Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cleft Lip Camp: South Sudan (October 23, 2012)

Warren and Youssef
It has been about a month since our last blog from DRC….now we join you from South Sudan!  We are here for the Samaritan’s Purse’s second annual cleft lip camp in the capital of South Sudan called Juba.  Some amazing things are happening in the lives of these people born with facial deformities!  To give you an idea of how significant this problem is, many of the people are named “deformity,” meaning that this is their identity.  It takes a lot of courage for people to even believe  that they can and even should be healed of their deformities.  I have been told that one of our patients, Youssef, ran away from the hospital several times.  Both Warren and I were involved in his surgery…he was the only man with a moustache.  I remember praying specifically for this man during the case.  He was so happy afterwards, wanting to shake hands with everyone.  He returned to his village by air today to his wife and children a changed man. 
Warren, Youssef, and Dr. Jim
There have been patients who have said that no one has ever loved them like this before, evidence that our God must be real.  This is so powerful and so true.  A large group of patients burned their amulets, having tangibly experienced that Jesus is more powerful than the spirits.  Some people have professed faith in Christ.  We pray that these people will grow in their relationship with Jesus as they return to their homes.

It has been great for Warren to work on his surgical approach to cleft lips, alongside ENT surgeons.  He has great technique already, but this is refining his skills and giving him confidence.  I have been helping to provide deep sedation (anesthesia) and working with an anesthesiologist.  This has been fun and kept me on my toes…a new realization that during a case I am responsible for a patient’s survival.  During critical care fellowship I have learned so many useful things for this setting.  I have provided anesthesia for many of Warren’s cases…adjusted his surgical loupes, scratched his back, and the list goes on-and-on….you know those surgeons need lots of assistance! 

I often say, “It is hot!”  Warren tells me that he is trying to break me of this phrase by coming to Sudan.  So far it is still hot and one sweats without doing anything.

On Friday and Saturday we will participate in a festival with Franklin Graham here in Juba, South Sudan, called “Hope for a Nation.”  Really looking forward to this!  We have been told that there will be choirs from throughout the country singing together.  After this we will travel to a place called Maban in South Sudan to work in a local hospital with lots of refugees from North.  I have been told that there are many malnourished children there and I am sure we will have our hands full.

Intake from Nuba Mountains
Overlooking Juba

Can you find my (Lindsey's) feet?
Goodnight from South Sudan!
Warren and Lindsey

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