Many of you remember that I have had a special place in my heart for Sudan for quite a few years now. Recently, we were planning a trip to South Sudan as a fact finding visit to take our residents for a rotation that will provide them with experience in a less fortunate setting – a “missions rotation” if you will. The trip was cancelled at the last moment, but God sent us a little South Sudanese girl named Achu and her sister Mary to care for instead. Achu had a terrible injury to her right leg that had not healed in more than a year. She was found by a team with Make Way Partners and they wanted to help her. As I heard her story, I asked Dr. Dan Galat, Tenwek Orthopedic surgeon if he thought his team could help Achu. Dan and I both were concerned from the initial description that Achu would possibly lose her leg. God had other plans!
Achu arrived and was sad and scared and often teary eyed. She cried as the painful medication was given via her IV line. She laid in her bed, curled up in a fetal position, unable to communicate with any of us. A wonderful person in Nairobi agreed to be our “anytime” translator. We got a cell phone for Achu and programmed this friend’s number in it. Over the next several weeks, many of us called this person we have never met and he always joyfully translated back and forth from English to Dinka so that the staff could communicate to Achu (what a wonderful way to serve the Lord – no limelight and no earthly reward – but many blessings to all involved!). Dr. Dan Galat and the orthopedic team removed the dead bone, treated the large leg wound and Achu was not only able to keep her leg, the leg was straight and she is able to walk normally.
You can read more about Achu’s story on these websites:
My lasting memory of Achu will be our last conversation with her. I had found out that my Mom had suffered a stroke and I needed to leave Tenwek rather suddenly. As I went to say farewell to Achu and her sister, I called our translator and asked him to explain my details to Achu. She had one question for me – “When will I see you again?” My answer was this – “If I don’t see you again on this earth, I will see you in heaven!” Achu knows Jesus because of all of the people who have cared enough to not only take care of her physical needs, but who have talked to her about the healing that comes from knowing Jesus as her savior!
Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery
Please also pray for the babies and families of children with cleft lip and cleft palate. I appreciate so much Dr. Louis Carter and others who have come to help me and our residents learn this area of plastic surgery. These patients have a special place in my heart!
Consultant rounds in the ICU with the entire surgery team – a time for teaching and patient care.
Visiting Staff Doctors continue to bless us and teach our residents (and us!). We are so thankful for how God sends people our way – most often through the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse World Medical Mission. We could not take care of the many patients at Tenwek if it were not for the blessing of these talented men and women who come as volunteers. Our residents also benefit greatly. Each morning at 8am we gather in the Doctors’ Classroom for a time of teaching.