Hospitals, Villages, and Radio
This post was written by one of our Solace Missionaries, Tawnya Jackson.
The month of April has brought us closer to the completion of the first Children's Home. We have met several children who could potentially begin living here in September when the Home officially opens.
TANDA HOSPITAL VISIT
One of the ministries we do here is use our vehicle to take children who live in the Tanda Bilingual Academy dorms to the town “hospital” when they are sick or injured. Such a case arose a few nights ago. I received a call from Diane, a teacher and certified nurse who works at the school and will help our children, that we would probably be making a trip to the hospital as two of the boys had very high fevers and headaches. These are very common symptoms of malaria. I had not gone on one of these visits yet and Diane told me I should come along this time to get a look at what it is like. Our boys did have malaria, but they are doing much better now. But as we were driving in, I noticed the maternity wing. Jeff and I waited on a bench outside of the doctor’s offices while the boys were getting checked out. I brought my French book with me to study since we had a test the next day. There were many people outside in various areas. At one point there was a lady who came out carrying a newborn who had an IV attached. We saw her take the baby back toward the maternity rooms. A few moments later, we heard this gut wrenching wailing that seemed to last for hours. Diane told me that the baby was dead. The mother was just a child herself and had a very difficult delivery in which the baby didn’t survive. I cried so hard for that poor momma. I can’t even imagine the pain of losing a child, even one I hadn’t yet formed a bond with. Things here are so much harder than they are in America. The mother was young, so chances are she just wasn’t physically able to deliver that baby and should have had a c-section. But in Tanda they cannot offer that service. In fact, they cannot offer any kind of surgery.
Jeff has been visiting many villages with Pastor Paul, the Director of the Solace Family Home, and talking to the village chiefs about possible orphans for our Home. The list is growing! We talked to Paul today and he told us right now there are 17 kids on the list. We have room for 12-14 kids in this first house. We are looking forward to beginning work on the next house.
They visited a village last week where a medicine man lives. He uses tree leaves (he’s keeping the kind of tree a secret) and makes medicine for people. The village is referred to as the village of the wounded. There is a young man who has been in Tanda for about a month that was shot in the arm during a home invasion. He has lost total use of his right arm. The pastor’s wife along with his mother took him (via Jeff) to see this man and he has been there for about 5 days. I went with Jeff on Saturday to take some food, water, and bed linens to them. The village is most definitely in the bush. The houses are made of mud and the road is little more than a path. Again, life in this part of the world is much more difficult for everyone.
Jeff has gone to the local radio station a few times with Paul this month, but today I went too and I had to speak! If you know me at all....you know that was out of my comfort zone! Jeff said I did a good job even though I got emotional talking about our purpose here.
I have a few prayer requests this time:
- For the young man who was shot and is trying to heal.
- We are still waiting for my permanent residency card. Jeff and Diane have received theirs but mine still isn’t ready.
- Our biological kids! We have 1 daughter getting married, 1 son getting married, and 1 daughter that is desperately looking for a new job (not teaching)
- We are missing our friends and family. Jeff’s mom has been sick and has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
- Last, but definitely not least, we need to start construction on the next kids home. There are some things that need to happen for that to begin. The hope is to have it completed by the time the orphanage officially opens in September but we’ve got to get started very soon.
Below are photos from the village and their radio interview: