Sunday, July 11, 2010

Plans & Direction

So the first week of general surgery flew by and I still had made no plans on what to do with my time off over the weekend. Ever since coming to Africa, I have quickly adopted the carefree way of life and the word "plan" has been dropped from my vocabulary. Most weekends, I want to catch up on sleep. It has been a busy week with a couple long days in the operating room. We had general surgery screening, a few VVF procedures, hernias and goiters, and ended on Friday with a removal of a 17 kilogram tumor (about 37 pounds!). All the patients are recovering well!
So I was invited to different weekend activities and opted to head into town with friends to go to the market. It was pouring down rain, but it always nice to get off the ship and have a change of scenery. After I spent my small fortune on some scrap fabric, I started up a conversation with a friend. The usual topic of discussion with any Mercy Shipper are plans for next year. See, the ship will be leaving Togo and heading down to South Africa in just a month for an overhaul of the generators. Along with most of the medical crew, I will be leaving the ship to take a break. I will have time to visit friends in Europe and will be home stateside in October. That is the most planning in advance I have ever done since being here! And that is how far the planning extends- October 1st I will walk off the plane, greet my family, and go out for a mexican dinner. I am not sure what is next.
I have had dreams of what next year might look like. Sadly, some dreams that will never be a reality, but others that are a possibility. Now I guess its my turn to make some dreams into a plan? It is difficult for me to make plans when there are so many options. So I turn to my shopping companion to share this profound thought when I saw a sign in the distance.

Direction. I might not need to know exact plans, however I am praying for direction. I always pray for a neon blinking flashing sign to tell me where to go next in life. This is the African style version. So its not the answer I was hoping for, but it is at least pointing me in the right direction for making plans.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: In her own words…

The words below are not of my own, but of the VVF ladies I have come to know and love the past six weeks. At the dress ceremony where we celebrate each of these ladies’ healing, it takes at least two translators to tell each of their testimonies. Words are spoken in Kotikoli, Moba, Tchokssi, Kabye’, and Ewe and finally translated into English.
So, in her own words…

“When I sit, stand, and lie

down- I was wet.”

"I could not even sit with my sister.”

"I did not know there were others like me."

“I have suffered until death.”

“It was my 6th child."

“I was in labor for five days and no one to help me.”

“The baby died inside of me.”

“Went to many hospitals with no help, I lost hope.”

“I had no child to give me drink.”

“Thought it would never happen to me.”

"I have leaked for one year.”

“Three months…
twenty years…
I cannot remember how long ago.”

"Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.”

“You have received us with love.”

“I know God because of you.”

“I am not the same before. I am beautiful now."

“My family will receive me now.”

“I heard there were angels to help us.”

“You saved my life."


The views expressed here are solely mine and are not the opinion of AWC/Mercy Ships.