Dearest Supporters, 31 March, 2012
Wow! March 2012 has been a whirlwind month at Tanzania Christian Clinic. Thrilled we are to report that the clinic’s X-ray machine, generator, and transformer, donated and assembled by folks at Cross Point Church of Christ are now repaired and functional! Now to find an X-ray technician!!! Working for several days at TCC bagging and labeling medicine, entering patient info into our computer data base, organizing the central supply, and observing patients were two high school students, Maddie Hochdorf and Molly Kasarjian. Distributing baby formula donated and transported by several of you, TCC workers have also visited orphanages and one school where the formula was received with grateful singing by the children. In addition, Elihuruma Emanuel and Medson Mlango, medical and clinical officer students, respectively, have lent their talents to TCC during their school breaks.
Presenting for all these medical folks to see have been several very ill patients this month, amazing us with the distances they traveled and conditions they endured to get here. More with brucellosis have appeared, and one patient having a large facial cancer and radiation wound has come for care repeatedly. In addition, a desperate 32-year old man arrived at TCC after being hit last December by a motorcycle. Having no money to pay for his badly needed leg surgery, he was discharged by the local government hospital. Infected and in severe pain, the man allowed us to remove his dirty cast and bandages. Underneath one could easily visualize the muscles and misaligned tibia and fibula (bones) of his huge open lower leg wound. In grave danger of losing his limb and life, you supporters of TCC sent this suffering patient, along with one of our clinical officers, to the large teaching hospital about two hours away. Advising 6 more weeks of dressing changes, the orthopedic surgeons there agreed to then attempt an open leg reduction if TCC would pay the $200 fee, or to amputate the leg if required. Thank you to each of you who have reached out to this individual with the compassion of Jesus. After taking some antibiotics and continuing dressing changes 3X/ week, he is now rid of infection and anticipating surgery. Desiring Bible study, he has begun to hope again. Please pray that he and his leg can be saved.
Besides the clinic work, sharing the Good News of Jesus is ongoing. Four Maasai, two women and two men, submitted their lives to the Lordship of Jesus this month, and were baptized in the portable tank donated by Sylvan Hills Church of Christ Medical Missions. And the Dorcas Ministry of Sylvan Hills has also provided numerous shirts and handmade dresses, skirts, and shorts to needy women and children.
Even the Tanzanian wildlife has given us a special thrill this month. Yesterday, while patients crowded onto the clinic’s front porch, our grounds ‘worker Enock spotted an eight-foot black mamba nearby. Needless to say, that was one patient that did not leave TCC alive! Meanwhile, our German Shepherd was dissembling our washing machine on the back porch of our house to capture a hedgehog which had taken up residence behind it. Oh, the thrills of East Africa! Anyone want to come for a few months?
In closing, an African song encourages us to get on the journey to Heaven. It warns, “Bila tiketi, ndugu, hutakwenda” (Without a ticket, brother, you cannot go).” And of course, our ticket is Jesus!
For that wonderful Ticket Master,
Danny and Nancy Smelser