Mobile Clinic to the North

A Journey HomeA Journey Home is the story of my mother’s experiences working as a nurse in a health clinic for the under-served in Ghana, West Africa. Click here to begin with the first entry of “The Journey Home”  My comments are in red.

CHAPTER 6

April, 1990

Greetings from Ghana, West Africa

God blessed our plans for the trip to the remote Northern Region in Ghana. Nine of us left Kumasi with enough food, water, and bedding for us all. We drove 8 hours on good roads and found a rest house with 2 beds, electricity, and fans but no running water. We ate sandwiches, then set up our cots after spraying for hordes of ants.

Mobile clinic accommodations. Notice bucket for water

The  Mobile clinic accommodations. Notice the blue bucket for water

The first requirement for ventures like this is a sense of adventure and good humor. Thinking of the comforts of home is out of the question because we are busy with logistics of enough water and privacy for a brief bucket bath.

By the second night, exhausted from 4 hours travelling rough, dusty roads, seeing 200 patients (with 3 nurses) the good humor and sense of adventure is wearing thin, especially with the power off, meaning no fans, eating and bathing by flashlight. So it is then God’s grace takes over.

A mother and child receive medical care under a tree.

A mother and child receive medical care beneath a shady tree.

The village was so poor our charge of 20¢ to be seen could not be paid by some, especially a family with three or four children. All medicines were free. Preaching was done by the evangelists while the patients waited. A small congregation was started last October as a result of a water well project. We hope they were encouraged and edified by our efforts.

The health of a village depends on clean water. This source of water contains hidden organisms harmful to humans.

The health of a village depends on clean water. This source of water contains hidden organisms harmful to humans.

The clinic in Kumasi is unable to support this kind of mobile work. My sponsoring congregation (Liberty Church of Christ) in Dresden, TN has donated $500 for a later trip to this area.

 

 

Water drilling provides a source of clean water for a whole village, thus, everyone comes out to watch.

Water drilling provides a source of clean water for a whole village, thus, everyone comes out to watch.

We take clean water for granted most of the time until a drought or disaster. Clean water is still not available in many parts of the world. I can’t help but think of Mama’s perspective on water. She grew up on a farm in Kentucky where water came from a well and the toilet was “out back”. Is it God’s irony that in her retirement years she found herself in similar circumstances?

I am thankful Mama relied on God’s grace when living conditions became uncomfortable.

JoyMartell  

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