Feb 6, 2016

February 6th, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen



The weekend is here! While I look forward to the restfulness that often happens on weekends, this weekend is a little different; one of the Ghanian doctors got married earlier this morning, so most of the doctors (all except 1) are gone. I was nervous that rounds would take all day long…but some of the Ghanian medical students rounded with us, which helped move things along.


Today, I saw a spectrum of things…a Fulani man who was eager to go home finally well (although I am not sure the reason he got sick…or the reason he is now well) who loves greeting me (as I love greeting him); in his warm greeting and handshake, I am reminded of my Grandpa Birch and his warmth for all people. I also watched a stroke patient die before my eyes knowing that there was nothing I could do to help him. In addition, I greeted the man I met on my first day here (the one with that huge hole in his stomach); he is doing well and his surgical wound is finally healing. I praise God that that patient knows Jesus and the ultimate healer. I also saw a woman with a mysterious growth in her abdomen and another who is recovering from severe pancreatitis (she also knows Jesus and her smile is infectious!). I also saw some people who look perfectly well from the outside and even say they feel well, but who have spiking fevers at night despite negative tests.


I see lots of patients and a variety of medical conditions every day. Some, I easily know how to treat, whereas others are trial and error (even for seasoned missionaries here). The fact of the matter is that we are in a low resource setting and we have to work the best with what we have and trust God with the rest. It is sad when people die or have long term health issues (like a 13 year old girl with heart failure or a 6 year old with massive liver disease) and I know that we can only do our best to manage their disease. On the other hand, it is amazing the services that are provided to the patients and families here at the BMC. Here, you do not have to suffer alone; chaplains are available and talk with all patients with more serious conditions or as requested. They share the gospel, pray with the patients and family, and more. People with chronic diseases like high blood pressure, CHF, COPD…come on a monthly basis to get medication refills; while they are waiting for clinic to start, the chaplains present a message. People are not only receiving physical healing, but also spiritual healing.


Today, an ER doctor from El Paso arrived; he comes to the BMC twice a year to work and support the missionaries here. He has great experience and I am excited to work with him. Another volunteer is also traveling here; pray for her safety.


Thanks for taking this journey with me and for committing to pray. Please pray specifically for physical stamina (as well as emotional toughness). Also pray for the Harmatan to quiet down (here, it is dry, hot, and windy…which makes for lots of dust and keeps planes (like the one I am supposed to fly out on in a little over a week) from flying; worse case scenario, I ride a bus for 15 hours…but I prefer to pray for the best case scenario!