Monday, January 31, 2011

Words from Brittany

This January, I spent my J-term in Liberia with Kathy and Danny. I studied Liberia’s healthcare system under Danny at the Camphor Mission Clinic. The clinic can’t do a lot in terms of surgeries or specialized medicine, but there are some effective preventative programs in place that save babies. For instance, walked into the bush to reach villages for vaccination campaigns for pertussis, H flu, diphtheria, babies for Hep B. I also helped hand out the de-worming pills and an oral polio vaccination. The clinic is also equipped to treat and test for malaria. I acted as the lab-tech most days and helped by pricking fingers and testing blood for malaria.

Although Camphor Clinic practices mostly preventative, the Ganta UMC Hospital is providing surgery and diagnostic care. There is an eye clinic that removes cataracts, two operating rooms that repair hernias and perform c-sections, and a maxilo-facial dentist office that can pull teeth and repair facial trauma cases. I was blessed to work with foreign and local doctors and staff to see all of these clinics in action.

I learned a lot from each and every case I saw in both Ganta and Camphor. Danny was a great teacher who took the time to explain each case to me.

Medicine was the focus of my internship but I have had priceless experiences. I got to know the Camphor clinic staff. They taught me about my own culture and traditions as they taught me their own. I have made some great memories vaccinating babies, seeing Kathy’s love and passion with the school kids, playing countless hours of kickball and finding paradise beach. This trip has had a profound impact on my future and I owe everyone along the way for the helping to form who I will become.

Now it is back to Center College I go for one more semester of classes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ganta and the East Ohio Conference 3C's

Container Shipment News from Laurie Joyce
I just received an email from Luke at Brothers Brother Foundation and I want to share some good news. The Medwish container with dressing, wound care and medical supplies was unloaded at the Ganta Hospital this past Friday. Luke relates that it was a time of celebration.... God is good! A second Medwish container is ready for shipment this month to Liberia. It contains hospital equipment that Victor selected for the Ganta Hospital when he was here in October.
My journey since our 3-C's Mission Trip to Liberia last year has been amazing. I'm thankful for the vision of Bishop Hopkins and the hard work of the 3-C's Task Force to carry this vision forward. Many thanks to Victor and Zaye at Ganta for writing to me about their struggle to accomplish their infection control goals and helping their patients to heal. Thanks to Kathy for getting me in contact with Pat Ginley, who worked closely with Mimi and the folks at Medwish to make this happen. Lastly, I thank Luke at BBF for graciously working with the East Ohio Conference as we continue in mission with the people of Liberia.
Grace and Peace,

And now . . .
We are hear at Ganta now excited to see the items that Laurie is writing about. Another Med Wish container is due to arrive later this month, January 28th! Danny and a med student Brittany are working in the Out Patient Department and Lindsey another volunteer is doing physical therapy with the orthopedic department here at Ganta. We are coming full circle with our work with the 3C's! God is good!


We saw Lynn and Ian off at the airport on Sunday to travel back to Ohio and we greeted our new visitor Lindsey from Texas! Together with Lindsey and Brittany, Danny and I traveled by taxi up country to Ganta Mission. After a 5 hour taxi ride we arrived to the Ganta Mission where there is a hospital, school, church, and maintenance ministry. Brittany is seeing patience and hoping to get into the OR and dental surgery department. She is still waiting for a baby to deliver. We did meet twins on the ward who were delivered by C-section yesterday. I am able to check emails and update the blog at the internet cafe that is here on the mission. We will return to Camphor Mission later this week.

The mission is trying. There have been some administration changes since we arrived. Paul Glaydor is no longer on the mission and Rev. Kulah, the pastor at the Garfield UMC on the Camphor Mission is now the acting Superintendent. There is much to explain and many unknowns in this decision. Danny and I are sad that we have not met our friend, Paul, on the mission but we are also aware of the need to let the Liberian Annual Conference do their work of managing employees. Please keep all of the staff in your prayers. They continue to struggle with salary, organizing, and many other challenges.

In spite of all of the challenges, the Camphor Mission keeps trying! Classes have resumed this week as students return to the school and dormitories, the clinic is seeing patience and continuing their vaccination program, two villages have been identified to receive 2 new hand dug water wells and pumps this February, the agriculture program is still attempting to grow food for the dining hall, and more than 5 building projects need to be completed.

We have been recieved at the mission and throughout the Liberia Annual Conference with open arms and great energy! We have found good friends we are excited to see. We keep making friends, deepening relationships, and sharing the journey with one another. We will stay in touch as we can!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Computer tragedy and we are well!

Due to extenuating circumstances beyond its owner's control, one red plastic protected white Mac/Apple computer flew out of the back of the unlatched door of a white Nissan on Tuesday, January 2, 2011 as its journey on the dusty, rattled road from Monrovia to Buchanan. The Apple computer once traveled the world was discovered to have sustained injuries of a cracked screen making use impossible at this time. The computer is awaiting care in the states when it travels home with friends Lynn and Ian. Internet cafes can be found in Liberia with occasional power so staying in contact will be sporadic. I am told that cracked computer screens are a common occurrence in college students and should be fixable.

The blessing is that now I can remain more present here at Camphor not being so concerned about relationships and connections at home. In due time I can share stories about this journey. God is teaching me new lessons all of the time; calm and patience, discernment of culture and problems, wisdom about boundaries and responsibility.

Danny and I are well. The guesthouse is beautiful and feels like home. We just saw Mr. Gbaa and Adelphus, some of the builders, while we are in town in Buchanan today. It has been a great homecoming with people so happy to see us.

Lynn and Ian are working to complete the second unit of the guesthouse with paint and a few side projects. Brittany and Danny are learning and teaching in the clinic. Danny is excited about his role as faculty and Brittany is full of stories at the end of the day.

Kathy is . . . well, enjoying the quiet at times. Doing much listening to a staff that has not been paid for 3 months, a staff in turmoil and in need of prayer. We all are helping to move the final items into the guesthouse.

We are well. Staying focused on the God who led us here, who protects, challenges, and meets us along the way. We feel your prayers and know that in Jesus name you will continue to pray.

Peace from an old computer at a Buchanan internet cafe!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We have arrived in Liberia!

Danny and I left on New Year's day to travel with 3 other missionary volunteers, Brittany Corrigan who is a premed student at Center College in Kentucky will be working with Danny for 4 weeks doing a J Term class, Lynn and Ian Kallay will be here for 2 weeks, helping in the school, moving us into the guest house, and experiencing life in rural Liberia.

For the first time we were able to fly directly from Atlanta to Monrovia! Such a time and energy saver! We have been in Monrovia at the UMC compound for two days. We have enjoyed seeing friends again and just resting. We traveled to West Point to see our friend Sam's church building a three story school building, great progress has been made.

We will travel to Camphor Mission on Tuesday. We are eager to see the people at the mission, stay in the Judy Olin Guest House, and share stories and life. We will be in touch as we can. Please pray for all of us and especially the people at Camphor. The staff has not been paid since September salary so it has been difficult to work, teach, and keep their spirits up during this holiday season.