August 2012 TCC Newsletter
While many of you have been wrestling with “Isaac” in the US, in Tanzania this month we have been welcoming some of Abraham’s other descendants! Arriving daily at the clinic are Muslims, occasional Jews, Indians, Africans, and a few Caucasians. Although the average TCC bill is less than $5.00, with the worldwide worsening of economic conditions the number of patients who cannot pay even this small amount has drastically increased. Special thanks go to each of you who continue to help those who are exceptionally needy. Whatever the patients’ socioeconomic status, race, color, beliefs, or degree of cleanliness, we know Jesus wants us serve and love them as He did.
Assisting in this daily challenge are Lacie Whitten (Harding Physician’s Assistant senior student) and Tressa Delano (Certified Nursing Associate and nursing student), who arrived soon after we returned to Africa and will be here five weeks. . Also, we were blessed this month to have 4th year UAB medical student Shaundra Harris with us for a week. Rejoining us after his wedding break are Tizo Joseph and his new bride from Texas, Beth Gould Joseph. How beautiful was their wedding and how happy we are to have them both! Already we can appreciate much of Beth’s expertise. Lastly, we are thrilled that Tyler Jones, professional journalist and videographer and Luke Smelser (4th year medical student) will arrive this week to help us with patient care and to make a video of TCC’s work and outreach.
Another “mgeni” (visitor) who has livened up the place this month is our favorite reptile, the black mamba. As you may recall, this is one of the world’s most poisonous snakes; to our knowledge, we have never seen a mamba bite victim (usually they don’t live to reach a healthcare facility). Since this is the third one to show his dread self in front of the clinic or at the bottom of our driveway, we are all bravely using our flashlights and sending our intrepid German Shepherd Phlebitis before us. With August’s cool, dry weather, we are thankful that fewer serpents are appearing, but we anticipate the November rains and more of them surfacing.
In other exciting news, five precious souls have given their lives to Jesus this month! Though none had previously been submerged, each of these people happily took his or her place in the portable baptistery’s cold water and were immersed into Jesus as Lord and Savior. Even Amos Safari, who you will remember was severely injured last December when a car hit him, resulting in compound fractures of his left tibia and fibula, was submerged in that frigid tank. Laughing as we dressed his still open wound with water-proof dressings and then tied his injured leg in clean plastic garbage bags, Amos asked how many hours he was going to stay in the water! Ecstatic that he has given his life to Jesus, we salute all the American and Tanzanian Christians who prayed for, studied with, and encouraged this fine man. After his wound finally closes, TCC will sponsor Amos as he returns to the large teaching hospital three hours away, for surgical repair of his leg in an attempt to avoid amputation. As you may remember, the local government hospital discharged him last year, refusing to do surgery because he had no money. Whatever the outcome, Amos now knows the Master Healer Jesus and is headed for Heaven.
Our love to each of you,
Danny and Nancy Smelser
TCC was blessed to have medical, physician assistant, and nursing students as part of the mission team in August.
Case of the Day
Focusing intently he could identify the tune. It was “church” of some sort. Down the foot path 200 meters he found the small Bible study group and settled in more for curiosity sake than anything else. The church folks noted this guest – gaunt, sunken eyes, underweight. “Come to TCC and get checked out” was the admonition – so he did. A blood sugar of 516 told the tale. The diabetes was uncontrolled despite the special diet and various classes of sugar meds. After being stabilized with insulin and fluids, the hard part came. “You need daily insulin”, but there is no electricity, refrigeration, and syringes are expensive. Life is hard. Especially for a diabetic who can only hope for a “neighbor” with a fridge.