God’s timing didn’t allow for the great title, “The EYES of March” (get it? 🙂 so I took a bit of literary licence to fit the month. We’ve often thought about the amazing gift God gave our friends and brothers and sisters in the village and talked about it lots in these last weeks so I’m saving my eye a bit of over work and re-posting this one for our new readers and those who want to praise the Lord again for this special time in our village.
CATARACT SURGERY – JUNGLE STYLE God has wonderfully restored the sight of so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ here! Hearing the praises to the Lord for all He has done for them has been heart warming and we join our praises to Him for the answer to all the prayers and preparation for this rare event in the middle of the jungle.
THE HUMAN TEAM EFFORT (Tribal and Missionary)
- months of planning and adjusting schedules
- countless emails
- funds and medicine
- preparing and fueling generators
- purchasing equipment and supplies
- planning and scheduling meals
- flying the team of administrator, doctors, and nurses
- flying in all the medical equipment
- preparing rooms for the medical team
- transferring the dining room into an operating room
- adjusting the beds to operating table height
- draping off a ‘waiting room’ and ‘shower’ outside in a covered area
- attaching netting and laying brand new tarp in the room to make it as bug free and clean as possible
- scrubbing all surfaces with bleach
- screening patients for surgery and clinical checkups
- preparing and serving the meals for the whole medical team and missionary team
- the pre and post operative care
- the surgical procedures
- flying the medical team and equipment all out again
- returning the OR into a home
It has been thrilling to hear how appreciative our friends are of this amazing and historical event. They have praised the Lord for His wonderful gift and allowing them to have restored sight. Their comments have drawn us into praise along with them and true rejoicing! God gave them spiritual sight and a relationship with Himself. He has now restored physical sight and a visual relationship to their world again for so many. Again, we marvel that God allows us to be a small part in His work here among the Banwaon!
The day after surgery, a dear older man sat down beside me and with a twinkle in his eyes, said, “That dog there of yours sure has nice hair. Yesterday, I couldn’t even see the dog!”
One patient had congenital cataracts since birth and she described what she saw through clouds immediately after surgery. Then, on the third day, she gave a trembling smile as she could see for the first time in her young life. She is 15 years old and from another tribe living nearby (at least nearby in the jungle sense.) We all tried to imagine that moment when she opened her eyes and could see for the first time clearly. My guess is we won’t even come close until heaven!
Praise God for His alone is worthy!
A Christian news interview made about the surgery and can be found here:
Little Miryami is thought to have TB
Our return began with us waiting for the drivers to load the mutur at 2.30AM.
Brilliant stars - photo doesn't do justice.
It’s very black in the jungle at that hour but the stars were magnificent! Once loaded, we said our good-byes and took off in that blackness.
We added a couple extra passengers on our return trip.
Midin is a young woman I met when she was only fifteen. Now she has four beautiful children. I was delighted when she visited me in the village with her daughter, Yami and Inay Ladinay, a friend and the village health worker. Quickly delight changed to concern as she explained that little Yami was suspected of having TB and needed a check up a year ago but they only had enough money for the trip back from the hospital. Could they ride with us to save on the cost to the hospital?
So Midin and Yami traveled out with us. The heavy rains that pounded our fun day at the river caused even more mud and swollen river passages. One beautiful thing the Lord arranged for a visit with Midin’s sister who lives along our route. They had only visited once since her sister left the village and she had never seen her little niece. We witnessed the tearful reunion as they hugged and chatted together at breakfast before we pressed on to the hospital.
Medical Assistance ministry could be our full time ministry here – easily! Midin explained to me her fear of all the unknowns – big city, language and procedures being foremost. The hospital is extremely crowded and everything moves so fast. The tribal people are not even sure of what questions to ask the busy staff. Traffic baffles them – how and when to move in it. Like many of us, they do not understand the medical terms or instructions that are either English or Cebuano, languages that are not theirs. Midin had papers thrust in her hand and had no idea what they were – prescriptions and x-ray schedules. No wonder they feel scared to be in the city! We are often confused by it all as well but we at least understand hospitals. Midin and Yami are waiting now at the big hospital for treatment and medicine and are a six hour trip for us to visit. They could be there at least two weeks as far as we understand it today.
- for Yami as she undergoes the strange things they are doing to check her for TB
- for Midin as a young mother facing city and hospital challenges for the first time out of the jungle
- for the doctors to clearly diagnose her problem and get her the medical help she needs
- for their care during this Easter week when EVERYTHING shuts down
- for strength and endurance as they deal with this difficult situation far from home and family
- for health to return to Yami
- for their return to the village as quickly as possible
It was lovely to reconnect with my friends there.
Here are the highlights of our time in the village. It’s taking so long to get these completed with the daily power outages that a write-up will come later. I hope you enjoy the slideshows in the meantime.
One quick note: Thank you so much for your prayers. God blessed the planning and enabled us to do all the work as well as get in a bit of fun. It was wonderful to have two of my friends from the town accompany me so they could meet my friends in the village. His Grace affected all our lives in that short time. Enjoy these photos of our time there.