After chapel, I began rounds with Dr. Dan in the maternity ward and let me start by saying, I knew these 6 weeks were not going to be easy. I just could not have imagined the reality of how hard it would be. It was a hard day. One hopeful pregnant woman tells me her story through a translator. Pregnant for the 6th time and she has no children. 2 late term stillbirths, 1 miscarriage, 2 newborns dead from malaria and pneumonia. Many women had similar stories. While not completely uncommon in her culture, her pain and tears were as real as any American woman hoping to be a mom. Heartbreaking.
Next, we made our way across to the pediatrics ward. The first bed we walked up to there was a small child who looked to be about 8 or 9, curled up beneath a blanket hooked up to IV and oxygen. She was brought in last night after being sick many weeks and was thought to have pneumonia. The child's family sat anxiously by her bedside. As Dr. Dan pulled back the blanket to examine her, it was clear she had died several hours before. My first pediatric case here in Zambia. Heartbroken.
The remainder of the day I worked in the outpatient and the HIV clinic as a steady stream of sick patients filed in. It was not an easy day.
But there were also moments of joy today. Children with giant smiles making faces at me and giggling as I treated patients in clinic. Watching the expansive Zambian sky turn 15 shades of red and orange as the sun went down. There will be more moments of joy here, there will be moments of dancing and singing and healing. His mercies are new every morning.
Today was a reminder that God is God, I am not. Today was a reminder that this life is a gift that will fade like the dust. Today was a reminder that this world is not our home. God is still good all the time, on the best days and on the most heartbreaking days. Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Tomorrow I will be rounding on patients and working in outpatient clinic on my own. Prayers appreciated.