Published: April 29th 2007April 29th 2007
Kate, my other other half, with admissions is weighing one of the babies during an admission.
Again, I am reminded this day how lucky I am to be here serving in this way.
Every sunday morning there is a worship service on the ward of the ship because of the patient's are unable to leave the ship to attend a church service. Many parents and caregivers stay with the younger patients as it is required that those who are under 15 must have a caregiver with them to help take care of them.
We have many children here who we help. Many of the children are here for a longer period of time because of the nature of their injuries.
Some have been burned and have contractures that need releases or areas of skin that need grafting. Many of them have cleft lips and palates that keep them from getting proper nurishment, so they are small for their size. The children with hernias do not really stay long though. Usually overnight if all goes well.
I was overwhlemed today as I went to the service on the ward this morning because there were testimonies from some of the patients that have been helped by Mercy Ships. They thank God for bringing Mercy Ships to Liberia
James and Chris
Here are 2 of our patients. The ones who stay longer than a few days end up becoming friends cause they get so bored on the ship!
to help them and many of their stories include going to tradional medicine men, trying natural medicine or herbal remedies when they cannot afford to go to the hospital for their operation. Then after all those options have been exhausted, they decide to turn to God for His help. And then Mercy Ships came and was able to help them.
Mercy Ships has been to Liberia 3 times now, and each time there are hundreds of people who are changed. But each time they come, there are some who return for addional surgeries. It is really neat to see how they are so touched by the fact that someone wants to come and help them for free... we charge nothing... free surgery in a country where US dollars are expected as a form of payment for hospital stay.
It was a nice reminder again of why I am here, because of my job, I am unable to follow through with the patients because each day I see new ones, welcome them, take their histories and them hand them over to the nurses who work with them every day. I have a vital part in the whole process of the
This is James. He has a contracture release from a burn underneath that hand dressing. He is a really energetic, great kid.
surgical flow, but I find myself missing the day to day contact with the patients. Telling stories, asking about their lives, hearing their stories, holding their hands and comforting them when they have pain, or are scared. These are the things that I miss out on, and I have found myself missing that contact. But I feel good and peace about my role and my part as a whole, but I won't say that hasn't come without some struggle.
But when I walk on the ward throughout the day, some of them remember me and most smile as I look and smile at them, and that makes me happy.
So I thought I would include a few pictures that make my job worth it every day. Their joy, smiles and laughter on the ward makes every day coming to work amazingly real... the people we are helping are changed in such visible ways and practical ways that will allow them to be a part of the society they live in. The kids are bored out of their trees being here on the ward so long waiting patiently for their grafts to heal! So they just love going outside on
the aft deck for a bit of fresh air and fun.
There are more photos below