Thursday, December 26, 2013

One month at Eden Valley Foster Care Mission and Graduation

We praise the Lord for the opportunity to be able to assist at Eden Valley Foster Care Mission again this year with Janet Fournier.  We had all the students of her industrial school and the staff as "our students" for the L.I.G.H.T. Health Essentials course.  We had 36 "graduates."
Tamara teaching students and staff at Eden Valley Foster Care Mission

It was a great four weeks of teaching and doing various things around campus.
Doug got to pull more teeth.  I got to help a bit with some wound care on a machete incident and the infected finger.  Doug did lots of various odd jobs around campus, including work on electrical issues, plumbing, cutting trees, doing cement jobs, installing a squat toilet and lots of things.
We were again blessed to get to assist with the clothing distribution for the local orphans also.
Several schools sent their lists and orphans down to get some clothes that Janet had purchased (as bales of clothes) and also to receive some school supplies, a paper on the love of Jesus and a big long bar of soap (to wash clothes with or anything else!)  You know, kids in the US just don't get as excited about soap as these kids do!  And you should see their eyes light up when we pick out a nice warm sweat shirt hoodie that will fit them and help them to stay warm in the cold mountain air.  Janet handed out many new uniform shirts, some skirts and pants, also.  There were a few dresses in the handout also.  It warms our hearts to work with these unfortunate children.

One group of many orphans getting clothes soap and other things.
The young lady (from the last post) that we worked on her finger, she healed up VERY quickly and without any more complications.  (I am SO thankful - she is too!)

The mother and baby - the mother did stay in the hospital and healed up.  After being out for just a couple of days (we got to change out her wound dressings) she took the baby to the big hospital in Dar es Salaam.  It wasn't before she showed us that the baby had stopped using her right leg and the left leg seems weak.  We are still waiting for the end of this story.  (Update December - the baby died after treatment in the hospital.  We don't have all the details.)

I now know what scabies looks like.  A visiting child has them on his hands and arms.
After that, I started noticing it a lot more on village children and also some of the orphans that came for the clothing distribution.
The visitor with scabies on his hands.
We had a young lady (and her father) come over to ask about a problem she is having.  She has swollen place in her lower left abdomen.  She went to the hospital and they said it was her kidney.  Excuse me.  Last time we checked they are not in that location?!?  We talked to her for quite a while and looked at the list of medications they put her on.  What a list!  Sometime, I really wonder about the "help" that some people offer.  She hasn't been drinking enough water, so we remedied that immediately and talked to her about several other options.  Her father reported that she was feeling better very quickly after making a few changes.

I learned how to harvest pine tree seeds from the forest.  Janet has a new agriculture teacher and raising pine trees to sell will be part of the new project.
We did TWO HEALTH EXPOS with our students.  The one in the village of Ikonda we had 103 people come through.  It was very dusty and hot that day.  One week later we did it at the Tandala Teacher's college and had OVER 1000 attendees!  It was rainy and cold.  The weather sure can change quickly!  It was wonderful.
Health expo #1 in town with "one-day" poster racks.

Joshua helping answer health quests at the health expo.
1000 plus attendees at the 2nd health expo!

Even when it started raining, some of the people were so serious about learning about health - they didn't budge.

Just before the Health Expos we needed some papers printed for the attendees.  There were some other things that needed done, so Janet and I headed out to Iringa (many hours away.)  We got our errands done (with several challenges.)  On our way back from the school we visited there, we passed a cemetery.  I was amazed at the number of freshly dug graves.  There must have been a hundred.
Death and dying are so frequent here.  It is troubling for certain.
Hundreds of fresh graves

 Then we spent the night back in Kibidula before returning back to Mago.  It was my first time to ever stay in our house completely alone.  The dog and cat were so glad to see me, though they slept outside.  Come to find out the next day, I had not been alone after all.  I found this little guy in the house.  I love geckos.  He was TINY.  I love it when God shares His special creatures with us.
My little house guest
On our way back from Kibidula going to Mago, we noticed a long line of big trucks waiting to go through the weigh scales.  I think we counted 70 or more.  What a traffic situation!
Traffic jam

A teenage girl (happened to be one of the orphans also) had a machete injury that we were bandaging.  It is healing well.
The orphan with the machete wound on her leg.
After many bandage changes - healing well. If she had come sooner, it could have been sewn up, but she delayed too long.

We almost got to help with wildfires a few times, but they were out by the time we arrived.  Well Doug and Janet got to help with a small one.  I had to wait until Joshua got back so I didn't lock him out of the house at night without him knowing where we had gone.  We saw some amazing smoke from some that were far away over the mountains also.  They must have been huge.

A huge wild fire in the distance that filled the valleys with smoke.

So we are back at Kibidula now.  Twenty-two of the evangelism students graduated last Sunday.  We taught them their first month (of five.)  It was a happy and sad good-bye.  It is hard for them to be gone from family for five full months.  They are anxious to go back and get to work sharing the love and good news of Jesus!
We had SIX graduating Masai students!
2013 - 2nd session graduating evangelism students (our health students)

The rains have returned.  We are getting rain everyday this week so far.  The corn is starting to grow in the fields around.
We leave Sunday for a two week evangelism/seminar trip.
Today is Thanksgiving - we have SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR!  Doug had to go to town with Jean-Luc to get some things done for our residency permit (TWO YEARS HAVE FLOWN BY!)  But Joshua and I were able to join with the other Americans on campus for a nice lunch.  I made some cashew/rice carob mint ice cream to take over.  It was a hit.  Wish I had measured when I created it.  Oops.  I will have to work on that recipe to repeat it again correctly.

God is so good and has provided all these opportunities for us to serve.  We are blessed.  All good gifts are from Him.  If anything in our lives is good, it is from Him!

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