Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Letter

Thank you to all of you who've commented, sent emails, called, made me feel like I'm not walking this alone. Part of me wants to delete my previous post so it's not just out there for everyone to see how truly mixed up I can be sometimes... but I have found that in the cyber-world, it is easy to make yourself appear like you've got it all together- and sometimes it is good for everyone to see how human you really are. I didn't win any gold medals for faith performance today. But God is still gracious... and long after I had assumed that the African crew would be in bed (after 12:30am their time!), Brad sent a long, newsy email! I will copy it for you here- maybe you will be as encouraged as I was to hear from him in his own words.

From Brad: titled "After all, it's Africa"
So I've learned manythings in the past few days! I wanted to write to let you all know we are back in kigali safely. Its been a long travel day. First I should say that the mission trip was very successful and all involved have really felt they were able to make a difference. We all have found that africa is layer upon layer of problems on problems. There is jsut so much that is to be done, and then even more problems will arise. I had a great deal of frustration with one of the doctors at the clinic, but despite that, I was able to plant some seeds to help them practice better medicine. I'll post more later. Today we traveld from bukavu to kigali rwanda. AS you will all hear there are no such things as plans or an itinerary in AFrica. We had a long bus / van ride to kigali and got to our hotel to find they gave most of our hotel rooms away to others. I guess unless you come and pay in cash early, reservations are more like well.. eraseable? So we had to wait with our grumpy taxi drivers for about 2.5 hrs to make sure we had a place to lay our heads. So we found a nicer western style hotel that ate a bunch of our fun money, so no safari tomorrow... but instead we aer going to go to the genocide museum, and more tourist shopping for coffee, etc. (rwandan coffee is really good i have come to find. ) Then we get to start the long journey home tomorrow, I'm ready to go.
Medically I never felt pushed to do anything i wasn't qualified for. I did do a couple anterior colporrhaphy's for women with pretty severe bladder prolapse. And I didn't see a single fistula... but i know they are out there. My biggest task was to really challenge the way the african doctors are taught how to practice, and practice clinical medicine. They don't have the complete care and well RESOURCES to be up to date on many things, and many decisions become knee jerk. It was difficult to deal with old ways of things that in the US have been out of date or old ways of doing things for quite some time. By the end of my time I had the two full time doctors of the clinic excited for all the ways they were learning to treat patients. They also learned many new surgical techniques in my time there. The others in my team were really effective in reaaching out to the community and other areas around Nyangezi. the funny thing is that white people visit so seldom, we were treated as very important dignitaries anywhere we went. I had some meetings with the minister of health, and the lead health inspector for the region to give them my opinion of how they can improve things there. Pastor had a huge turnout for is theology teaching, some of the pastors at his conference walked over 600km (2 weeks) to attend. The people in nyangezi felt very blessed to have the mzungu there. The DR congo was excited to. They had an official government ceremony to welcome us to the area, and to declare fulll opening to the shiloh center. It was on the national news, newspapers, and the television news for a number of days. Florimond our host was going to try to gather newspaper clippings and TV recordings for us all.
I will call when we are stable on US soil sometime on friday! Thanks for praying for me and the team... keep it up for a few more days now! WE also have a team now heading to Russia from our church to do more ministry work, so if you remembers them in your prayers I wold appriciate it! But it is late here... 1235am on the 31st... so its time for bed. I look forward to seeing you all soon!
Love brad


Katie said...

Brad, thank you for keeping us updated! I am glad to hear that you feel the mission was successful and fulfilling. EB - not much longer now! Keep hangin' in there hun and don't feel ashamed of worrying or having horrible thoughts - it wouldn't be love if you didn't fear loss.

donna said...

Brad and EB: Thanks so much for keeping us in the loop of this mission trip. You have been in my thoughts, prayers and heart. I am sure lots of lives were touched by Brad's walk in Africa. by the group as a whole to all. I am a member of JBC and looking forward to the reports at church. Thanks you EB and Carolyn for sharing Brad. Donna Blackall