Saturday, October 15, 2011

The cememt path project completed.

Rainy season: the work goes on rain or shine.

Jane and Maaike smoothing the cement. High tech.

Just like every construction site some do all the work while others watch on.

Mixing cement.

Three batches of cement and the path is aproximately 1/4 done.

Week 3: The beginning of the mixing of cement.

Week Two: The path mapped out and stones in place.

Week 1: of the Cheshire Home cement path project.
Eric, Allan and chickens clearing and mapping out the desired path.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

God is Our Refuge and Our Strength
Church on October 2, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

It is rainy season here in Sierra Leone. Last week it rained for 31 hours straight. One of the day volunteers who lives in Sierra Leone, Thomas, said it was going to rain for seven days straight. One of the other day volunteers smiled and asked if he had received a phone call from God?
There are also many happy stories of patients receiving their yellow cards for surgery. August 8, 2011 we called the first 80-hernia/ hydrocele patients on the waiting list of over 500 to arrive at the ship for screening by the general surgeon. It would seem that half of Sierra Leone has a hernia or hydrocele from all their heavy labours. These men arrived hopeful to receive a surgery date. At the end of the day many of the men were booked and left with yellow cards. Some were so fortunate that they did not even have to leave to go home but could receive their surgery the very next day! Henry one of the day volunteers who helps each day with screening, made giving out their yellow cards so much fun. He would call out their names and hold up the card. All the men would clap and cheer.

One card that we forgot to take away returned last week. The first time Abraham and his dad arrived at the ship and it was decided Abraham should be taken on the ship for further investigation. Abraham, nine years of age, had extensive neck tumours. A CT scan was performed that day, Abraham and his dad left with a yellow card so that they could return through the gate once the surgeons had reviewed the CT scan. The surgeons reviewed the CT scan and decided the tumours were too extensive and vascular and there was nothing else that could be done for Abraham. So one of the African crewmembers, Clementine, who specializes in giving difficult news spoke with father and son and sent them home. This past week they returned. They were sitting on the dock under the tent trying to keep dry, Abraham with his head resting in his dad's arms.B ecause of the extensive tumours it makes it is tiring for Abraham to sit up. I asked them why they had returned? The father gave me their yellow card and stated he was told to return for further treatment. (A yellow card we had forgot to take away). I called Clementine again and ask her to speak with them. The father admitted he knew there was no further treatment but did not know what else to do? Clementine said she prayed again with this Muslim man and his dear son in the name of Jesus. Clementine stated it went well. This time Abraham and his father left with a Bible, a teddy bear, some pain medicine, a new toothbrush and no yellow card.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The yellow card it can bring so much joy and hope however it can also show the desperation of the people of Sierra Leone who need medical care and surgeries.
The yellow card is given to each patient that will be given some further treatment on the ship. It really is the only way past the guards that in the port, of course there are always the patients that make their way through by some other means. However for the most part the guards in the port receive very strict instructions as to who is able to pass through the outer gate or we would have most of Sierra Leone waiting outside for medical treatment.
One man came last week that had a yellow card that stated he was for screening that day for a hernia. We examined the card and asked where he received it? He told us a white person at the dental clinic had given it to him. (The dental clinic is near the ship an approximate 5-minute walk.) So we told him that we would just walk back with him to the dental clinic and he could show us the white person who gave it to him. He said he would not remember. It makes us wonder where some individuals are getting their cards? Are there patients who are selling their cards and forgoing their own surgery? Are there cards we have forgotten to take away after a patient has finished their care on the ship?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sierra Leone is a beautiful country.
With beautiful beaches.
Despite the hard work and the suffering we see on such a regular basis.
God is so gracious to us giving us time to enjoy His vast creation.
"One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple." Psalm 27:4
We do see God in the beauty of His temple (creation).

Abu holding lizard eggs that we uncovered digging up weeds in the football pitch.
Abu is a fourteen-year-old boy we recently met, who is slight in body but keen in mind. Abu cannot walk on his legs but he manages to get around well walking with both his hands and moving his feet with his hands (I know a difficult image to conjure in one’s mind.) The first week we met Abu, he was sitting on the ground surrounded by broken radios. I asked him what he was doing. He stated he was going to fix his radio because he had found another broken one with spare parts. It looked like an impossible task to undertake in my eyes because there were so many small parts and wires scattered on the ground, but Abu assured me next week the radio would sing. When we returned this week the radio was singing.

“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more cloth you of little faith?" Matthew 6:20

This week on our return we started to clean up some of the trash and long grass around their playground. As I was pulling weeds from their football pitch Abu came over to help. I asked him many questions. He told me he was eleven years old when he came to live at the home. His father is a Muslim and thus the name Abu Bakar, Abu for short. His favorite food is rice, his favorite subject in school is math, and he can speak English, Temne and Krio and wants to be a doctor when he grows up. He grew up the first eleven years of life going to the Mosque and learning the Koran, but now he reads the Bible, goes to church and loves Jesus as his Saviour.

I asked him what happened to his legs? He told me when he was a baby he was frightened by a witch, and his arms and legs became useless. One of the Muslim leaders prayed for his hands and his hands were restored but not his legs.

Recently we have started to go to a home for children, where some of the children are orphans and others are handicapped in some way or another. Jane, one of the other crew members on the ship, received money from her church with the specific task of helping in the community. Being the Irish farm girl Jane is, the project ideally should be an outdoors project with some physical labour. This home was the perfect fit. Their playground is over run with weeds, their swings are crooked and their other playground equipment is also in need of repair. However, most importantly, many of the children are unable to make it down to the playground because there is no access. So the plan is to fix the equipment, level the football pitch and build a cement ramp down to the playground.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Canada Day is celebrated on July 1st across the country. July 1st marks the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada.
Good to know that Canada has a base in Sierra Leone.

Monday, June 27, 2011

What is the model and year of this fine tractor?

Some wildlife along the way.

On the way down the mountain we also passed through abundant, rich, fertile farming land.

Coming back down the mountain we shared the remaining tea and coffee with the men and women who were working.
It was a delightful surprise for them as well.
We seen many men and women using picks and other tools to break up rocks. Hard work. I think the smaller they can make the rocks the more value they are worth to sell.