Water taxi in Victoria, BC
It was 11:00 on a Friday night. My eyes strained to see the Interstate ahead of me. Semis and cars passed by me in a blur as I fought to keep my eyes open. Normally I wouldn’t find myself so exhausted at this time of night, but the last two weeks had kept me busier than normal. I had kept up a rigorous schedule at the Missionary Medical Intensive on Vancouver Island, British Columbia that hadn’t left much time for rest. As I turned off of I-90 and onto Hwy 23 I was excited. I was only 1 hour and 45 minutes away from Neil and Micah. But as I left the bright lights of the interstate behind me my eyes became heavier and heavier. I opened my windows and cranked up my music in an attempt to stay awake. I sang along to the music and focused on the lyrics praising God. Around 12:00 I got to a particularly dark stretch of road and my favorite song came on: 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.
Bless the Lord, O my soul
As I began to sing I suddenly had the urge to step on the brakes. The road appeared clear and there were no curves ahead. As I put on the brakes a very large deer ran out ahead of me, followed by her fawn just at the point where I would have ran head on into the family had I not put my brakes on. I sat there in my car, eyes wide open, thinking of what had just happened. The Lord had just very obviously shielded me from a disaster! I began driving again but this time I was awake and the words I sang rang even more true than before.
The sun comes up, it's a new day dawningThe Knoll House
I wanted to start off with the above story because this is a perfect example of one of the ways the Lord offered guidance, strength and focus while I was at the Equip International MMI in BC, Canada.
When I got to the Knoll House where the MMI was to take place I was impressed by the setting. The house was set above a bubbling brook that dumped into a large sandy swimming hole right below the deck. It would prove to be a nice place to do morning devotions and clear my mind between pages of homework. We were also fed from the Word of God daily by one of the Equip Representatives. His devotions were such a blessing to all of us.
During my time in at the Medical Intensive I had the privilege of being surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ who had a heart for worldwide missions. Our instructors had served the Lord overseas and I felt blessed to be learning from them. My mornings and afternoons were busy absorbing information in class. We covered a variety of topics ranging from: patient evaluation, examination, assessment, infection, immunization, sanitation and disease transmission, drug calculations, malnutrition and anemia, study of malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, treating venomous critter bites (snakes, spiders etc..), soft tissue injuries and lacerations, childbirth, types of bacteria and viruses, and types of skin rashes. One of my least favorite topics was the study of creatures that live on, in and under skin. And this is just naming a few of the topics we covered in the two week course!Practicing suturing technique
After class was over we would begin our labs which were practiced on dummies. I practiced inserting an NG tube (feeding tube), inserting urinary catheters, injections, splinting and casting, suturing, and physical exams.
The course’s most practical feature was the case studies. Each student had to complete 40 case studies (50 if you were a nurse). Most of my case studies were from Africa so I got some exposure to what diseases look like there. In the case studies we met patients who had a bizarre array of symptoms and, based on the findings from the physical exam from the case study, we were in charge of trying to correctly diagnose each patient. If we failed the first time in trying to diagnose them, we had one more try before they died. We used the book Village Medical Manual: A Layman’s Guide to Health Care in Developing Countries by Mary Vanderkool M.D. to look up each symptom and cross reference each possible diagnosis. By the time I finished the course I was VERY familiar with all 220 pages of the book. Besides the Case studies we also had homework looking up different drug names, their uses, and their dosages. We had to complete drug calculations in our homework. We also studied rehydration techniques and calculated how much fluids a dehydrated person needs and what type of fluids he would require.
My time at the Knoll House was full of activity. I was busy from 8:00 in the morning to 12:00 at night sitting in classes, eating meals, and completing homework. There were 12 people taking the course and each one offered encouragement and advice. It was a blessing to have completed the course with all of them.
While taking this course does not make me a doctor or a nurse, it better equips me to look after the medical needs of my family, should there be no doctor available. It is also a tool that can be used in the future to show the compassionate love of Christ to people who suffer from disease and poverty, should the circumstances allow and the opportunity present itself.
Thanks to those of you who have been praying for me and my family during the last two weeks. Neil was watching Micah and they had a great time! Also there were times during the course that I could tell people were praying for me and that knowledge really encouraged me. Also thanks to those of who have partnered with us financially. Because of you I was able to take this course.