Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Channels

“Channels only, blessed Master.....but with all thy wondrous power flowing through us, Thou canst use us.... every day, and every hour.”

These lines of the familiar song recently hit my consciousness afresh, during our morning staff devotions here. Truly we are mere channels of the great love, mercy, and grace of our God...we bring nothing good of ourselves, to offer others. And what an opportunity we have to be the hands of feet of Jesus. We are reflectors, conveyors...channels... of His love, and the Gospel, to the people around us. For some people, we may be the only glimpse they get of God's love. I take that seriously, and pray that our brief contacts with the many people entering our clinic, would be true touches of Christ in their lives. What kind of a channel am I.... are you? What are we communicating to those we meet each day?

The last weeks have brought us a round of cholera patients. Recent heavy rains have helped spur the incidences of this maladi....thankfully it is usually very treatable if the patients are prompt in seeking help. One Wednesday morning found a few of us sloshing our way down the trail to clinic in the pouring rain ....it was just after 3am, to be exact. Sure enough, another cot had arrived (along with about 20 other people). We got the newcomer settled into the cholera shack (a separate outbuilding where we put patients with cholera to keep them out of the main clinic building). He was dehydrated from severe diarrhea and vomiting, but responded well to IV fluids and was able to be released a few days later. Thankfully most of the patients who have come in recently have gotten well and were able to go home before too long. Cholera is very treatable, and it is fun to watch how fast people get better when they get the appropriate care. But... at the moment, I pause to ask you to especially pray for a young girl in the cholera shack today. She has been here 4 days and is still experiencing severe diarrhea and dehydration. We are giving her fluids by IV as much as possible, but she continues to struggle and not progress like she should. Please pray that God would touch her with healing today.


Our 3am cholera patient just after arrival.

Another thing we have seen in the last weeks is a few nasty injuries that needed sutures....so I got to try my hand at real suturing for the first time. Wasn't the most beautiful stitch job ever, but it went well and was fun. ;) A school girl had gotten in a fight with a boy in her class...a rock got thrown, and she ended up at clinic. Part of it was scary close to her eye, but thankfully she seems to be healing up just fine.




One day while I was on call, a young boy was brought in. He had been hit in the head by a tree branch the day before, and his head was split wide open. Alyssa helped tackle that job and got it back together very well. He didn't totally appreciate our help during the process (to put it mildly), but almost smiled in spite of himself, afterwards.




Before I go, I must tell you about the little person I met on Sunday. At 4am Sunday morning, Alyssa and I headed for the clinic in response to the knock on our gate at the mission. We were told it was a lady in labor. Upon futher investigation we found the lady had already had her baby at 11pm the night before.... a tiny, tiny baby. The mother also had eclampsia and was experiencing high blood pressure and seizures. There were some very scary moments as the mother seized again after arriving at clinic. The baby girl was 3lbs. 8oz. She was cold and had a low heart rate upon arrival at the clinic. Eventually I got her warmed up and also was able to give her some formula, as she had not nursed or had anything since birth. After working to stabilize mother and baby, we worked on arranging a flight for them.... transport to the hospital by helicopter. When our attempts at that were unsuccessful for several hours, we finally left for the trek to the hospital by road. Bouncing over the bumpy trail with a tiny baby and sick mother is not fun, to say the least. The mother seized again during the trip, and Alyssa faithfully watched over her and administered more medication. Finally after about 4 hours, we pulled into one of the better hospitals in Haiti. It was a relief to be able to turn our patients into such capable care. But it tugged at the heartstrings to leave that precious little baby flailing in her crib....all alone there in the NICU. I hadn't realized it was possible to love someone so tiny so much, in such a short period of time. As I held her and fed her those 10 hours on Sunday, I wondered... will she be loved, will she be cared for? She is a fighter, but she is so tiny. Will you pray with me that God will watch over her and bring her through? And her mother also? The mom seemed to barely know that she had delivered a baby... the dad was thankfully with her, but was completely overwhelmed by the situation, and very worried about his wife. So please lift them up to the throne of grace with us... we know the Giver of life and healing, and I'm so thankful we can turn to Him at any time, for every need!

Hospital bound!

Our tiny sweetheart.

That's about all I've got on the clinic front for now, folks. I had actually written more, but this post keeps changing as I have had to wait for the internet connection to post it... so hopefully this finally will work. =) Keep praying for us, and being a channel of God's love and life wherever you are. Thanks as always for your prayers and support!
-Mis Sharon


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