Skip to main content

Pregnant Medical Report

I sat with pen posed this week while listening to Kathleen and Afri, our Indonesian nurses.  I anticipated that I would jot just a few notes from their observations of their two weeks interior, hiking through 28 villages.  Two hours later, my blank page is filled with tiny scrawl and my heart is moved, beyond what I expected, to see the immense needs through their eyes.  I can’t hold their report to myself.  I must process the information and share it with you.  We have to formulate plans and goals of how we can impact people groups who have little or absolutely NO access to health care.  Please listen with me, as I recreate their conversation:

 

B191F7AC-0672-48E9-8661-E8E5DAFF1A053CE913EA-F7BB-4BD6-92F8-6D4B9C63A2A98F3B334A-D87B-4929-8B0E-423F550EA12109B31B41-F1A3-4A66-8176-EDEFF8D7AFBE

 

“Mam Ruth, we are so confused how to teach health care prevention in these far places.  We thought we would teach them the importance of washing their hands, before they eat.  Yet they have no water anywhere near their houses.  The people have to walk maybe thirty minutes to the river, before they can wash their hands.  By the time they return to their homes, their hands are dirty again.  And we tried to teach them to brush their teeth.  They were eager to learn, but they said, ‘Where are the toothbrushes?’”  (My mind is racing.  Building churches and schools and clinics is not enough.  They need water piped into their villages.  We don’t need other countries to buy toothbrushes.  We can purchase them here for .15-.50 cents a piece, we just need toothbrush sponsors.  Brushing teeth alone can extend ones life over 5 years). 

105E51A5-2CC0-4485-9B72-EC254E3DEFAA

 

The brave nurses then went onto tell me about being in one village with a beautiful clinic that was built over a year ago.  The village people clean it often faithfully.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting for workers.  Waiting for medicines.  But it stays empty, because nobody comes and they continue to suffer for nobody is there to help.  Pregnant hopes.  Pregnant anticipations.  Pregnant needs.  Unfortunately, this scenario is all to familiar in Papua.

 

E215845A-BD9A-487F-8C7E-68F0ABE81DCD

 

“Mam, in two weeks we saw 400 patients.  The most common medical problems we saw were wounds, poor hygiene, poor nutrition, worms, respiratory issues, and skin diseases.  Also many of the men were smoking.  They grown their own tobacco.  The hiking was very difficult.  Often we had to cross over rivers where there were only thin pieces of wood.”  At which point the conversation digresses into laughter at Afri who was so scared and often would forge through the river instead (A woman after my own heart.  I have a strong aversion to balance beam bridges……ugh).  They then showed me many little videos and pictures of extremely difficult places they had to cross.   And they shared how they ran out of food and medicines and……

540CA0A2-573B-43D1-886A-95286DC2F2D7353D2734-C618-4A9B-BFA1-7CB4416F0AC6

 

“And Mam, the babies.  The babies were just kept in the nokins (a traditional Papua woven bag).  When the baby goes to the bathroom the Mommy will just use part of the bag to wipe the baby clean.  Then the baby and the dirty clothes are just repositioned to another spot in the nokin.  This will go on like this for several days until all the clothes are dirty and there is no clean spot in the nokin left.  At last, the baby and dirty bag and clothes are taken to the river to be washed.  Then the process will start all over again.  Infant mortality is high.  One lady we talked with stated she had nine children, but only two currently alive.”

“One village we stopped in there were no patients, because there were six witch doctors.  Except for one man, forty years old.  A tiny hut has been built for him.  A month ago he got sick and now he cannot walk or control his bathroom needs.  He has large decubitus with necrotic tissue and foul smell.  He is constantly wet.  The village people believe he is sick like this because a curse was put upon him.  We want to send in rubber mats for him so that he can stay more dry.”D7D09D4D-7CED-48CD-80A5-8F4287AA1636

 

 

“We need small scissors, that we can boil in water to sterilize.  We took stiches out of one Papua person who had left them in for over one month.  We need more gauze and ace bandages and Vaseline gauze.  We need a thermometer and a glucometer.  We need waterproof raincoats and ways to keep our medicines dry.”  Yes, pregnant needs.  Not selfish wants.  NEEDS. 

“Look at these children, Mam Ruth.  They are using a wheelbarrow bucket to ride down the hill.  But at the bottom of the hill where they stop is open toilets.  All this area, in the tall grass is where they use the bathroom.  No hole or water.  Just the open tall grass.”

323A2CD3-BAAD-45B7-B13E-88BE8B67CE24

“We came to one village where there was a school, but no teachers have been there in five years.”  Pregnant learners, waiting. 

Its almost too much to process.  To think that just a few mountain ridges away from my comfortable home are tribal group after tribal group experiencing all of the above and so much more.  Please pray for wisdom for us, that we will know how to help most effectively.  Pray for laborers.  Pray for funding and supplies.  Pray for the health and safety of the brave hearts that are serving. 

I can’t imagine sitting in any first world hospital board meeting and hearing a medical report that was so moving, compelling, full of need, and pregnant hope.  Through their eyes I saw great need.

 

 

 

D2ECA0A7-5CC3-43D7-B162-A7C2DB6642E82F0FBB18-7BC0-4CC4-890C-0A0FACECED5EE7D6428E-C33B-465D-BC83-1480D5629774B43CD1B4-6E1E-4061-B0A9-C7ECD7BCB186

Comments

  1. Hi Ruth

    I have some donations I would like to make. Any chance you can contact me at jb3dg.1993(youknowthesymbol)gmail.com?

    Thanks
    Jonathan Bleeker

    ReplyDelete
  2. The pictures won't load, but your description was so good, I can picture it all in my mind. Thanks for sharing! I remember your dislike of "tight rope walking" adventures when we were in Banaue... remember us walking along those rice paddies!? :-)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Anguished Hearts

Image after image flashes through my mind.  I see little but “growing bigger and stronger” two and half year old Azarya coming towards me on the gravel runway.  Wanting to give me a high five and nothing warms my heart more.  Knowing that this is the little boy who drank his way back to life with goats milk.  More images of all over campus this little boy waving at me and smiling shyly, running and playing like normal children should.  Every time I saw him, I rejoiced in the second chance that Jesus had given him.  More images of being with his Mommy and Daddy and their JOY and gratefulness in Ayarya’s strength and change as he transformed before their eyes from being severely malnourished to vibrant.  Ida, his Mommy, is my closest Papua friend, and I see so many images of her and I chatting and laughing together and enjoying her new fat little baby boy, now two months old.  Despite that Ida was still morning the unexpected loss of her father and still mourning the loss of her first c…

And Just Like That…..It Is Finished!

Eleven and a half years is a long time.  Yet I honestly thought there was still five years left.  Unexpectedly, the long days and the short years came to an abrupt halt.  The commitment, the daily grind, the need to be extremely focused and scheduled Monday through Friday, 7:30 until 3 was taken away.  Or maybe it was given away?
I was passionate about it, fully devoted and yet burned out.  Doing something that was not my natural gifting and yet for my children, like most mothers, I would do anything.  Home school.  The early years were simple and yet muddled with ABC’s and 123’s were more babies and diapers and feedings and distractions.  How did that little boy Aubrey, learn so well?  Now he is months away from graduating and launching back into his passport culture.  His grade point average, is higher than a 4.0.  He had to teach me how that makes sense.  His younger brother Andrew, who stands taller than us all, also learned something in between re learning phonics in 3rd grade an…

Look Over Your Shoulder

As parents we are sometimes not even aware of what we have taught or failed to teach our children.  As our MK’s (missionary kids) transition back to America……some interesting lessons are emerging from growing up in Papua.  One area is driving.  Here we use our mirrors constantly to check what is going on all around us.  Honestly, there is rarely time to look over your shoulder because if you do, you are very likely to miss or rather HIT the numerous things that could have darted out in front of you during that split second glance.  Which include, but are not limited to, pedestrians, goats, motor cycles, children, bicycle riders, dogs, cars, vending wagons, pot holes and I am sure I am forgetting a few things……ahh yes, pigs.So, we were actually humored when one of our transitioning sons, mentioned that his driver test personal kept calling out the inaccurate technique of lane shifting that our MK was using.  Fortunately the license was granted and it was noted that in America there is …