the day yesterday, I saw such incredible need and I realize our weakness, limitations and inability to meet the needs….  It made me so grateful to be part of the program here in Kibidula where we focus on training and equipping locals to reach out to these villages.  They have lived the same way, they know the language, the culture, the trials, the victories, and they can reach village people in a way that outsiders can only scratch the surface.  They live with the people, they become their friends.  They meet their needs in many ways.  They gain their trust and then they bid them to follow Jesus.  We are thankful that there has been a lay evangelist assigned to this village from Kibidula in the past.  There was an issue that they had to go and resolve at their home village, but I believe I understood that there is now someone else working in that village in their place.
The village Seventh-day Adventist church
We are going to investigate again what is going on with the water situation and see if we can help with that big project and in the mean time, we will pray, do what we can, and keep training up and sending out workers into the harvest field.

1 comment:

  1. We got up update this last Tuesday on Joseph and the lady with the bad scars on her arm. They will be taken to ANOTHER hospital to see if they can received help. Still no answers on the cause of Joseph's leg problem.