January 11th

Jan 11

Today Lynn and I went to the orphanage and did our teaching projects with the kids there. Before we arrived, we stopped at the market place and bought a bunch of shower shoes, mops,  and brooms. They were so thankful for that donation from Hope Ministries, and will be put to good use!

I did my lesson on David and Goliath and the Armor of God, and started out my lesson with the “Father Abraham” dance. They barely knew how to say “hello” in English, but they shouted out with me “I am one of them, and so are you! So lets all praise the Lord!” Every time, and Julius did a great job explaining in Swahili what the song meant. They had a general understanding of the Bible stories, and Julius and I were very animated with our lesson on David and Goliath. I finished with coloring pages and candy, and the more the kids warmed up to me, the more I was sat on by kids showing me their colorings and added drawings-and many of them put my name on the papers! Lynn did a very good lesson on “The Good Shepherd” and “God’s Good Creation,” and played a fun game of Go-Fish with the older kids-and with great success, even with some translator issues! Lynn and I experienced Tanzanian time keeping and communication hardcore today as well and had a good lesson in being patient and ready to go-with-the-flow and be adaptable-as we ended up leading some exercises with ALL the kids in the court yard with only a 30 second warning and very broken English trying to tell us what exactly they wanted us to be doing. It all worked out and we had a good laugh together attempting to teach how to do a plank.

Over at Bugando Hospital, the team was on their feet for almost 11 hours straight with 3 spine surgeries, and LOTS of teaching and learning. They started out their day with Steve jumping in right away during morning report, and correcting an x-ray misinterpretation of a fracture that was actually a growth plate, and then giving a great lesson about how to tell the difference. His teaching continued throughout the whole day, and every person there learned lots, which is one of our biggest goals of our trips. What’s the point and swooping in a saving the day for one surgery, if you can’t teach others to do it when you’re not there? Surgery started out with the disappointment of not being able to have the microscope to use for surgery as they didn’t have power strips and didn’t want to risk blowing a circuit. The doctors and medical students soaked up Steve’s every word attentively, and Dr. Isidor and Dr. Andrew learned three new specialized spinal surgeries. They also got some Tanzanian learning curves with having lunch arrive at 4:30pm, and a totally different operating rooms environment. The atmosphere was one of fun and dancing, but with great attention to what was happening and a big willingness to jump into anything and learn everything. They don’t have as set-in-stone roles for operating like in the USA, but instead everyone works together and the job is always done well. Abby learned “mucho mucho” as she put it, as she got to hand instruments to the surgeon, and learn lots about techniques, hand-offs and names, as well as hands-on and close-up learning with the spinal surgeries.

As Gayle puts it, today was “fantastic, as every day in Tanzania is a great day for her! The Lord is always with us, and he always provides. I know to put my trust in Him because you never know what will happen, so it’s best to be just trusting! We may have not had some of the right instruments, lights go out at dinner, orders mixed up, and no microscope, but we still had so many successful surgeries and the doctors here still learned so much! And that is much more important than any of the little things that could have come up in our way or frustrating us. Getting to see the rewards of the teaching that has been emphasized and shared is the most beautiful thing, as we know that there is a lasting effect to our work being done here.”

God bless,