Note to self… when in staying in a jungle paradise, do not put cashews in your suitcase. Nature has a way of letting you know who really is dominant. I woke up at midnight and the floor was moving. At first I thought it was just the fever, but it turned out to be an actual ant swarm crawling all over everything, especially the Vera Bradley bag with said nuts. This particular variety bites! The sting was not as bad as fire ants in Texas, but enough to let you know they prefer not to be deterred.
The medical clinic was a huge success yesterday. We treated a variety of things and cared for maybe 70 pediatric patients and one adult. Those may be pastoral numbers… albeit the count seems pretty close as I think about it retrospectively. I really wished some of my Pediatrician friends could have been able to come with us. We could have done so much more. Last year, we also hosted a medical clinic, but it was everyday for about 4 hours. It is amazing to witness the resiliency of the immune system of Filapinas. For example, some of the wounds that were cleaned and treated were on the bottom of feet, of which walked to the church from the village without shoes or flip flops and would be needed to walk back home again after all the festivities. One would think we would have seen more infections, but this was not the case.
A friend of mine who is a Nurse Practitioner gave me money for the children and of course, I brought many stuffed animals for those hard to console patients. The stuffed animals were a real hit! I will do this again. The children who received them had the dirtiest of wounds that took the most intense work to clean or were victims of child abuse. Of all the patients, this is the hardest patient to treat. It just breaks my heart and I want to rescue them. One little guy had a healing wound over his eye while sporting a brand new shiner. Another one about 2 and a half years old had so many lumps on his head that I needed to perform a neuro and gait exam to rule out pathology. It took him a moment to take the little package of crackers I gave him after all was done. Obviously, he has trust issues… and why not. His world is a very dangerous place and his caregivers give him cause for mistrust. His mother knew that I knew what was happening and I hope my questions and answers will keep her from doing it again. I so wish I could protect them all, gathering them up in my arms even then some wounds take much time to heal. We see child abuse in the states as well, but when you have to look the child in the eye, it is hard… so hard. But God is good and He will watch over them. Col 1:13 says, “God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves” . This is my scriptural promise to claim.Praying over our patients is the very best thing we can do as health professionals… it is the best treatment, best intervention, best medicine and most effective strategy.
Last year, as we were flying home, the tears started and they wouldn’t stop. I hated to leave these little children in such vulnerable conditions. Which ones may not be here when I come back next year? As I sobbed and watched the dense cloud cover out of the window while over China, God spoke to me. The clouds parted and the earth came into view. Down below, miles below, I saw the winding trail of the Great Wall. God said in His still small whisper, “Do you see this wall, Sharon? It has been around for a very, very long time. I have been around a lot longer than this man-made wonder. I will care for children. Leave them in my hands and rest in Me”.
Hebrews 3: 19 tells us that only faith will allow us to enter into Gods rest and when we do not trust God in all circumstances we grieve Him with our unbelief.
The children sang a wonderful song that I just now remembered. The words went … My God is so big. He’s strong and He’s mighty. There’s nothing that God cannot do. The mountains are His. The rivers are His and the stars are all His too. My God is so big. He’s strong and He’s mighty. There’s nothing that God cannot do.
Out of the mouths of my babies…