Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Hosanna to Hallelujah

Blessed is the one who comes in God’s name. Psalm 118:26

We missed the Palm Sunday Service this year. We were saying farewell to a group of surgeons who had spent ten days doing general surgery at Mwandi. These operations were mainly very necessary hernias, though there were other life-saving procedures done as well. Peggy, the leader of the team, came to Mwandi as a young medical student over 10 years ago and pledged to return annually once qualified. This she has faithfully done.

Peggy’s team has been followed by Ozzie’s, who specialize in eye surgery and cataracts. This too is a wonderful blessing to the community here. There are almost 500 people now able to see who could not. It is always a very moving time when the eye-patches are removed and the patients realize they can see. It is a joyous occasion expressed by singing, dancing and ululations.

These operations put quite a strain on the staff and infrastructure of the hospital as they are over and above the usual referrals and other emergency cases. However, the American Board of Trustees make a generous contribution, assisting financially to help us to defray the cost of the extra food, cleaning materials and some of the overtime of the staff. Extra fuel is also required to screen patients, pick them up and return them home after the operation. This ministry could not be done without this support.

This work carried out by these doctors and the other hospital staff is a witness to, a reflection of and a response to the love of our servant Lord as we think today about the foot-washing and the ministry of the towel with the embracing of all in need, the sinner, the outcast and the healing beyond the physical. Tomorrow we move through the agony and passion of Good Friday and into the darkness of Holy Saturday followed by the dawning of the light of Easter and the announcement that: Christ is risen, He is risen indeed.

We wish you all a blessed Easter,
Keith, Ida, Catriona & Mubita

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