In case you are just joining our blog, Yaa and Adjoa are two little orphaned girls in the village that we had started adopting last August. They are the reason we even began the Ghana adoption process again in the first place. Then, a few months later their aunt had decided she could care for them, and did not want to relinquish them for adoption. God orchestrated the timing of it all so perfectly that not even one day had passed when we received word on two other orphaned girls that had just been brought to one of the orphanages our agency works with. We just happened to be the only family in the program who was paper-ready and had set preferences to be matched with two children in their age range. From there we accepted the referrals of the two new girls, Jennifer and Florence, who we are adopting now! Yaa and Adjoa will always hold a special spot in our hearts, and we are thankful we can still be in their lives and care for their needs, even though adoption is not part of that at this point. Last trip Jake and I began an educational sponsorship for Yaa and Adjoa so that they could attend school. Adjoa is going to soon be matched with a family on my sponsorship waiting list, and Jake and I will continue to sponsor Yaa.
Jake said that as he walked up to their house to visit them on Sunday, Yaa was out playing and she saw Jake coming from quite a distance away. He said Yaa took off in a dead sprint running towards him, with a huge smile. Then when she reached him she jumped into his arms and nestled right in. Talk about melting Jake’s heart! Upon seeing Yaa, Jake immediately noticed that she had a very bad infection and fungus-like substance growing out of one of her ears from the inside and that she was also running a fever. The next day he took her to our medical clinic to have her ear checked out. Upon her examination Nurse Mark discovered that she was running a very high fever and that her ear drum had burst b/c of the infection. He said in a way that was good because the ear drum burst to push the infection out of her body. But he said that if she would have gone another 24-48 more hours without medicine it could have turned into staph infection - and if that would have happened she would have likely died. Jake was pretty upset about that, but thankful that he was there in Asikuma at this point in time so he would know to take her in to get checked out (the aunt simply isn’t educated enough to know this was an urgent medical problem, and she wouldn’t have been able to pay for the care). It’s frustrating how totally preventable/curable sicknesses here can become fatal. Jake said it was also sad because when the nurse’s aid was taking Yaa’s measurements the nurse asked Yaa for her full name (not in English – in the village’s main language called Ewe). Yaa just kept responding by saying “Yaa” and the nurse kept asking her name and didn’t think Yaa could understand what she was asking. Eventually Jake realized what was going on and he told the nurse’s aid that Yaa doesn’t have a last name (because her mother has died and father has abandoned the family so they consider there to be no ‘family name’ left). That detail of Yaa and Adjoa’s lives still stings Jake and I because we know how close they were to being adopted. But, we trust God’s Sovereignty and hand in their lives. He has a plan for them, and we will follow His plan to have them remain in Asikuma. Jake did go and bring Yaa’s aunt to the medical clinic so that Mark could explain to her how to administer Yaa’s medicine. Our Foundation paid for Yaa’s medicine which was 12 Ghana cedis – a mere $6.
Jake said that the medical clinic has been packed from day to day. He says from about 8am-1pm there is a non-stop flow of people. The majority of the patients are children - infants to 8 year olds. He snapped this picture of the waiting room on Sunday and he said there was a line out the doorway.
Jake had also realized that the paint on the outside of the building and surrounding gate wall had already worn off and that the place looked really dingy. He found out that the men who had went and bought the paint last time had bought a cheapo paint that washed off in the rain. This time he sent some of our Kingdom Hoops boys into ‘town’ to buy an oil based paint that wouldn’t rinse away. Our team then spent an entire day cleaning the clinic up. They weeded, painted, and put up the sign that still hadn’t been installed and was just laying against the concrete wall.
Jake said an army of ants had also gotten in and taken over the storage/medicine room. So they cleared out all the medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, and went and bought a really strong chemical spray to clear out the bugs. Then they cleaned and wiped it all out and restocked the shelves.
A missions team from Lutheran Church of Hope (Des Moines) also dropped off medical supplies to our clinic today. They were in Ghana working with Globe Serve and going around to rural villages doing malaria prevention. They had planned to meet up with Jake to view our projects in Asikuma. Here are the nurses of the clinic stocking the new supplies. Betty (in blue) is the head nurse and oversees the clinic and whole staff.
It is our hope that we can eventually work together with Lutheran Church of Hope to create a medical campus consisting of our clinic/birthing center, radiology, orthopedic center, dentists, and eye doctors (this was all spurred by Doug Vander Weide, one of our regular tripsters and member of LCH). Obviously we are still in the initial brainstorming stages, and this was their first trip to see our clinic.
The main project for today was to sod the outside of the clinic. Jake thinks this will help with the bug problem and also, all the patients have been tracking dirt in because it surrounds the entrance of the clinic inside the outer gate next to the sidewalk. Very unsanitary! They brought in a load of black dirt this morning to go underneath the sod….
Spreading black dirt...
And they are just getting ready to lay the sod as we speak (yes, you are getting these updates in real time!). I should have a picture of the sod installed later today.
With all of the medical situations that have come up this trip (and more that I haven’t blogged about yet), it has been clear confirmation from the Lord that this clinic is definitely making an impact on this community!