What a great feeling to drive into this little village after a long, bumpy drive and to be greeted by friendly, accepting, familiar faces! It was so great to see old friends, and talk to the children who know us by name. The clinic was not terribly busy today, but the people who came had true needs. This is one of the great things about having continuity in this village. It seems they feel comfortable enough that we will continue to come back that they do not need to run to the clinic just because there is a doctor there, and they may not have the opportunity again. We were able to spend a little more time chatting and encouraging those who came, and addressing some deeper issues. I know that Gary and Kim spent some time with the mother of a child with a heart defect who has not gotten the follow-up that the child really needs. They discussed ways that we might help facilitate that. On the surface, it is amazing to me that she would not make this more of a priority, but I guess when you spend so much energy and worry on getting enough food each day, a heart ailment seems like something less urgent...
Porsche did more procedures today than a typical day in the U.S.! Several people left with very happy joints after a little lidocaine and depo-medrol... and the ultrasound machine is such a hit! We spent some time with a young girl who was truly in denial about her 20 week pregnancy... and admitted that her family would "hit" her if they found out. We talked about options for support from others, and I believe that when she left, she felt she had some options, including returning to the clinic later in the week wo that we could talk to her family with her if she needed to do so. I cannot imagine feeling so scared, alone, and helpless.
Sister Pam will be glad to know that there is an outlet in one of the classrooms into which you can plug your computers! The other one should be wired tomorrow. Ed employed Jesse, Ismael's middle son, as his apprentice, and they did a great job. They are also working on the new school room, and it is coming along nicely.
I had the opportunity to look at the community land where they would like to build a clinic. The building that we are currently using (for the past year) as our 'clinic' will not be available to us after April. The clinic itself has been so central to much of the progress that has been made in Pueblo Nuevo. The village has benefited not only from the improved health they enjoy, but by having many people from other communties come to the clinic when we are there, and having them contribute to the economy of the village. The people in Pueblo Nuevo realize this, and are anxious to build their own clinic where we can continue to care for people not only in that village, but in the whole area. We are looking at constructing a clinic building/community center that could be used for other things such as community activities, computers, a library, work projects, adult education, etc. Imagine what great things could come out of such a project. The people of the village have asked that the clinic be 'theirs'...they want to take responsibility for building, but are asking for help with funds to buy the materials. We will need lots of bricks and cement, but this will be such an investment in the future of this village, and a natural continuation of the progress that has occurred over the past 2 plus years.
At our rooftop meeting this evening, Gary and I both brought a copy of the Oscar Romero prayer to read...so I'll close by sharing a few parts of that. I think it sums up our feelings about our roles here this week...
"It helps now and then to step back and take a long view...the Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision...We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us...
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest..."