Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spiritually Wealthy

My “AHA” moment this week.....................Spiritually Poor vs. Spiritually Rich

I preface to say that I speak in generalities, and not for all. Just my overall observation. 

In Africa, Day after day we are faced with African Friends, Families, Patients and acquaintances that are in need of medical or surgical care, yet do not have the resources to obtain treatment. 
What does one do?........In Africa, they have no other choice but to pray. They truly have NO other choice. There are no other options. If you do not have the money or the transportation to get back and forth to the clinic or hospital......You have no other choice than to pray to God for strength, endurance, healing, peace and comfort and for basic needs to be met daily. 

The outcome.....  Spiritually Rich individuals who love and trust our Amazing Creator!! 
They praise, worship, sing and dance for every occasion. Their singing is loud and alive!! The joy witnessed on their faces is contagious! They know to cry out to God and have SEEN HIS amazing wonders! They SEE answered prayers.....because being short of miracles, what they witness can only come form God!

I SEE what Jesus was speaking of in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

These ladies, each of them and many, many more across the third world countries have a story.......a story of Hope, A story of Prayer, A story of Pain, Suffering and Rejection.......and now, a story of Healing. 

When I think of these ladies, I think of descriptions of Resilience, Patience, Strength, Dignity, and Humbleness. 

These ladies suffer from Obstetric Fistula.....They come to the ship for healing. 

What is obstetric Fistula?

An obstetric fistula occurs during an obstructed labor when emergency care is unavailable.
Women suffering from obstructed labor often struggle until the baby dies.  During this agonizing process loss of circulation causes tissue to die, leaving large gaps between the birth canal and bladder or rectum, causing incontinence.
Most women and girls suffering with obstetric fistula are ostracized by their families and communities as they smell and are constantly wet, leaving them to live as outcasts.
Fistula is all but eradicated in the developed world.
In contrast, it occurs to thousands of women and girls in Africa every day and they have no-one to help.

It is important to remember that behind every statistic is a woman or girl suffering. A woman just like your mother, sister, aunt, friend. A girl just like your daughter

These lovely ladies have been a tremendous joy to care for. We witnessed amazing transformation from admission to discharge. They arrived solely trusting in God and walking in faith. They entered the big white ship hopeful for a new life, hopeful for a cure. They entered frightened and unsure of all of the "white people". Truly, some of the ladies from "up country" have never seen a "white person" before. Some were very shy and timid. All in need of translators. Some required 3 different translation from English to French, to Fon, Bereba and Yoruba. There was always a patient that would step up and translate for another. The love, bonding and genuine care and respect for each other was heartwarming. Multiple times throughout the day and evening we would get the ladies up to exercise. They would walk the halls singing and dancing! Such a BEAUTIFUL SOUND TO HEAR!!!! 

Each had a story to share. We were Blessed for the opportunity to LOVE on each one and enjoy the Blessings that Radiated from Them. 

The ladies typically stay with us 2-3 weeks. At discharge they are given beautiful dresses to celebrate their "NEW" life free of continuous leakage. You can see the amazing JOY that radiates from each one of these ladies. 

 Lots of Love for Dr. Andy!!!!

Dan Perino from Fox News

This room was filled with Singing and Dancing as we celebrated with the ladies! 


You can see why I love my job and Desire to Go to Work Everyday!!!!

The following are random pictures taken on my days off........Wandering around Benin :)

Out and About visiting the Area of Adjarra.......Transportation always means being jammed into a van and getting bumped around......Always hot and sweaty and totally dehydrated by the end of the trip......BUT.........ALWAYS FUN!!!!

A lovely, relaxing canoe ride through the jungle.....It was so nice to "hear" peace and quiet and to actually hear the birds :)

I said I would not get on one of these......yet here I am, on the back with no helmet!! YIKES!!! I have to admit it was so much fun!!!

Loving the Great Conversation with these two........Lauren from New Zealand and Paul from Ghana. Unfortunately we had to say Goodbye to Paul last week.

I can spend hours watching these tug boats bringing the ships in and out all hours of the day and night

We learned some drumming :)

Anything and Everything can be strapped to the back of a Zimmy

Lovely day at the beach

Good byes always mean a nice dinner out :)......This helps to ease the many goodbyes!!

A HOT, SWEATY day walking endlessly in the market

Rianne left me last week and Sandra will be leaving me next week :(

OH my goodness.........HE actually wanted to carry me on His back to reach the shore. I was close, BUT could not do it!! Praise God they were able to pull the boat up to shore so that I did not have to get on his back or to walk in the river water. 

The smiles on these children are so precious!!!

I am so filled with JOY!!!!........My dear Friend Mary had reminded me of the following............

I believe your exceeding joy comes from being in His will in humble obedience. 

John 15:11-12
"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."


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