Medically, today had a much larger pediatric focus, with roughly 70-75% of our patients being below the age of 15. In prior clinics, the majority of our patients have been women and children, but today showed the greatest lack of males and surplus of children. This could partially be accounted by the fact that the men were working in the sugar cane fields which we passed on our way into the village, or this could represent the different micro-culture that could be seen in the 10 miles distance from our previous clinics. All in all, we saw approximately 130 patients (90 in medicine, 20 in PT, and 20 in eyeglasses) during our time in the village. While some of the pathologies seen were beyond the scope of our abilities, there was still an amazing ability to minister to these people with the limited resources available to us. It is still amazing how much difference a simple smile can mean to a person.
Today in the blog, we will try something different. We will introduce a “case study” to convey our point. In this case, a 72 year old man with giant, arthritic fingers (a sign from years of picking sugar cane), presented with hypertension and a leg wound which had been festering for a month. To treat this man, we treated his wound (and showed him how to do the same thing himself, thus enabling him to make a positive impact in his own health), allowed him to pick out a new pair of “stylish” diabetic shoes, and refilled his hypertension medications. By caring for the physical ailments of this man, we were given the ability to spread the Love of Christ through not only our words, but also our actions. In the end, this man accepted Christ, and will be followed by the local church of his village.
All in all, it is amazing to use these simple gifts which are taken for granted in the United States to open doors with these great people, and allow The Gospel to be spread with them. In reality, very few of the patients we treat will accept Christ, but the seed is planted, and that makes this entire trip worthwhile. Granted, assisting a wheezing child with “stomach breathing” find instant relief with a nebulized treatment is amazing, but we must remember this is only a temporary fix—a band-aid. However, sharing The Gospel with our patients allows them to have the eternal hope, and that is what brings us here these two weeks. We aren’t here to randomly dispense inhalers to asthmatic children or give a diabetic proper wound care, we are here to spread The Gospel of Almighty God, and medicine is merely our conduit.