April 12, 2013
Mvua nyingi na matope mingi (much rain and much mud) is an apropos Swahili expression for our soggy situation here in northern Tanzania! Since our return to Africa March 18, almost daily heavy rains have increased the mosquito population and malaria incidence that we see in the clinic. Resulting from the deluge are frequent power outages and internet problems. However, we give thanks to our Father—the crops are growing, water is plentiful, and the wild perfusion of flowers, grass, trees, and brightly colored birds are a feast for the eyes.
Another blessing has been the visit of Cynthia Nobles and Sonny Polluck; for two weeks they sworked with the Tanzanians in planning the future construction of the Monduli Juu church building and the Christian secondary school. After nearly three years the land the church bought in Monduli Juu (upper Monduli) has finally been cleared by the government for a building to be constructed. How wonderful in America to have such a thing as a deed when property is purchased so that land disputes can be prevented! The church building will not only house Christians for worship and fellowship; it will also host mobile medical-evangelism clinics as a way to serve the community. While folks bodies are being treated, they will also have an opportunity to study the Bible if they desire and hear the news of the Great Physician.
Other outreach methods are the Saturday Bible studies that continue in homes of the local people and a large children s class that is being conducted during the week by several Tanzanian Christian women (Grace, Mary, Anna, and Rosie). How encouraging it is to hear those 50+ children’s voices wafting across the road to the clinic, Mathio, Marko, Luka, & Yohanna ( Matthew Mark, Luke and John ) as they learn in song the New Testament books or offer Maasai praises to God. Also helping with these classes was Cynthia Nobles, and we had the unique joy of hearing Sonny Polluck preach in his best Zip City (AL) English.
Yet, as you know, all the news is not happy. Last week one of the saddest pediatric cases we have seen presented at the clinic. A small, very sick eight year old girl named Baraka (meaning Blessing ) appeared with her father, after walking three days to get here and camping at Maasai bomas along the way. Proving to be HIV negative, her face and right post auricular (behind the ear) area were severely swollen, following a prolonged ear infection that had probably never been treated. As Dakarai Dan injected the abcessed area with lidocaine, tears streamed down that precious child’s face; however, when the lance was applied, a large amount of foul-smelling pus gushed out, not from the abcess, but from the ear canal itself. Realizing that surgical removal of the pus pocket and prolonged IV antibiotics might be required, we feared for Baraka’s recovery. After receiving a Rocephin injection and oral antibiotics, one of your hand-made stuffed bears was given to her and she was instructed to return to the clinic on Monday. When she reappeared, we could see that the pus had again collected and was continuing to drain from the ear; as a result we had to refer her to the regional hospital for a surgical evacuation of that abscess. Please pray for Baraka and that she and her family can come to know the Master Physician. Representing the great need that exists here, that little girl is an example of the desperately ill people to whom you are reaching out with Jesus hands. Perhaps you will meet Baraka in heaven one day! Thank you unendingly for caring for those who cannot repay you.
With much appreciation for all you do,
Danny and Nancy Smelser