Wednesday morning started with another wonderful devotional discussing the topic of mission work. Flavio pointed out that while we are here, it is really important to listen to what the patients tell us they need. This is not always what we think they need. Our team is here to help and the best way we can do that is to hear their voices and listen to what they say they really need. It could be something as complex and surgery or as simple as a meal. Possibly a pair of shoes or a nice place to rest. We were challenged to listen with intent so we do not fail to help those in need.
We met a mother at the start of the week that had traveled here with her two daughters. They were seen together in triage on Sunday and were both scheduled for surgery to repair hernias. On Wednesday morning they arrived and the older daughter was sent to the PACU to prepare for surgery. The mother waited patiently and anxiously for her first daughter to return from surgery, excited to see her but knowing that the waiting was not over. Once she returned to the PACU after her procedure, it was time for her younger daughter to go to surgery. Again, she waited, as one daughter recovered and the other was taken to an OR. Our team encouraged and supported her. She had given our group blind trust to care for not one, both both of her daughters. By the time her second daughter was out of surgery, the older sister was already walking after her procedure! The mother was so very thankful for the help from our team, we had listenend to what they needed and helped give what they could not get otherwise. In the recovery rooms, she sat in-between her daughters beds, holding both of their hands and smiling, giving thanks for the help we had given her and her family. With each patient we help, their need to give thanks is powerful. They thank us by prayer, by a hand on a shoulder, and sometimes by a small gift. Although the families we are helping live in extreme poverty, they always find a way to show their gratitude.