I thought you might be interested to know what a "normal" day is like for us at Macha
Mission Hospital. James and I were here 18 years ago and things have really changed. Macha is much bigger and there are improvements. For example, when we were here before there was drought and famine. It was the worst of times for Macha. The people suffered and there was little food. The government would let the people do something for 4 hrs a day and give them a small amount of mealie meal (like corn meal) for cooking.
These people are still very poor by our standards but there was rain last year and the people have food. Also before we saw only a very few with shoes and those shoes were often made from discarded tires. However, now, not all, but most have shoes. A small percent are wearing stylish clothing and even wigs!!! The bright red wigs are my favorite!
Jobs are being created. Different crops are being planted and harvested. Buildings are being constructed. There is still a lot to be done but also a lot has been done.
The Zambians love cell phones and many have them. They do not have water or electricity in their village huts but they often will have a cell phone. I know that sounds a little strange but they walk everywhere they go and that cell phone is really a huge help.
James gets up early every morning and works in the garden. One of the good things is there is no frost here and we can grow something in the garden most of the year. The nearest supermarket is 40 miles away so the garden is a lifesaver. We are in summer now and the temperature has been 122 degrees F. in the full sun. The good part is there is no humidity and we simply do not do anything in the middle of the day from 1 to 3. We are getting use to it. What we cannot possibly understand is how some of the Zambians have a sweater on!!!
James goes to work every morning and does Out Patient Clinic, works with HIV patients - many which are children, TB patients. James also helps in the operating room and sets many bones and cares for those with burns and so forth. The patients with HIV has risen from 4000 to 5000 seen as outpatients. Sixty per cent of all the patients admitted to the hospital are HIV positive. To say that the work load is heavy is very much an understatement. Some patients are so sick that we simply cannot help them. However, there are also many that we can and do help. We have to focus on the ones we can help.
One prayer request is that a general surgeon would come and stay long term. We really need a general surgeon.
I am teaching Bible at the Christian school and tell Bible stories at the Hospital for the Children, Women and Men's wards. I am just throwing the seed of the gospel out there. The Lord promises it will not return void. Of course, I have to use an interpreter so the entire process is a bit of a challenge. The Bible lessons at the Christian school are done in English and that is an easy do and the children seem to love it. We have a fun time. The kids call it Fabulous Friday. It is hot as blue blazes and the kids are practicing for the Christmas play. At least they are not singing, "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas."
I am also tutoring those in English who need that (of course, they will all have a southern accent!). I also meet each grade class in the library and read to them. So, we are all busy enough. When guest come to Macha, I am one of those doing hospitality such as cooking meals for them. There is a work crew of 16 here now from the States.
Last Sunday there were about 1000 in the BIC church. It was SO crowded that if one person crossed his legs, everyone on that row was obliged to do likewise. Africans do not have the same sense of personal space that we do. And there is always room for one more. The church service is lively and the singing is beautiful. Many walk long distances in great heat to come. No one complains and no one is in a hurry to leave. There recently was a baptismal service and many were added to the church. There was great rejoicing.