This blog is to inform everyone out there in blog world, especially my family and friends, that after careful consideration over the past two weeks, that I am staying put in Sierra Leone. I’m not sure for how long. I really can’t say if it will be 6 months or 6 years, but for now my heart has been recaptured by “Sweet Salone.” I have been wondering for some time now what my future would be... the planner wanna-be is trying to push through the African and flexible missionary that has taken over the past two years. However, a wise and dear friend told me it is “ok” not to know our next step when it comes to knowing that our God is above it all. So right now, my plan is to stay put. I love what I am doing, where I am, and who I am serving.
The past two weeks have been absolutely exhausting and exhilarating in the operating room. Time has flown by and I would be thankful that today is Friday, but we actually have our second attempt at screening tomorrow. Please be prayer for safety and for the people of Sierra Leone. I have had the privilege working with Dr. Gary Parker in the maxio-facial room. Every case, I can see a transformation on the outstide, but more than anything the prayer of our team- is that a transformation will happen on the inside. Sweet little ones come in with a gap in their lip and Dr. Gary puts the puzzle back together so they can grow up strong. We have “lumps and bumps” that have caused physical pain as well as emotional. Can you imagine being ostracized from society because of a swelling on your cheek? I can’t, but are patients have lived to tell us about it. Our first patient, was a young girl, about 12 years old, but had never been to school because of her cleft lip. Now she can attend with her younger siblings because she not different from anyone else. She has a new smile. Talking about “new”… thought about a new face? Namina, came to the ship not able to open her mouth due to a locked jaw, her left eyelid pulled down, and a hole through her nose and cheek. She has been suffering from a “poor disease” called Noma. Noma only happens in poverty-stricken areas where people are malnourish and immune systems are not strong enough to sustain normal bacteria in the body. Like an artist, Dr Gary created a new face for Namina with muscle from her forehead and skin from her leg. As a nurse, I dread the anxiety, fear, and the tears of each patient that walks through the door to the operating room. However, more than anything I look forward to hearing the “tenke, tenke” (thank you in krio) and seeing the joy in their faces as they look in the mirror for the first time after surgery.
So that is my two weeks notice. I wonder what will be in store for the coming weeks?