Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The mutchembele (respected woman)

I have rarely seen Eleanor cry, but today was one of those days. Jessalyn has been videotaping for a motion picture that we intend to show in September at the Paramount Theatre in Abilene for our annual fundraiser. We had spent several hours in a village with a woman who is almost completely blind due to cataracts. For the film we hope to follow her through her surgery at Namwianga Rural Healthcare Centre this Sunday as she has the cataracts removed by Dr. Teague of Abilene.

We filmed most of the morning at her little home and we knew she hadn't had anything to eat, so we tried in vain to convince her to ride with us in our vehicle to Namwianga to have lunch with our advance-team, but she felt that she was troubling us and refused. We finally convinced her to go with us, to allow us to get her some food and then take her back home. As we arrived at Namwianga the advanced-team was just about to have lunch so we coaxed her to the back yard of the guest house to introduce her to the team. Because she can't see, she didn't recognize anybody but I made a point to introduce her individually to Ellie. When she realized that it was Ellie she squealed with joy, and reminded Ellie that Ellie had come to her village more than 30 years before to teach a woman's Bible class.

She was very excited, and went on to say that she got up this morning and decided to wear her special dress, a dress that she intends to be buried in, and dress that was given to her 30 years ago by Ellie! Something tells me she will go home with a new dress today, but today tears came into Ellie's eyes, and an old friendship had been renewed.

In a way the medical mission is a lot like that every day. While the medical mission is a huge undertaking, it is the single acts of kindness, generosity and care by individuals that bring glory to the Lord. While our goal is to provide those acts of kindness to the Zambian people, many times it is the Zambian's who give these blessings to us rather than the other way around.

Our full team is to arrive on Saturday and we are preparing to meet them.

Thank you for your interest.

More to come.