Medical Advances Miraculous

Singing glory hallelujah over here for medical advances! The kind of medical advances that have helped Cindy Cunningham, founder of Village of Hope Uganda, conquer a brain tumor. Within the past week, she had a skull plate installed to replace the one that was dangerously infected after the last surgery. A cocktail of meds and careful vigilance and she’s home tumor free and with a new skull plate.

Or the kind of medical advances that allow a mom to be monitored for days, a mom and her unborn baby, and a team of doctors assessing and watching and deciding the moment when it becomes safer for baby to be delivered than to cook a bit longer inside. And the medical advances that make caesarean birth safe and that quickly assess the status of the baby. And the medical advances that allow surgery on a newborn to correct heart problems and the advances that can help babies born at 32 weeks survive and thrive.

Or advances that diagnose, that can picture and picture and picture the body assessing and determining is that benign? Or do we need to investigate further? Because it may mean the difference between life and death. Medical advances.

And the kind of medical advances, maybe not so cutting edge, that have taken my cold of weeks and finally turned it on its head. Antibiotics… I knew I needed them and as soon as I stepped off the plane I called the doctor. Relief.

Here in this time and this place, we have a strong medical system. We have strong medicine. We have machines and procedures and devices and surgeries and people that can/who can fix, monitor, assess, correct, extract, replace what has gone wrong in our bodies.

Here in this time and this place.

But not there in that place.

CompassioNow is sending a birthing bed to Tanzania Christian Clinic so they can begin to build a labor and delivery wing to their clinic. This bed is the first for the clinic.

CompassioNow, in partnership with Rock of the Foothills Lutheran Church, is sending a 40-foot container of medical supplies to Malawi to outfit a clinic there with enough supplies to presumably last for 4 years. Wound dressings, bandages, basic antibiotics, creams, ointments, over-the-counter meds, eye drops… the kinds of things we can easily obtain in this place.

This year, CompassioNow/Compassion Tea directors made two separate trips to the African continent to deliver these kinds of medical supplies to outlying clinics serving villages and orphanages far from the modernity of the cities.

Because there in that place the kind of medical advances we wax glories on don’t exist. That is a place where medical devices might be donated, like x-ray machines, but finding a skilled technician to work the device is years-in-the-searching difficult. It’s a place where bicycles serve as ambulances, and where solar power and generators provide the necessary lights and electricity, and clean water may have to be carried from the river a football field or two distance away and then treated. It’s a place where people, full of compassion, do the best they can with what they have, and wring their hands and lift their voices in daily supplication because they know the supply is limited, the resources are dwindling, the advances are just not there.

As I pop my antibiotic relief like a New Year’s cocktail, I look toward 2014. Will it be a year forward or like so many before will it be another year that leaves certain parts of Africa regrettably in the dark past of medical advances? We at CompassioNow and Compassion Tea pray that we’ll be able to provide the basics at our clinics, because basics even save lives, and we pray for the miraculous, for a feeding-of-the-5,000 kind of spread. And when you stop and think about it, really, medical advances are miracles. The miraculous.

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