Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yesterday we got to take a boat ride out to one of the islands on this lake, Mbabala Island.  It was a smaller motor boat so took us 2 1/2 hours each way but we made it safely along with some carpenters. There are about 4000 islanders on isolated out here and during the rainy season the roof blew off their school.  Mark's uncle donated monye for its repair and local carpenters are helping put a roof on the school kids classes.  On this island is a rural clinic where Edward, a clinical officer, tries hard to keep the islanders healthy.  He just does not get alot of meds and there is problems with clean water and malaria out here.  We were able to see 50 sick people in a few hours out there to help and gave Edward lots of encouragement.  We could have stayed longer but wanted to make it back before it got dark.  This is a shot of the sunset over Samfya right before we made it home.
We have been working in the clinic, home based care program, helping get the OR set in the new hospital and visiting other sites this week, keeping busy.  There is a small clinic room now in SCCP office which we use to see people coming in.  This is little Lazaro, an unfortunate 2yr old born with clubbed feet.  We hope to get him soon to Cure International to have him running anew.  With this new relationship over the years SCCP has been able to get about 80 kids care for with congenital problems like this.  Keep praying.

Monday, September 17, 2012

  After Church, we were able to take a ride to the beach up the shore.  This is such an amazingly beautiful place, it is hard to imagine why this place cannot fully get out of poverty.  White sand beaches, sipping tea on benches over looking this beautiful warm water, walking out into the water for one hundred feet and still only getting up to your mid-thigh, with canoers paddling by, birds coming up to the shore.  It is truly God-given.  The contrasts though with the poverty all around us is just so hard to comprehend.  r

We got to relax a little over the weekend, charging our batteries for a busy week ahead of us.  Sunday we went to the United Church of Zambia in Samfya and were rocked out by three Zambia praise groups.  This is the youth group which actually sang a song in English - Our Redeemer Lives - which was awesome to hear and they did a great job.  A woman did the sermon on Luke 5, 1-10, which was the first time I had ever seen a woman preach here in Africa - quite cool.  Don't know what she said but had people laughing and gave a Bill Hybels size sermon.  Church lasted 2 1/2 hours!
Even in Bemba is felt good to recharge our spiritual batteries.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My favorirate part of coming to Samfya is the hut calls.  Here I am trying to help a young lady survive after recently falling ill with disease.  SCCP has been so helpful with trying to help this community - the economy is starting to improve, faith and hope are growing, illness continues to surround everyone and death remains a big part of life here.  A young mom lost her life yesterday during childbirth, along with her baby.  Though there is a new hospital in town, because of incompetence with builders, even though it has very compassionate doctors, they still cannot do what they are trained to do properly.  Eric and Holly have been working well with them to try to make a difference in the hospital while Shannon and I work the clinic and hut calls..  Please pray for the people of Samfya.
This is another view of the clinic room.  Cristobal sitting on the bench has been a great help.  She is married to Moses who has helped us in years past and was also one of the people who learned massage therapy.  She is very interested in trying to get into nursing school here - the only problem is that they do not accept many into the program, which is very unfortunate since the need is huge.  Moses is away in school to be a teacher.  It is unfortunate that even the educated in this area cannot advance as much as they could because of the lack of higher education and the difficulty in doing it here.  

A fully stocked clinic.  We were able to bring lots and lots of valuable stuff this trip and stocked the small clinic that is in the back of Samfya Community Care Providers office.  We have spent the last 2 days there seeing patients and more I am sure will be coming as news spreads by mouth for next week.  It is the weekend today so we get to relax a little.  This place is such a contrasting place.  I am sitting on the shores of a beautiful white sand beach sipping coffee on a veranda, with the waves crashing, as if I was on a Florida resort.  Surrounding this idealic setting is the villages we go to filled with illness and poverty.  At times it just does not seem fair.

Friday, September 14, 2012

This is Prosper, who we visited last year with my kids.  He is a young boy with HIV who is thriving with the HBC program.  We are here with his grandma, he is an orphan, along with Cristobal, who was supported by SCCP in the past, now married to Moses, who used to help us out at the Bible clinic.  Her little girl is now 4 years old and she wants to try to do medical things now so she is helping us out on Home Based Care visits.  Prosper is doing really well, growing, taking his ARV meds, though he had a rash that looked like warts last month - using antifungal cream and his grandma shaving them off, they all seem to have miraculously healed.  Today when we saw him he had an ear infection but otherwise doing great.  Keep on praying for little ones like Prosper here in Samfya.

Hi,  we were able to bring some very expensive equipment to Samfya this trip and it all made it, including an unltrasound machine seen above.  They were very grateful for this - the box that supposedly had their ultrasound maching in essentially had nothing in it.  This will be so critical for helping with abdomenal pain and especially to make delivery of babies here safer.  Eric also got an electrical surgical cautery machine donated and they have that up and running.  The Ultrasound machine was donated from Bright Hope.  k
We finally made it to Samfya Wednesday and got to meet Dr. Albert, the head of Medical Department with the district and Dr. Lichiku, a Congolese doctor who is overseeing the new hospital.  He got a makeshift OR set up and Eric and Holly are trying to help get it going.  Yesterday we got to do some hut calls - here Eric is taking care of a bad wound of one of the SBC clients, his vigilant dad is watching to learn how to care for it and he has been doing a good job, the leg is slowly healing but likely will need months of good care.  There are lots of wounds out here that need lots of good diligent care and cleaning - something that is so hard to do out here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Made it to Zambia middle of last night with a new team - HOlly and Shannon have been here before, this is Eric's first time - Eric is a surgeon from Northwestern and he gets to help open up the new OR in the new hospital in Samfya.  Bringing lots of new equipment for the hospital and ready to have the Lord work thru our eyes, hands and heart.  Pray for us.  Got to run, more later....