Wednesday, January 10, 2018

God With Us

So its the 10th day of being back onboard the M/V Africa Mercy and it feels like I never left. The familiar faces in the dining room line, movie nights, the hugs (oh the many hugs!) that are around every corner, the nightly dutch blitz games, and the coworkers who become good friends- all this and more- make this place home.

The ship is also work and hard work and late nights it has been because we are short four operating room nurses. I have been working in what I like to call "Hernia land" because that is what we do from sun up to sun down with a few lumps and bumps in between. On a typical workday, we have a team brief in each theatre (or room) with the anesthesia team, surgeon, and nurses to communicate any concerns for the day. We pray for our patients and then we start to prepare the room- one nurse will assist the surgeon so we open the supplies and scrub in to get the instruments ready for surgery. The circulator nurse will head to the ward to pick up the patient. So last week I scrubbed a few hernias, but my favorite job is to go and meet the patient. Back in the day, we met at the bench, but now cataract patients are occupying it so we now go to the ward. I have brought Sebastian, Baise, Alex, and many more to OR #2 for their hernias. I picked up Marte for her lipoma surgery from A Ward- and we danced and sang down the corridor. A little melody in French singing "God is with me, God is with you." I'll never forget her smile and her song. I practice the little French as I introduce myself to them as their nurse, asking about allergies, and last time they drank. The task I cherish the most, is offering to pray for them. What a privilege to come before God and ask for healing- and seeing it answered before our eyes in the operating room. Today, I picked up Filas and after we prayed he got up from his bed- he carefully placed his French Bible on his pillow. He was ready for his surgery. I love taking care of the kids, some of them goofy from pre-medication, and others like Denis, who was the bravest 9 year-old to walk with me to the operating room. Finally, there was Emmanuel, a little guy for hernia surgery. He was not so happy when I arrived in A Ward to pick him up, probably because he missed out on breakfast. He calmed down enough for his mama, the ward nurse, the translator, and me to join hands and pray for God to be with us. And He was. 

"She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God with us.'" 


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