Thursday, March 12, 2009

WARNING- this post contains some quite YUCKY pics. Parents and those with weak stomachs- BE ADVISED. (seriously)

In my last blog post I mentioned that we had a particularly draining day that I would blog about later. Well here is that blog. In case you did not read the title, I am now giving everyone fair warning that there is several pictures of an injury on this page that may not be appreciated by all my raving fans. There. I have now warned you twice- now you cant blame me!
We had planned to pretty much relax on Sunday, spend some time with Nat and Salena, and rest after a very busy week. Apparently, that wasnt to be! Just after ten a.m. Matthew rang our bell (actually Dwight and Lynn's but since they are not here we stole it). He had brought one of the students that the mission sponsors in Grade Six at the school in Chitundo (about a 20 minute drive by car away). Paulo had been biking since seven a.m. to bring word that one of the other students was VERY sick, he could barely sit up or stand, and needed to go back to the hospital for a blood transfusion. Paulo had already taken him to the hospital once already- such big responsibilities for a teenage boy!

Dr. Sebastien cleans the students arm with an alchohol swab.

Rick and I decided that we should probably drive the boy into Vanduzi hospital and see if the blood transfusion was even possible. So off we went. Once we picked up the sick boy and arrived at the hospital we were told that yes they did have the right kind of blood needed, but they didnt have the right bag or tubing to give him the transfusion! (this is completly typical of African hospitals!) Instead they decided to give him an IV of sugar water fluids and see if that would help him any. Im not a nurse, nor do I understand portuguese super well, so I got on my cell phone to call Lynn and see if this made any sense to her- she seemed to think it was ok so we decided to go ahead. It nearly broke my heart as I had to hold this terrified child, who speaks very little portuguese, and certainly wasnt understanding my weak attempts at consoling him, as the doctor inserted the IV line.

Lynn had suggested we ask the hospital to do a HIV test on this child, as he has been ill with one infection or another almost constantly. I asked the doctor, and because we had been entrusted with the boy by his grandfather, the doctor agreed. My heart sank as the doctor informed me that yes, this boy, only in grade six, was HIV positive. Because we didnt feel it was our place to tell the boy, we drove him home and arranged to meet with his Grandfather later in the day. When we showed up for that meeting the grandfather was not there, so we made new arrangements to meet with them the following morning, and turned the truck towards home, grateful for a chance to go home, relax and rest after a rather emotionally draining day.
Waiting for nearly forty minutes as the sugar water solution drips.
As we approached the farm, we saw our worker Lovemore, waving his arm frantically and screaming for us to stop. We pulled over to see what the comotion was. Lovemore approached Rick's side of the truck and showed him his hand. He had been stabbed by a man in the community, over some sort of family fued. As the man had attempted to stab Lovemores neck, he had blocked the knife with his hand, resulting in a deep wound to the base of his palm/wrist.
SOOOO we turned the truck BACK around, loaded Lovemore, his brother, and Mathew (to interpret) all into the vehicle and headed back to Vanduzi hospital yet again. As we walked in the Doctor looked at me rather oddly and said " Again Senhora??!!".
Praise the Lord that Lovemore's wound was mostly a flesh wound. Had the knife gone in at a slightly different angle it would have hit tendons, and blood veins! He recieved stitches, bandages and a prescription for antibiotics to fight infection.
Now, to put this all in perspective- trips to the hospital are not in any way the norm for us. I have been the hospital ONCE since arriving, and that trip was so Lynn could drop off a letter for the hospital director! Two trips in one day, with one resulting in very heartbreaking news, and the other making my stomach turn at the sight of so much blood was a bit stressful to say the least, as well as draining, both physically and emotionally!
Waiting for Lovemore as the Dr. stitches him up!
I came home, nearly in tears, grateful for my hot shower and soft bed to sleep on! Of course, in the grand scheme of things, it could have been much worse, and we are thankful that it wasnt! God is good, and He gives us the strength we need to make it thru days like this one, and ones that will be much harder as well! I had asked Lynn before she left what I was supposed to do if someone showed up with their hand all cut up or something- she had replied.. oh that probably wont happen! HA! Two days after she leaves Im faced with it! I think this was God's way of saying- "See- you can handle stuff around here without Lynn, you will survive, I AM HERE!"
Again, Thanks to everyone who prays for us on a regular basis. Every time you see our prayer magnet or bookmark- send up a prayer for us. We need those prayers every day, in every situation we encounter. They encourage us, they lift us up, and they make our ministry here an effective one.
This coming Sunday we are looking forward to delivering the Orphan Care Packs, which Salena and I have been busy putting together, purchased with funds donated thru our Unique Christmas Gift campaign. Please pray for safe travel and a time of fellowship as we travel up to Honde to meet with Pastor Paulo's orphan group and present them with much needed gifts of Love. God Bless, Rick & Heather

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