Wednesday, July 17, 2013

God's Bridge

It always amazes me at the wonderful things God created in this world of His.  All around the globe are many beautiful splendors which many of us know about.  However, there are untold numbers of wonders created for our pleasure which are enjoyed by a few.  God's Bridge is hidden in the south of Tanzania and is completely natural and full of God's handiwork.  As you all know, pictures can never capture all of the beauty but I will share the pictures I have.

We walked up this rocky path.  I really wasn't sure where I was being lead to, but I was trusting my guides they were taking to see something awesome.  The path was a little steep, VERY uneven and quite intriguing.

After the climb up, we leveled off a little and then came to the steep steps down....Here the grass was gress and I could see a river.  It was starting to really catch my eye.  (however, I was not doing too well at catching my breath!  Whew, I am out of shape!)

It's looking good......

Wow....look at this.  This bridge over the water is completely made of rock and is naturally formed.  The rocky path we took to get here was the top of this bridge.

Because this is located out in the middle of nowhere Tanzania, it is very quiet and the weather is lovely.

I could hear in the not to far distance some waterfalls.  Once I slowwly climbed my way back up the steep stairs onto the top of the bridge, I looked closer to the sides of the bridge and found the waterfalls.  I could not however find a safe way to get down to the falls.

And just to prove I was really there, I managed to take my own picture at the bridge :)

While spending time at God's Bridge, in the majesty of God's creation, I had to stop and spend some time in prayer.  I am constantly reminded each day through the beauty of God's world that He lives, He loves me and He paid my ransom with His son. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

An Evening with the Masai

The Masai have many traditions.  We were invited to join the tribe at Matebete for the celebration they hold when their boys become men.  We enjoyed an afternoon and evening as they butchered and cooked a cow.  We sat under the shade of a tree enjoying the quiet of the outdoors while the Masai served us a wonderful meal.

We were then taken on a tour of the village and shown where the cow was skinned and butchered.  And then we watched as they cooked the beef and rice dishes.  It was such a great treat to be able to spend time with them.

This pile of black is the skin of the cow which was cooked for our eating pleasure....

Here you see where the meat has been cut into smaller pieces for cooking.  This is a small room in a mud house of one of  the villagers.  Note that it is laying on the dirt floor covered only with some dry corn stalks.


Some of the local women were dancing while the food was cooking.  I enjoyed watching them and admiring their "jewels".


That is one BIG pot of rice!  and the spoon is not any too big.  I'm thinking we may need to call in re-enforcements to help get to the bottom of the pot!!

After dinner, Masai tribes from many different areas came to participate in a dance contest.  We were only able to stay to watch as one group began their warm ups because we do not stay out after dark.  Driving in africa is very dangerous after dark.


The Masai are really known for their high jumping during their dancing.

The dancing and celebration continued on Sunday as well and I was invited back, however, the Wagner family went while I stayed home.  The young boys would be declared men after a circumsion ritual which would be held on July 22nd.  I did receive an invite to this ceromony as well, but am unsure if I will attend.


(And I apologize for the lateness of this post, but I was having difficulty getting the pictures to dowload)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mobile Clinic at Mapongala

Yesterday, Rene and I held our second mobile clinic at Mapangala.  At this clinic we provide weights for all children, vaccines for those who need them and pre-natal check-ups for pregnant moms.  We also provide a short educational talk related to pregnancy, child care or other related topics.

We provided education to the mom's about proper nutrition during pregnancy and breast-feeding.  We held two classes: one for the early arrivals and then a second one at the end of the day for all the rest.  The second class was 3x's as big.  The women received the education very well.  Pre-natal vitamins are also very important to pregnant women and breast-feeding moms.  Many women do not take pre-natal vitamins due to the high cost, so Rene and I offered them one month of vitamins at a very low cost with the hope that they would take them.  We were pleasantly surprised at the positive response...we took 33 packets and we ran out!!  Next month we will definitely take more!!

Many children in Tanzania die from malnutrition.  Watching their weights on the growth charts will help us to keep a closer eye on these little ones.  Education of the moms will also help them take better care of their children.

Rene also provides pre-natal assessments for pregnant women.  We had 4 ladies yesterday.  This assessment includes vital signs, weights, assessment of fetal heart tones, and fetal growth.  Without these mobile clinics, many of these women would not travel to the hospital for these check-ups.  During these mobile clinics, we will see these women every month.

We administer vaccines at the appropriate ages for TB, hepatitis B, tetnus, diptheria, meales, polio, pneumonia and roto-virus at no cost.  I love these clinics.  Many more people/children are cared for by mobile clinics than would be if the women had to walk with them 5 or more miles for care.

These are God's brothers and sisters who I am instructed to care for.  This is why I do what I do.  The healthcare here is very lacking and the people are so poor that they are often unable to afford what healthcare is available.  My goal is to show them that they are loved and important.   And to work with and through the church in each village to provide bible studies and seminars about God's salvation.

The pictures above are just a few of tomorrows leaders in Tanzania.  God wants us to help them grow, learn and walk in his path just as much as he wants any other children to.  I pray that God will use me in whatever way He can to accomplish His plan.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

"Outside the Box"

I have been told to "think outside the box" on various occasions.  However, I have never seen such a wonderful example of this as the one below.

If you break a fender on your motorcycle and do not have the money to replace it, what do you do?  Well, I might try epoxy glue or maybe even duct tape if that didn't work, but the picture below is very impressive.

I truly do not believe in all my "thinking outside the box" I would have evey thought to drill small holes along both sides of the break and then sew the fender back together.  How about you??!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Registration Office at CMH

My first trip to Chimala Mission and the hospital was an experience in every department not just in the nursing area.  Below is what the registration area looked like.  It was a small room with barely room for a small desk, 2 workers and the files.  And the files.....I could not believe it....
They were pieces of paper folded in half and then stuffed in bins.  I could not even come close to estimating the number of files in this room.  It was an absolute mess.  The files went back more than 20 years.  I have begun the process of archiving (sending them to file 13) files where patients have not returned to the hospital in 5 years or more.  In other words, when I went through the 2006 files I only had around 75 files which I kept....the rest went to the burn pile.

The picture below shows the files to be burned on the right and I have only gone through the first third of the bin on the left.  The dust, dirt and dead bugs in these papers are plentiful.  What a dirty job to go through.  To date I have only gone through the year 2006 and the first 3 months of 2007!

Just this past weekend, we began the process of enlarging the registration area to about double it's size.  We also increased the registration window to two windows instead of one to speed up the registration process.  On any one day we can see anywhere from 50 to 125 outpatients.

Below is where the old registration window used to be...This man worked for about 4 hours tearing down the wall.  Note he is using a sledge hammer to knock the wall down, but is wearing sandals on his feet.  Hope he is a good aim!

Here you can see the two new windows.  I am so excited to be getting this project done.  It will help the hospital provide better care to the patients.  The paper files were only the outpatient records.  If a patient was admitted to hospital, they were given a paper in-patient file, but the outpatient and inpatient records were not kept together....this meant that the treating doctor did not have the entire medical history.

Here are our NEW files!  They contain the entire patient history..both outpatient and inpatient records.  We started the new files in May.  Change is very hard for most people, but especially for Tanzanians.  However, I do believe that everyone is happy with these new files.  The patients like them too, even tho we had to increase the registration fee to cover the costs.

Along with re-organizing and re-structuring the department, we have also started a new accounting process.  As I have informed you before, this is the only hospital for about an hour in any direction.  Without this facility many more people would die.  In order to keep this hospital open, we must be able to cover our costs. This new system helps us to more accurately re-coup our expenses.

You may wonder why I believe helping the hospital become a better facility is the job for a missionary.   With every patient we treat, we have an opportunity to show the love of God and to reach out and teach His Word.  The people we treat here live in villages all around this area.  The next step is to begin mobile clinics in the farthest villages.  As we begin the clinics, some of the people will have already become familiar with the Chimala Mission Hospital and I may have even talked with and/or helped with their treatment.  The relationships we are building in the hospital will assist us as we reach out to each small village.  In the smaller villages, we will be working with the local preachers as we reach out to bring the Word of God to all who are interested.