Saturday, 6 April 2013

Life in Yei

Nope, that's not a picture from a suburban area of Australia but of our compound at Harvesters (short for Harvesters Reaching the Nations). We're pretty well taken care of here, and my little room even has an ensuite (flushing) toilet/bathroom with constant running water and electricity. And I'm typing this using internet provided through a Wi-Fi network!

We've meals provided three times a day, seven days a week. Granted, it's red beans and rice at almost every single meal but with variations following the day of the week; e.g. "Mexican" style tortillas and guacamole on Thursdays, fried chicken on Sundays, etc. My diet here is generally healthier than the one I have back home (with all respect to whomever did the cooking). I did have one bout of gastro but thank God, that passed quickly. Consequently, one item that I brought over and have found the most useful is Dettol handwash - a hint to whoever's planning to visit ;)

I'm slowly adjusting to the rhythm of life here. Prayer meetings and bible studies with the older girls from the orphanage, regular meetings with other missionaries in this locale (mainly from the States but also from NZ, Switzerland and so on), learning to turn in for the night at the unheard-of hour of 10pm (I'm a night owl and I rarely ever sleep before midnight back in KL and Melbourne)...and the list goes on. The compound is pitch-dark at night as there aren't any lampstands or such, so I've learned to carry an electric lantern when called back to the hospital (bringing to mind Florence Nightingale).

And of course, work. This week has been crazy hectic and we've been in the hospital literally every single night - usually because a woman (or two or three) has presented in labour. The score so far: two C-sections, maybe ten deliveries now (including a case of footling breech and intrauterine foetal demise), three premmies (premature infants - all born at 32/33 week gestation), two deaths (both of which could only have been preventable with ICU support, really; one an end-stage pneumonia +/- CCF and the other likely hepatorenal failure from possible schistosomiasis [Hep B/C negative]), lots of bronchiolitis, and a baby with either cerebral malaria or meningitis.

Thank God, He's supported us all the way through. I was so encouraged when the head of Pioneers in the East African division, who was visiting the country, stopped by our team meeting and shared the following passage:
Isaiah 40:28-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Amen and amen! Our strength is in Him and He gives us more grace. :)

P.S. Please pray for my auntie's mum, who had what seems like an iatrogenic rupture of a cerebral aneurysm during an attempted coiling back in Malaysia (translated into layman's terms, she had a catastrophic bleed in the brain).

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