Thursday, October 30, 2014

One final thought of the day - this is what typical Zambian feet look like walking for 75 years in the dirt without shoes on!

Here our the main workers in Kasuba.  In the middle is the main person in charge of the rural health center, Mary.  She is not even a nurse but delivers babies, about 3 a day, puts in IVs, gives out medicines for simple things.  In the red is Calvin who assists who - a very energetic smart man who peddles the Zambambulance - a bike with a cart on it to take the sick patients to the hospital, about a 10 mile bike ride on dirt paths.  On the right is the head of the village, Mr. Kasuba, who is very proactive trying to improve the lives of his villagers.

We camped over night in this village so save on travel.  Here Becky is blowing up her air mattress while Sidney looks on.  Behind her is the open air shower, complete with an orange bucket that rained hot water on us and behind that is the long-drop bathroom - essentially a keyhole looking hole in the ground to a deep pit - fun!  We woke up to pigs running around our campsite!

Yesterday and today we all went to a rural village called Kasuba.  This was the first time a medical team was here.  It is about a 2 1/2 hour bumpy car ride to this remote town on the top of the lake.  It has about 2000 folks in it.  We set up a little clinic space in front of a small rural health center.  Two workers from Samfya, here Sakeni with the bag, and also Sydney came to help interpret.  We did lots of training of the church volunteers and two workers in this health center and saw over 160 patients in these two days.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Also on Hudson's farm is a fishery - here are two of his 3 ponds he has built to support the growth of tilapia.  He so far has about 450 young seedlings in the back pond.  God surprised him by finding a natural cold ater spring on the property which supplies water to this area year round.  He is raising soy, corn, and sunflowers to provide feed for the pigs and fish, which will be producing a natural fertilizer for the fruit and vegetables he is also growing, including bananas, sugar cane, watermelon, merenga trees and others on this farm.  Hudson also in his spare time is the pastor of a growing Church.  All to use his gifts to spread the ministry of Christ!

Today we also got to visit our old friend Hudson.  Here he is showing his new piggery to Holly.  We are working on support to help him with his new project called Hudaga - his vision is to use a large self-sustaining farm to support a pre-school which he wants to build on this property about 14 km away from downtown Samfya, for orphans in the area.  His first year he had 10 orphans through pre-school - one of them is now the top student in his first grade class!
 Busy, busy day in Samfya.  We were in the nursing office at CHA, walking in at 8AM as usual, and the line of people was out the door.  We saw over 140 patients!  It turns out someone announced over the local radio station that the American doctors were in town - we never ever saw so many people!  Plus we had to do a training for the Home Based Care volunteers on wound management, seen in the pic above.  Here Mwewa is an unfortunate 21 yr old with a severe chronic wound on his leg, likely osteomyelitis.  We tried to teach the care workers how to care for wounds like this and when to seek doctor treatment.  Mwewa needs prayers that it will heal. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

I had to end today's posts with this great pic of Becky playing with one of the many babies we saw today.  She's a sucker for an innocent smile!  Still much to do, keep little Samfyans like this one in your prayers.

Here Sneha is working with Mr. Kabumba to see patients in the nursing office of CHA.  Mr. Kabumba has been with the program for a long time trying to help educate the orphans of Samfya.  We saw many people today here to try to help their miseries and provide just a little comfort to their grueling day. 

Here I am with Holly and Charles - he is the leader from Kaishe trying to make a difference.  Hope we can start to help programs like his with our brand new non-profit, Africa Hope Mission, which we have been just able to start. 

Its Monday and a beautiful day in Samfya.  We are working on hut calls and in the nursing office at CHA - Care and Health for All - the new name for SCCP so they can spread what they have been doing to other communities.  Above is a particularly sad hut call - the 15 year old in the red shirt sitting on the chair has gone blind because of uncontrolled/untreated juvenile diabetes.  They do not treat chronic illness here - a very hard challenge to try to figure out how to fix - lots of prayers needed!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

One of the glorious things about serving in Africa is some of the beautiful places we get to visit on the weekend we have off.  This time we went to Mutinondo Conservation Park and got to hike around some "hills."  Becky, Sneha, and myself climbed up Charlie Mount with Carmen and here two daughters, Nala and Lily.  Its about as hi as the hill behind my big head!  It is very easy to see God's awesomeness in this country, both in the people of Zambia and in its nature. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Between Becky, Sneha, and myself we saw close to 80 kids and adults with various ailments, many had not seen a medical person for a whole year since our last team was out there.  Here Becky is checking in on 2 small girls.  We saw many sick people, including 13 malnourished kids under 8 years old, a 12 year old "mom" of two young babies, a 4 year old with a fever over 105degrees, and a middle aged woman with a large infected wound on her chest to name a few.  Much more help is needed to help this village survive.

Today we visited the rural village of Kaishe.  Here Becky is playing with the of the many local kids, with Charles in red who is trying to lead the way to care for the orphans and poor in this town.  He was an orphan himself and feels called, even against all odds, to help.  There are about 200 orphans and an extra
200 vulnerable children who lost one parent in this community of about 8000 very poor folks about 70 miles from the town of Samfya.  There nearest clinic of any kind is 13 km away, the great majority of the children we saw here are malnourished, given that this village has lived mainly on fish but that business is slowly dying as the swamp is fished out.  Charles has a vision of how to help and sustain growth through farms, education,and health care.  He does need some support though to do this.  Especially prayers!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The new hospital is fully functional, with Bright Hope and Willows support.  Below is the picture of the operating room.  The ultrasound donated by Bright Hope is still the only one they have working, the monitor and cautery machine was donated by Dr. Eric last year.  The supplies we brought last year are just now running out and through the efforts of Greg and Holly with help from contacts at Alexian Brothers Hospital and elsewhere, we were able to bring 6 bags filled with equipment, bandages, sutures, even 3 surgical instrument trays, probably over $20,000 of equipment much needed and appreciated by the loan MD, Dr. Lushiku, at this hospital.

Hi all!  Back in Samfya with another medical team.  Weather hot, Mark and Carmen pictured here on either side of their daughter Lily are awesome hosts.  Our team is a great one - in front is Becky here for her 5th time, to her left is Dr. Greg Porter, a newby, an anesthesiologist, in the middle of the couch is his wife, Holly, on her 4th trip, and to Holly's left is another newby - Dr. Sneha Chacko, a family practice doc.  We got here a few days ago, took a long 13 hour bus ride into town from the capitol, and started working day one.  Even though today was mainly a meet and greet day, Greg, Holly, and Sneha jumped right in helping the local doc with an emergency C section.  If it was not for Greg checking in on the baby who was not breathing when she came out, the baby may not have survived!  Then in the afternoon we saw 15 patients on hut calls and in the clinic.  Your prayers are much welcomed for the rest of our journey.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hi all, heading back to Samfya in a few days with another medical team, looking for your prayers.  Holly will be coming for her fourth time, finally bringing her husband Greg, an anesthesiologist, who will be helping to teach some tricks to the surgeon, Dr. Lushiku, at the new Samfya Hospital.  Becky will be coming for her 5th or 6th time to help take care of the kids.  And we have a newby, Sneha, a family practice doctor who will be able to help out everywhere.  Things are doing pretty well in the main town of Samfya, so we plan to spend more time in some of the outskirting rural areas including one of the islands, where the need is huge.  Pray for our safe journey and for God's guidance in all we do.  Blessings, Mike