Thursday, May 23rd

May 23rd

Well all the team except for Mark, Halie and I headed out with Julius on safari.  It was so fun to hear and see the excitement they had at breakfast!  Now they get to head out and see God’s beauty in Africa.  I am praying that it does not rain so they have a great safari.  Just talked to the team and they had an awesome day and saw a lot of animals and got to see a cheetah.  They then went to visit the Maasai tribe and got to dance with them and see how they live.  They all sounded so excited.  So happy for them.

Mark, Halie and I worked at Selian.  We had 4 surgeries scheduled and two of the showed up.  This is not uncommon occurrence, so we always stay flexible.  Halie was able to scrub in with Mark for all the surgeries and she was so excited because she even learned how to suture.  

The first case we did was a young man that was a friend of Julius, who had been in a motorcycle accident.  This happened about a month ago and he had dislocated some bones in his hand and burned his leg bad.  He came to the lodge and I put a dressing on his leg because he had been to two hospitals and then did not dress it and so it was really hurting him.  The poor guy did not have any money to afford his surgery, so he went home and tried to get enough money together and then Julius and I contributed so they lovely young man could get surgery and return back to work.  While he was asleep I changed the dressing on his leg and the wound looked great but he will now need a skin graft.  Hope Ministries will help him pay for this surgery.


The other young boy had a bad fractured ankle that occurred 9 months ago.  He was treated with an inadequate cast and now he could hardly walk and had limited motion and a lot of pain.  Again this young man tried to get the money for the surgery but did not have enough so Hope Ministries helped him.  He was so grateful and gave me a big smile.  It is hard for me to imagine having this severe injury and because I did have any money I would have to tolerate the pain and think I would have to walk with a limb the rest of my life.

Then the orthopedic doctor from Selian came to me and talked about a 71 year old that live from a far away village and lived in very poor conditions that was being treated on the ward.  He had stepped on a very large thorn that penetrated his heel and was not treated.  Now he has a very bad bone infection and was treated with antibiotics.  Now he needs to have surgery to clean the pus out of the bone and clean it out good so that he can get rid of the infection.  They said “please Mama Gayle this man is going to have to go home because he has no money….can you please help him”.  So Hope Ministries is paying for his surgery and we will do the surgery tomorrow.

 We then headed to clinic to see more orthopedic patients that were waiting to see us.  What we thought would be a short day, was not!  But that is good…that is why we came. 

What warms my heart the most is many years ago I helped develop a “time-out” that they are still using before each surgery.  This is like a preop checklist, to make sure the needed things are done before we start surgery.  Many of the patients are awake because they use spinal anesthesia.  The best thing of all is that we pray before we start surgery.  I absolutely love this!  It brings about a sense of calmness and peace before we start surgery, because we have called upon God to be their with us to guide and protect us and the patient.  LOVE!!!!

Wow…the poverty….the look of hopelessness and sadness….the smiles and expressions of gratefulness for helping them and changing their lives…I reflected on all these emotions at then end of the day and I had a hard time processing them.  The need is so great and at the end of the day I feel like we still have not done enough.

Thank you God for your love, guidance and support.  When my heart is hurting, all I have to do is turn to you and I feel your presence.  And I know through each one of my visits here this is God’s way of calling me back.

Sending a lot of love to all my family and friends.  The time is going fast and won’t be long and I will be home.  I hope that the rains have stopped and you are all enjoying the sunshine and that the farmers are able to get all their crops planted.

Nakapenda sana na Mungu akubariki (I love you very much and God bless you)

Mama  Gayle