Memories of Nepal: Team Members Reflect
Christi Kambs: "Through every step of our time in Nepal, we could see God's hand so clearly. His strength, His guidance, His wisdom, His peace were almost palpable. Just 24 hours before, we all had our worlds literally rocked with a terrifying 7.3 earthquake. Our whole team and the staff helping us were all unhurt, but it diverted our plan to head out to the villages to set up clinic by a day. As we headed out early the next morning, we saw boulders and landslides along the dirt road through the mountain that could have easily taken our small truck over the edge had we been in the wrong place at the wrong time the day before. God's hand of protection seemed more real than ever before in my life. As we traveled along the bumpy road back to the mountain villages, there were a few foreigners standing on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere; we stopped to talk to them and ask if they needed a ride. They explained they were part of a Czech medical team who was running a field hospital and command center a few hours up the road. We got their information and found ourselves later that morning visiting a tent "hospital", complete with a basic operating room and even an ICU unit. The Czech team working there were shocked to hear that we were still finding broken bones, limbs needing amputation, life-threatening injuries in the more remote villages and they offered to help us in any way, care for these patients as we found them.
Tamerra Jarvis: "A gentleman 70 years old came from a village 3 miles away to the food distribution center. The team then brought him to our clinic. His left hand was covered in a cloth, and he was quivering in pain. I uncovered his hand to examine it, and found that it had been crushed in the earthquake. His thumb was deformed and broken, his palm area blackened with multiple jagged lacerations that were poorly healed and infected. He had been attempting to care for it himself since the quake. That day, we took him back to his village and made arrangements for him to go to the hospital the next day. Sadly, he had no pain medications until he was seen at the clinic. Most likely, he will lose part of his hand; however, with help, he might be able to keep his thumb."
Marc Bouma: "There was a man who walked up to me and asked me through a translator how to feed his 4-month old baby. The mother had been killed in the quake. He had two older children as well. Why would he walk up to me, and how did he know that just a few weeks earlier I had randomly learned about newborn feeding while in Uganda? I had a 15-minute infant feeding training on a subject I didnt know anything about a month earlier."
Scott Steinle: "We were greeted with hugs and got the blessing of being able to play and laugh with [the children].. My daughter, Selah, is a fourth grader at a Christian school in southern California where we live. She and her classmates wrote little blessings with prayers and scripture and placed candy in little baggies. These baggies were given to all the children at the four homes. It was a blessing to be able to bridge the children of Nepal with the children of my daughters school. It was almost overwhelming to be able to share the blessings written by children who's only desire was to share the love and hope in Christ. This was a day I will always remember, and I can't wait to be able to share the experience with my daughter and her classmates. God is good."
Chuck Duby: "In one of the most remote places we held a clinic, the roads had been compromised by the earthquakes as we trekked up the mountain. Huge boulders and uncertain mountain terrain above us seemed ready to give way in places. The leader of a previous village we had served was anxious for us to help in this particular village, so we sent a team of 20 -- which included medical people, translators, cooks and drivers.
The only feasible place to hold a clinic was using the road itself as a place for the truck -- extending tarps over a small terrace next to the road. We came unannounced and within 15 minutes, we had a fairly large line of people needing medical treatment.
I spoke with a young man in his late 20's whose English was very good. His brother was with him who had lost his wife a few weeks previous. Standing nearby, there were 3 or 4 men with him listening to our conversation, most of which had lost family or friends.
He went on to explain that the village had previously had a population of approximately 600 people; however, 165 had perished in the quake. That is over 1/4 of the population of the village! Imagine any place you have lived, and then think of what it would be like to lose 1/4 of the people of your town or city...."
Nancy Cleppe: "Of the many patients we treated, the one that touched me the most was the elderly woman who came with her family from a nearby village. We discovered her son had carried her up and down the mountain slopes on his back so she could get the proper care she needed. The woman had a wound on her lower leg and she needed a dressing changed. Wendy (the team's physical therapist) had the woman on her table and was removing her bandage. While removing the bandage, I got all needed supplies ready to treat the wound, clean and redress it. With some difficulty, we got the bandage removed as the wound was deep and the previous dressing was adhering to the wound. Grateful that the wound had no sign of infection, we cleaned it and treated it with antibiotic ointment and redressed the wound. We gave the woman a take home wound care packet and placed her on an oral antibiotic. As we continued to work on her, we noticed a small group of people that stayed very close by -- and although they were not asking questions, they seamed quite concerned. We found out after we finished with treatment that while the wound had happened around the time of the earthquake, it had actually resulted from a severe dog bite. What impressed upon me the most was the love and concern from the woman's family. When they got ready to leave, they asked a lot of questions about her care. It really emphasized to me just how much God loves and cares for all of his people -- and He often shows it through the kindness of friends, family members, and sometimes strangers."
Wendy McAllister: "She looked embarrassed. I was evaluating her foot -- full of arthritis from her 70+ years of walking and farming. She arrived barefoot -- walking (I don't know how far) along the mountain village paths. Her feet were dusty and dirty, thus the embarrassment per my translator. I showed her a couple of exercises to improve her movement, and massaged her sore foot with the cream. Far from being worried about touching a dirty foot, all I could think of was what an honor it was to be able to serve this beautiful woman. We sent her off with some pain medication and some of the cream to apply to her feet at the end of the day, grateful to the One who loves us -- dirty feet and all."
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