A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when seeing what happens at the clinics and kid's programs in the middle of an African village. Unfortunately, a picture is also not possible with a wifi hotspot in the middle of nowhere. I will do my best to briefly describe our experiences with words and add pictures when we are back in civilization.
We start our morning with breakfast and devotionals before hopping into our trusty team bus with the day's supply for the clinics and kid's programs. Upon arriving we find the best tree and set up shop. It's like your dentist's office, but out of doors. The medical clinic sets up nearby. It's often a beautiful setting.
Each village has chiefs and elders. The Pioneers missionaries ask permission for us to visit before we arrive. Before clinics begin, a few of us go to greet the chiefs. This is a formal gathering where all parties are introduced and thank one another for the experience of visiting and serving. The chief often wears a more formal attire and is given a special chair. One of my favorite parts of this ceremony is being given the opportunity to take a portrait of each elder and the chief. I have so much fun showing them the digital image. It is an amazing icebreaker.
Back at the clinic villagers are free to que up at either clinic, or visit both if time allows. They usually wait patiently in their colorful attire. This is not a small feat given that there is often a wait of over 2 hours or more. Sadly, a spot in line doesn't always guarantee that the medicine you need will be available or that Dr. Suzanne will be able to get to you before closing time. The choice is to serve no one or to serve as many as possible. We choose the latter, but it is not easy. It does not feel good to turn away a patient knowing they will not likely see a dentist until next time we come. We have to accept that God is somehow in this.
The kids program is something to watch. Beth Montgomery is on a mission to teach as many kids as possible about the gospel through the AWANA program. Beth and Nikita are blessed to have a Ghanaian teacher work with them. He is very important not only because he speaks their language, but because he commands authority. That is very important when working with over 150 kids at one time. Yes, over 150 children at each village on those 2 days!!
Prayer: Dear God, we know you have the ability to heal whether we are there or not. We pray that you will heal the souls of those in the villages and attend to their physical ailments. We are limited by time, space, and resources, but you are not. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen