Wednesday, May 04, 2016

While we wait

Water renovation work will be breaking ground (we hope) next week. This is exciting and we hope to see results flow! We'd also like to share some other work that has been done around the hospital in the meantime. One of the things has been renovation of the bathrooms and windows on the maternity and women's wards. And along with it, the pediatrics ward received a paint job. We hope that these small improvements will give our patients at least some encouragement. And give recognition to the staff that, through improving their environment, they could also see how their work matters to us and to others around.

An example of the state on Peds ward before painting (ceiling holes, grime and fecal matter on walls, etc)

Staff bathroom work in progress 
Priscila with nursing students, putting up decals on the pediatrics ward after new paint work
Students with our cousin, Abby, who came with Elizabeth for  2 wonderful weeks. They brought decals, crafts for kids, medical supplies and presents for Zeke's and Pri's birthdays. And, oh, was it nice to eat real pepperoni! We are very glad they were patient with the difficult visa process and didn't give up after initial rejection. 
Barn scenes like this have generated interesting conversations with staff and patients ("where do you keep your animals at night? Where do you store your food for animals. . . oh, you don't keep food for cows?")
bathroom renovation in progress

These weeks have been full of reminders of how much we do not know. Patient care continues to humble us because of our lack of resources. And the projects continue to humble us because hey, we went to medical school and not business negotiation class. And less than good communication with the absent administration continue to bring me to my limits. I wish i could call all these 'lessons,' but i don't know if that is fair: not every incident or interaction has a resolution or a tidy 'answer.' But the purpose for our presence here is not, ultimately, that we feel good about ourselves or that we gain a greater maturity clinically and personally (but that would be nice!). i feel compelled to be a part of what i see this world needs: people who love and care for the well-being of others (yes, there are other things the world needs, like freely-available pepperoni). It seems to be confirmed more than rejected in our context. That God calls out to those who believe that when Jesus died and rose again, their lives and the lives of others would never again be the same. He is gathering people from every place and giving them a task: be a blessing to your world. i don't know if we will accomplish this "well" here in Kalukembe; in fact, i doubt it. But i am relieved that this task to bless others is not about what Pri or i can accomplish, but about bringing renown and appreciation to our God who emptied Heaven for our sake, claimed all our faults and sins as his own and died on the cross. And thankfully, he then conquered death so we can live with a genuine hope that we will live with him in " the unimaginable pleasures of infinite love." (paraphrasing from The Songs of Jesus, by Tim Keller).

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