Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 17

Greetings from South Africa! It is hard to believe that we have only been here for a week…kind of crazy that next Sunday is Easter, and we will be on a plane back to the U.S.

Today we all enjoyed a well-deserved and needed break (for at least part of the day). After the record setting day of caring for 414 children (yes, that is not a typo…414) in the pediatric clinic, we took some time to rest, regroup and reorganize in preparation for our final clinic on the mountain in Ingwavuma. The morning for some of us turned out to be a little bit more hectic than others. I managed to sleep in, and my mom’s team managed to make it to church in Gubethuka with the driving expertise of Dr. Cathy. The other group’s clutch went out on the rental van leaving some stranded in the rain. Fortunately, Rev Rob was able to make it to church in time for his Palm Sunday sermon, a wonderful way to start Holy Week. The plan was to do the Sunday school lesson and craft with the children (planned by former Girl Scout leader Kristie), but that will be postponed to Good Friday services. The beautiful singing in at the church in Gubethuka and Kwamashesha was amazing, and it really touches your heart. It was difficult for people to get to the worship services this morning because of the rain. The roads were a bit treacherous for driving; I can’t imagine trying to travel on them by foot. We complain about snow in Michigan, but it doesn’t even compare to what the rain does to the dirt roads in South Africa!

I had a lot of fun yesterday caring for the kids in our clinic. It wasn’t so different from what I am used to downtown at Children’s…only difference is that some of them waited more than 8 hours for their chance to see one of the five doctors. The children waited patiently, dressed in their best clothing, and prepared to spend their entire Saturday for their medical care and yearly supply of medications. I had a couple of the children come with hand-written notes from their parents clarifying what was needed, and others posed a bit more challenging like the beautiful 3 year old twin girls who just sat staring wide-eyed at me and were even to shy to talk to my translator. Most of the time I relied on a 10 year old sibling to provide a medical history for all of the children in the family. My translator, Mama Nkosi, definitely has a special place in her heart for children, and I wouldn’t have been able to provide care to anyone without her help. ~ Amy

It has been a very busy week, one that I will never forget. In fact several times I have found myself on the verge of tears for everything that I am grateful for. I see the look in the eyes of the patients and know that being here was the right place for us to be. The Mafus are so very gracious and have opened their home to us and for that I will be always grateful. But more than that the work that they have done here in South Africa with the Africa Christian Ministries is amazing! They will always be remembered in our daily prayers. ~Kristie

We have both enjoyed getting to know everyone in our group and having the unique chance to share this special experience with each of them. We are looking forward to sharing our stories, pictures, and experiences with you when we get home. Please keep Africa Christian Ministries in your prayers as they touch lives in so many ways to the people of this community.

Amy & Kristie

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