March 17-18, 2016

Thursday- We witnessed the transformation of what was an empty room on Monday with nicely painted leaded sheet rock walls into an official X-ray room with all the equipment and doors that close…and lock. The X-ray technician was trained and tomorrow there will be a clinic so the new machine will be put to good use.

I again enjoyed visiting with the patients and their families while they waited in the Waiting Room and pre and post-surgery on the patient floor. I again spoke with the families to learn a little about them and then looked for some crayons and coloring books. Boys AND girls love to color here and it always seems to have a calming effect on the atmosphere and today was no different. A number of the kids have been calling me “Tia” (aunt) as I sit with them, play with them and give them attention. I was told that most of the kids live with family nearby so are used to calling adults aunt and uncle. I guess it shows how this place reminds them of home.

One precious 2-year-old who came in today (Thursday) was born with partially formed hands and one partially formed foot so the surgeons are making finger-like separations in the hand stubs. This little girl is full of life and smiles and is using her hands with amazing coordination. I wanted to take a picture of her hands so her mom invited me in to do that when she saw the surgeon. He was pleased with the results of the surgery done one month ago. The mom shared some of her story which included how depressed she was as a new mom as she looked into the future and imagined how life would be so hard for her daughter. She grieved deeply….understandably.  But when she began coming to CURE she said her attitude turned around. The surgeon and really all the staff were reassuring and as she began having increasing hope, the depression faded. As her little one began having surgeries and she began developing normally, mom now seems very matter of fact about her situation.  Truly I have observed that all the employees realize they are part of the team, giving grace to all who come here. The way everyone treated her, I would have thought she was part of their extended family. It seems now that Merlinne feels like any other kid- how encouraging.

Friday – As we were waiting in the patient Waiting Room for transportation for us and all the tools back to the hotel at the end of the day, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The only other person in the room was a woman who I thought was a member of the staff waiting for her ride back home. It turned out to be the mom of a patient who they were keeping an extra day. He’s a teenager and was bored, she said. She must have seen me the day before visiting with the children and their families and doing activities with the kids. She wondered if there was something he could do. I really didn’t know but went to check with the spiritual life staff. They found some things he might like and went to encourage him and give those activities to him. I was thankful the Lord gave me one last small opportunity to serve just minutes before leaving. We leave this CURE Hospital with full hearts…

Thank you for praying….the Lord certainly answered in ways greater than we ever anticipated (Ephesians 3:20).