Hello, Great Big World!
I have had many adventures as of late, but I feel a particular burden to share with you about my day today.
There is a visiting medical team that has been here for a week. Today they were in Marurui, holding a clinic fro the people there. This is also where the kids I teach are from. I knew that a couple of them had runny noses and colds. At home, I would just think they had a cold and would give them something to ease the coughing and congestion.
Here, in Kenya, there are infinite possibilities for why a child may be coughing, the most common of which is Tuberculosis. We check for other symptoms, but a runny nose is an indication that the child need further examination to determine if he/she has Malaria.
Today, three of the kids I teach, were really sick. It is so difficult to see them suffer. These children are usually so full of joy and of life.
One of the children was crying in pain, because of his umbilical hernia. James is such a precious boy, who has many problems, including heart problems. He is a child who was born into a place where he can not receive surgery and other medical care that we would never allow our own children to go without.
Another of the children was obviously not feeling like himself today. Kevin would not eat and he was not concentrating very well. If it was my first time in there, I might have thought that he was going to faint in class. When we took him to the clinic, we discovered that he had a temperature of 103 degrees. If any child I knew at home had such a temperature, he would never have been sent to school and would have been in bed with cold compresses and popsicles. My heart nearly broke, knowing that he would be right back at school the next day and that just because he is sick, he will still have to do what needs to be done. I am not saying this to criticize parenting or culture. I am just heart-sick with the desire to take care of him in the only ways I know how to.
Of all the children, though, little Veronica stole my heart. She is at the back in this picture. She is about Mackenzie's age, but malnourished and a really sick little girl. She is usually really rambunctious and joyful. Although, she started out going around the clinic to give hugs to everyone, she did not do even this with nearly as much energy and gumption as usual. Sweet little Veronica's little energy quickly dissipated, though. She became a lump in in my arms. When the doctor saw her, it was obvious to her, that Veronica has Malaria and today she had a high fever as well. Her mom was not there as she had to tend to James, who was in so much pain. For the rest of the time the clinic was open, she just rested completely in my arms. I could not help but think of my friend, Mackenzie, and cry. I cried because I miss her and her family, but mostly I cried because of the vest difference in the opportunities Veronica and Mackenzie have and will have. We will in the same world, but to see such difference is heartbreaking to me. I am ever so thankful for the opportunities for healthcare and everything else, that we have in Canada.
This is not a plea for help, but for prayer. Prayer is the most powerful thing we can do for these children. It is where we turn to first, before medicine and before anything else, we pray for problems, here, because there are often not the distractions of doctors and solutions everywhere we turn.
I will post other pictures of my recent adventures on Facebook and will try to find another time when I can write some more. I am missing you all so very much. There are six more weeks until I come home. Interpret this how you will. Please pray for me and for the people I come into contact with. Pray that every meeting I have will be filled with the aroma of Christ.
Blessings to all of you!