Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ethiopia - Day 8

Today we went to church! What a refreshment for my soul. Beza Inernational. We only were able to stay for the worship part of service which was about an hour or so long but I was refilled by the Spirit of the Lord nonetheless and left recharged and ready to go. There was so much joy in the music. The singing, dancing, lifting of hands, dancing, and true singing to our Lord and Savior was refreshing to see. So many times in our North American churches we get caught up in worrying about what our pew or seat neighbors will think if we raise our hands, we are more focused on getting our coffee drank during the worship part of service before it gets cold, or we show up late because "it's just the singing." Ugh!!! This frustrated me before, but now, well, now it frustrates me to no end.
I've seen the Spirit of the Lord come upon the poorest of the poor and bless them beyond what any financial blessing could. I've seen the joy of the Lord be their strength. I've seen it and I want it now more than ever. I have always loved singing and worshipping Jesus in that way during our church service, but now I know I will do so even more as I think I will always think back to Beza and remember the Ethiopians and just how much they were able to praise Him despite their circumstances and how joyful they were to do so.

After church we left and went to the Hope for the Hopeless in Soluta - their countryside location. H4H is an organization that takes kids off the streets and basically raises them until they are 18-20 years of age. They have "dorms" for the kids to live in and they are given an education. Our goal today was to distribute blessing bags to the kiddos who live their and also the countryside kids who don't and to run a dental and medical clinic.

A few days prior, a team of 3 ER doctors from Cleveland came to our guesthouse to stay and they agreed to come to H4H with us to check out the kids and treat any infections that they might have. I talked with them and told them of my Pediatric ICU background and they quickly asked me to see patients with them as they don't really see a lot of pediatric patients since there is a Children's Hospital in Cleveland. I was thrilled!

We set up clinic in the meal house and the kids came pouring in. My first patient was a 2 year old little boy from the countryside who was not a resident at H4H. His daddy had heard that the Americans were there and he wanted us to see what was wrong with his son. He had an open wound under his nose that wouldn't heal. He also had a rash all over his head and face. He nor the dad spoke any English so I had my friend Temesgen translating for me. After looking him over from head to toe, I presented his case to the doctor. Diagnosis: Impetigo, staph infection and fungus. Treatment - antibiotic and fungal cream.

Next patient was a sweet little girl who was 4 years old and I immediately noticed she had been given a pair of Brody's old shoes. My heart swelled! Her eye was bright red, draining, and itching. She also had an earache and a rash all over her belly. Quite easy to diagnose this kid. We gave her antibiotics for her ear infection and the rash was just from fever. No eye antibiotics for the pink eye, but instructed how to clean it and hopefully the antibiotics she was given to take for her ear will help that too. She was told to follow up in 3 days when they came back.

The other cases we saw were a broken arm  - a child had fallen 3 days prior playing soccer and had broken his radial bone. It was such an obvious break. NOTHING had been done for it. So the doctors made a splint and sling and gave him some Advil to help with the pain and were going to see him again as well. There was also a girl who had a gash on the bottom of her foot that the hospital in town had tried to stitch up. It was a both job and had become infected. Those stitches had to be removed and new ones put in. She was a champion!!!

Things that we take for granted because we can go to our primary care or ER or even a walk in clinic for, these kids suffer with because they have no access to basic medical care. It's incredibly sad. But honestly, my heart was filled so very much this day. I felt fulfilled in the medical work that I was able to do today. I never thought I missed my work as a nurse, and honestly, I don't miss nursing in North America. But loving on these sick kids who are so happy to just get a dose of Tylenol or even just have someone listen to their complaints is amazing. I felt like I made a difference on this day. I felt like I may have been more than just a drop in the ocean on this day.

This is the little girl who got Brody's shoes

happy beyond belief

At the same time that I was doing the medical clinic, David was assisting in the dental clinic. We had a dentist and his wife on our team who brought their equipment and "set up shop" at the H4H homes. These children do not have basics such as toothbrushes, and if they do have them by chance, they don't really know how to use them. And dental floss? Well, they have never seen it. So needless to say there were lots of teeth that needed extracting. There were lots of abscesses, and infections that were so bad that they were nearly into the sinus cavities which can be life threatening if untreated. These kids have no access to dental care as most Ethiopians don't have access to it. 

So, there was no time for cleanings after all of the dental work was done on all of the kids, but they all got a class on taking care of their teeth and they all got toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss. 

The kids after they got their dental lesson on how to brush their teeth


  1. i have seen it time and time again....those with less are so much more appreciative of their blessings and the small things in life that we take for granted. and yet, over and over, we give so much to our children and ourselves thinking it will make them and us happy. it may at first, but it's fleeting happiness, it's not the pure joy we receive from serving our lord (matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.). nobody stays happy from material things, that's why we have to keep doing it to relive that high. thank you for this beautiful post! i'm so happy you were able to go fulfill this dream of yours! kelly, you did make a difference and you do even more by sharing! ((((hugs))))

  2. Oh what a wonderful opportunity given by God to make a difference! Many of us North Americans do need to remember this when we complain about our healthcare. I hope to be in a season to go one day!