numbers aren't just numbers
I wanted to record this somewhere and it seemed too long to post to Facebook. The clinic this month, as the pandemic rages on and almost everyone is trapped in their homes most of the time, has been getting busier and busier, even with the distancing and other restrictions we have to adhere to. We were able to add dental services back this month...we are trying salaried dentists now so that hopefully eventually we can schedule staff, pastors and the Milk Project kids to get seen and helped, that will be a big change.
494 General Medicine patients
143 Gynecology patients
14 blood pressure checks
41 pap smears
(I won't detail all the other misc. services provided)
157 eye exams
31 eye checks
3 ambulance trips
144 teeth pulled
13 teeth cleanings
20 temporary teeth
(and a bunch of other dental services)
around 660 laboratory exams
Numbers show part of a picture...but they always miss the tear jerking moments, the sweat and effort of the staff who keep going non-stop, and looking people in the eye over and over again who are afraid how they will survive another week.
I had the pleasure to listen to Mike Rowe this week. He has the voice and wit to read the phone book and make it interesting. He was talking about safety in general, relating it to COVID, and then discussed the refrain that we are "all in the same boat" and discussing that while we are all currently in the same storm...we are all actually not in the same boat. Different boats, same storm.
And that hit me like a ton of bricks.
Worldwide, there are changes, impact, and suffering related to COVID19, but how those take shape are definitely different. Add to that..how we perceive that impact for others is also skewed from our own perspective. I may have grown up in the USA...but I don't think I really understand well how people are dealing with this there in general, and in different areas of the country and dynamics. Then again...sometimes I am not exactly sure I understand how I am dealing with it myself.
We have been shifting gears here as you may know, trying to raise funds to buy food to feed people. We have a presence in eight different communities around Honduras now, and trying to get food to those different areas, something is becoming increasingly difficult. All the while...the need for such food is becoming increasingly important.
That is somewhat frustrating. The whole situation is frustrating, and I am not talking personally, but more for what I see for others. The future is especially murky right now, but it can be seen that in fighting one battle, there is another being waged...hunger, which is tied to the economy, or just being able to work, earn money, buy food.
Honduras has a population that lives in its majority on less than $2 per day. Take away most people's ability to work or leave their homes for two months, and the results of that won't just go away whenever quarantine restrictions are lifted, just as the results of this in general aren't going away anytime soon, in a myriad of ways. But I won't go on about that here.
How about some stories from today before I close with some clarity?
Clairty. It is lacking. It certainly plays a part in conspiracy theories. We want it, we crave it...we want an ordered and orderly world. But...it isn't there. At least not in the way we want it.
Very little seems clear right now, making plans or even anticipating anything more than a week ahead.
What is clear, through Christ, is that God is in control. I don't have anything to fear...because while murkiness abounds for me, I follow Him who sees all. He sees every boat in the storm, as well as the calm that will come.
Now I can take a deep breath, glance around virtually at dates, plans, hunger, problems, and more...and give it over to God, and try to play my part taking baby steps day by day. Now I just need to remember this every day.
May 12th, 2020
I don't think we are understanding our new normal yet.
Trying to think outside the box all the time I have not found veyr stimulating, especially since i am not even sure what the box looks like even a few weeks down the road. It feels like planning a painting looking at a set of colors, but the colors you can use keep changing.
We were discussing this week...how do we go back to doing the Milk Project even when the lockdowns end...smaller class sizes? Fewer hours...instead of two sessions a day...maybe four? Will masks be required? Will we have to modify how we serve food?
We are discussing things like this for just about every other area of ministry as well of course. We are still evaluating and changing how the clinic works on a semi-regular basis, so it requires some flexible thinking to be sure.
In the meantime though, we continue to look for ways we can show love and work within the restrictions around us. Plenty to be seen if we have the right eyes to see it. How about a few examples?
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