We had a very busy first week here at Tenwek. Jenn and the kids are settling into a routine of school. I was very busy taking care of patients. We had a very typical week of surgery–grafting burn wounds, depressed skull fracture, stomach cancer, thyroid goiter and bowel resections for worm infestation (see pics) to name a few. It is so good to be able to work with my many friends here in the theatre, on the wards, in the clinic and x-ray department. I am constantly amazed at the excellent, compassionate care that they extend to people who are so sick. They may have somewhat limited resources, but they have limitless love and care for their patients. They truly are the hands and feet of Jesus caring for the sick (Matthew 25).
One of my physician friends, Dr. Ralph graciously provided 5 lead aprons for the x-ray department. The aprons they were using were worn and torn and taped up and most of the lead had migrated to the bottom of the aprons making them ineffective in protecting from the x-ray irradiation. They were so appreciative for the new aprons (see pics). Another friend, Robert donated surgical mesh to the operating theatre (see pic). Other friends donated several surgical drainage catheters which were desperately needed. It was such a pleasure for us to bring these supplies with us and equally a pleasure to see the smiles of gratitude on the faces of the people here. So, on behalf of Tenwek hospital, asante sana (thank you very much).
On of my favorite people here is Dr. Zach. He too is a surgeon (an excellent one I might add) and a pastor. He and I have a special friendship that has developed over my last 4 trips here to Tenwek. Last time I was here I noticed that he was wearing a rather worn doctors coat that was much too big for him . Above the pockets, in magic marker he had written his name (on the left) and “Looking unto Jesus…the Great Physician” (on the right). This trip I felt impressed to bring him two new coats that fit him perfectly, each with his name above the pocket on the left and those same words beautifully embroidered above the right pocket. It was such a joy to be able to give these small gifts to my friend–Doctor, Pastor Zach–someone who doesn’t want the attention to be on him, he simply wants to point people to Jesus, the Great Physician. (see pic)
On every other trip we have made to Tenwek we have stayed in the missionary cottages here on the compound adjacent to the hospital. The cottages are clean and nice and have about 900 square feet. We function fine in the limited quarters, but this year a dear friend of ours’–Dr. Mary–offered us her home while she is back in the states on furlough. Her home has two stories, is so spacious and is so much closer walk to the hospital. Needless to say, we are so thankful to God and appreciative for our friend Mary who graciously opened her home to us.
Jenn continues doing an amazing job setting up and managing our home away from home. She will soon begin visiting several orphanages near the hospital. The children are all doing well with school and are very much enjoying meeting their old friends and meeting new friends here.
I am on call this weekend and was busy at the hospital this morning with rounds and a couple of surgeries. I am grateful for a few minutes this afternoon for a nap (!) and the time to keep you up to date on our time here in Africa. I’m sure I’ll be back at the hospital later today.
Please keep us in your prayers.
Blessings from Africa,