Jan 12, 2011 Village Clinic #3/ Last Day!

January 13, 2011
posted by admin

This was our last clinic.  We had anticipated about a half day to leave time for packing but we had such a strong response (about 230 patients) we stayed later than planned.  Instead of leaving at lunch time and then returning, we worked through until about 4 p.m.   

clinic inside small church

This clinic was located in a sub-urban area of the metro city.  We partnered with another local church and actually held the clinic in the church building.   This location gave Mama an extra portion of boldness, Dr Laura Engbretson said, and she had to interrupt her a couple of times to provide interpretation about medical issues, she was so consumed with telling everyone about the Lord.  The pastor of this church gave me a sticker to bring home that said “Believe in Jesus Christ” in Hindi.

Nigel Bowen taking pictures

Lane O'Daniel and Mary Ellen Walker do triage

This clinic had an unusual number of young pregnant mother and mothers with toddlers.  Dr. Laura had a fetal dopplar that allowed the mother to hear the baby’s heart beat for the first time.   So when mothers came in fearful that they had not felt the baby moving as much as it should, she relieved their fears by letting them hear the heartbeat.

I could not resist taking some pictures of the beautiful faces of some of the children at this clinic.  Aren’t they amazing?!

While I’m on the topic, Dr. Lewis spent much time on this day in a true labor of love!  He used some of the funds contributed through Seeds Ministries, Inc for this purpose: to buy the local ministry leader some much needed computer equipment, a lap top and software.  His equipment had not been updated in about 8 years.  Dr. Lewis supervised the shopping and the painstakenly installed the software, converted and transferred files.  The whole task took him much of 9 hours, but oh how the local ministry appreciates the technology.  You know how all of us are so dependent on technology to get our information out!  Dr. Lewis has helped me several times, until very late at night on technology issues.  It’s very good to have someone with his knowledge on the team.    Some members of the team also donated money for two bikes for the ministry leader’s children.  I can attest to the fact that they were beyond repair.   The kids really bonded with us, and after the going away banquet, the oldest boy who is six, tried not to show his tears.  How sweet!  

The ministry leader’s wife and Mama prepared certificates for each of us and we all receive very beautiful, hand selected gifts of jewelry, saris, toe rings, bracelets, blankets, and shirts.  We dressed up and enjoyed one last meal together.  

dressed up for our final dinner in India

Post note: This is my last blog for this trip.  We are now in Delhi preparing to head home.  This has trip has been nothing less than a beautiful, shining gift from my sweet Lord and I am so grateful to have been able to come.  The team from Memphis embraced me as one of their own and Dr. Lewis and Jan are two amazing mission heroes!   Pray for our safe travels.  Much love and heart-felt thanks to those who gave so that we could bring all the medical supplies.  May you be blessed in return.   India is a rich with color, flavor and history.  I hope you all get to experience it one day, too.

Jan 11, 2011 Village Clinic #2

January 13, 2011
posted by admin

 After breakfast we met in Dr. Lewis’ room again to prepare for the day.  Dr. Bob talked what prescriptions were running low and what possible drugs could be used in place of those, if needed.  We talk about the previous day’s clinic and how overwhelming it felt to be mobbed by the villagers.  I asked if it might be possible to set up check-in where people were asked to stand about 3 feet or so away from the table and then permitted to step forward in their turn by some sort of gatekeeper.  Dr. Lewis was not hopeful that this could be achieved, but we submitted it to the Lord that morning in prayer.

I was on heavy meds for my cough, congestion and sore throat on top of the malarone, so the 2-hour bumpy drive out to The Farm left me feeling really bad.  When we arrived, David and his wife, the caretakers of the property, were preparing our lunch.  There on a small fire in the center of the open area of the compound was a pot of boiling, freshly cut lemongrass tea!  God is so good!  I keep experiencing his faithfulness in the things I taste here.  I’m telling you, nothing ever tasted so good on a queasy stomach as that lovely tea.   Thank you so much Lord for being so personal and close to us to hear our spoken and un-spoken prayers.  

Christy and Lane O'Daniel enjoy lemongrass tea at The Farm

The village we visited that afternoon was so different than the day before.  Much to our surprise, when we pulled up to the village square, the building we would be using had a staircase leading off the street, with a level area for the tables before a ramp which lead into the building.  It was set up perfectly to accommodate the “gatekeeper” idea!  A village leader showed up and even offered to sit with us all day at the head of the line and make sure people came forward one at a time, alternating male and female.

the gate, an answered prayer

Again, God is showing off and I rejoiced!  I sat at my check-in station all day, knowing prayer made the difference.  I prayed that the Holy Spirit would send invisible “showers of blessing” to keep the dust watered down, that his angels would hold back the crowds and that He would send a comforting breeze to cool the people as they waited patiently without any shade.  The day was such a pleasure and a joy!

women and men wait in single file, with village leader in tan pants

what a nice line!

On this day, Dr. Clay Jones encountered a man with painful neur0fibromatosis, or solid tumors which develop on  nerve endings.  It’s a hereditary condition.  The man, not knowing what his condition was and fearing he had cancer, needed some guidance, assurance and medication.

man with neurofibromatosis

Dr. Ray Walker counseled and prescribed pain medication for a man with advanced leprosy.  He was missing several fingers and toes. He treated an ulcer on his leg.  He also saw a young child with cerebral palsy and counseled a loving father on how to best help him with medications, etc.

Dr. Laura Engbretson said she was pretty sure she treated a man with cancer as he was wasted away and several cases of pneumonia.  Mama helped Dr Laura by translating every day.   Laura told me that on this day, as a young mother sat down at her examination station, Mama said to the lady, “you have come to see a doctor, but I want to tell you about the source of true healing,” and she gave that lady a gospel tract.   We cannot hand out literature as foreigner, but we can partner with the local church and through these medical clinics, create a magnet that draws the lost to Christ.

I took this picture of a man walking with his ox cart across the street from the clinic.   A couple of things are interesting about this picture.  First, in the distance you will notice a large water reservoir or lake.  Water, many times in the Bible, is associated with blessing.  Second, if you look closely, you can see the ox’s horns are painted blue.  I asked our local ministry leader about this and he said the Hindus just celebrated a festival of light and they paint everything blue, their houses and even their ox’s horns!

blue horns

 As we were packing up, the school children gathered around and counted to 100 in English!  Wow!  I have thought since then, what makes the difference between two villages not more than 30 minutes from each other –  one seemed so oppressive and dry and the other so open and full of order.   Please pray that the seeds that were planted in this village will be watered by the Lord and produce much fruit.  Also, that they will have a hunger and thirst to learn more about the Great Physician, Jesus.

a heart to learn

new friends

Jan 10, 2011 Village Clinic #1

January 13, 2011
posted by admin

blessed are the poor in spirit

We left The Farm after our lunch and drove about 15 minutes to a nearby village.  We parked the vehicles and walked single file through narrow streets with sewer running down the center, which required us to jump over back and forth as we approach our clinic site.   Some of the Bible students, Momma and Daddy (ministry leader’s parents) had arrived early to set up the tables and a large tarp covering. 

sewer in the streets

our street front location

The check-in table where I was sitting along with Jan Lewis and our translators was right on the main road.  As men and women lined up to be checked-in, they began to push and shove which stirred up an incredible amount of dust.  This was exacerbated by the normal foot, bicycle  and oxen traffic already moving up and down the road. 

Jan Lewis, always cheerful, even in the dust!

The team worked diligently and was able to see 141 patients in about 2.5 hours!  There was a hernia, and lots of cases of parasites.  Dr. Clay Jones said he listens for patients to describe stomach pain, body aches, rashes, abdominal cramps, and weakness and typically that indicates parasites.  Also, he had a man who complained of pain radiating into his back 10 minutes after eating which he identified as most likely a bad gall bladder surgery.  He explained to the man he would need to see a doctor and possibly need surgery, but to deal with this short term, he should eat small, frequent meals and avoid spicy or greasy foods.  Dr. Laura  Engbretson said she has never heard such bad lungs – it’s no wonder, with all the dust! 

Dr Clay Jones and his trusted interpreter Prajucta

Treva Jolley takes a turn with the camera

 The last patient of the day walked in as we were packing up.  This young 19 year old man had a boil on his lower abdomen.  Dr.  Ray Walker took care of the procedure to drain the boil and bandage him up, prescribing antibiotics.  While they were finishing up, he passed out on the ground which created some excitement.

Dr Walker assisted by his wife Mary Ellen remove a boil

Even though this village was oppressive, hot and dusty, unruly, etc., we trust the Lord brought us there for a purpose.  We can trust the Lord to know that although it may have seemed random, there were divine appointments that day.  People needed to feel cared for and loved, to have someone listen, and to have a gospel tract.   Please pray for this town, that those that came might be drawn to Christ and to the ministry that will soon come to it’s community.

a thankful heart

On the 2- hour ride back into the city, we noticed the smog from the power plant and experienced the anxieties (mild description) of the night-time, rush hour traffic madness.  We were all pretty exhausted after this day. I didn’t realize the severity of the situation but on the way back into the city that night several of us began to feel sharp pains in our chest and by bedtime, I could hardly breathe.  Our lungs were filled with the dust of 1000’s of years of human and animal traffic.  The next morning, my throat was swollen and red and I started a Z-pak.  I have a greater appreciation for those who live in these dusty and poluted conditions.

... for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jan 10, 2011 The Farm

January 13, 2011
posted by admin

The team was excited about going out to the rural Indian villages for a few days of clinics.  After breakfast we had a team meeting in Dr. Lewis room, as we do each morning, and had devotions.  Then we discussed the day and what to expect as far as the drive out, visit to “The Farm” (24-acre future site of orphanage/school/hospital) and about how we would stage the free clinic in the village.

power plant with coal buckets

We loaded into our three Tata 4-wheel drive vehicles and headed out .  It took us approximately 2 hours to get out to The Farm and along the way we drove past the fringe area of our metro city with its vast array of small, open-air  retail and fabrication shops, old men sitting outside in plastic chairs drinking tea, and motor scooters humming in and out . About half way, we passed a huge coal-based power plant with its monstrous cooling tower and smoke stacks.   Coal is mined in the area nearby and transported to the power plant inside small gondola type cars that run on wires.  During our drive out we didn’t notice the pollution so much, but then on the way back into the city around dusk, we could really see the smog.   It was apparent that India does not have the same standards for environmental regulation as the US.  This is India’s dirty underbelly.

country road

The double lane road ended at the power plant.  Beyond that point, there was one lane 3/4 width, not wide enough for two cars, so when cars or trucks past each other it was a game of chicken as to who would give in and drive one tire on the shoulder.  To complicate matters further,  let’s add in ladies with large bundles of sticks on their heads, ox carts hauling massive piles of hay, a herd of cows, and farm laborers.  The drainage structures under the road give you some idea as to the amount of rain that comes during the monsoons (June 1 – July 31).  Incredible!

calculate that run off!

Soon, we entered into a fertile agricultural area.  Farms flanked the road with small farm plots of wheat, rice, lentils, cotton, lentils, and alfalfa. There were also fruit groves of oranges, mangoes, guavas, and mangos. 

lentil bushes in bloom, planted between rows of cotton

We arrived at The Farm around lunch time.  We got out of the vehicles and the local ministry leader, who traveled with us (we were never without him)  lead us on a walking tour of the 24-acre site.  It felt good to be out in the pure fresh air of the country side and to feel  the warm of the sun.

walking toward the compound

An 8-foot concrete fence is being constructed around the entire property, which is approximately 75 percent  complete.  Nigel Bowen on our team came over on a previous construction team and helped build a portion of the fence.  The Farm is truly a blessed spot!  The local ministry leader’s father dreamed about the site and saw it’s unique hills and the large tree in the center the property.  He searched for the land with a realtor for a long time, but when he saw it, he knew it was the land God had for them.

inspecting progress on the fence

The land is already planted with crops including cotton and lentils.  A stream runs through it which provides irrigation.  Small huts on stilts allow farmers to sleep on the land and protect it from foraging animals while being vigilant for tigers.

huts where farmers sleep at night

While we were on our walk, we met a very old Indian woman on a path at the edge of the property.  Mary Ellen Walker had apple flavored candy sticks and gave her one.  She had never tasted anything like it! What a picture!

oh taste and see that the Lord is good!

Lunch was prepared for us at the small compound and hostel in the center of the property by the grounds keeper, David, and his wife.  She cooked traditional Indian food over a charcoal fire: rice, lentils, curried tomatoes, and chapati bread.  The lentils and tomatoes were grown on The Farm.   There was also a well  which goes down so deep it produces fresh water which we can drink.  The compound has  concrete walls with a gate, 3 or 4 concrete rooms, two western –style toilets, and open cooking area, and a partially covered courtyard.

lunch made over the fire


After lunch, our ministry leader had a nice core board image of the future lay-out of this property.  In the next five years, as God provides the financial resources, the vision is for this property to have  40 orphan cottages, and a public area with hospital, school, and recreation open for  the surrounding villages.  It will also be self-sustaining with poultry farms and gardens that will produce many fruits and vegitables.  The overflow will be sold to buy spices that cannot be grown on The Farm.  The public areas and services will help to provide a Christian witness in a rural area that is strongly Hindu and Buddhist. 

catching the vision!

Power is now at the property line after 5 years of waiting!  One of the top needs is to bring power into the property.   This will involve setting the poles and running the lines.  Also, there is an interest in solar and wind power, and some upgrades needed at the compound.   Nigel Bowen, with Bartlett United Methodist Church (Memphis area) is considering putting together a construction team for Oct 2011 to address some of these projects. 

We delayed at The Farm a little longer than originally planned before leaving for our clinic because one of the drivers of a vehicle bringing supplies for the village clinic, hit a dog in a village coming in and was drug from his car and beaten.  He was OK, but our ministry leader wanted to wait until things settled down before taking us “foreigners” out again.  These considerations can never leave your mind.

The medical clinic today and tomorrow will be used not only for medical care and outreach, but also to help establish positive relationships between our local ministry partner and their neighboring villages.  

I’ll cover the first village medical clinic in my next blog.

Jan 9, 2011 Sunday worship

January 11, 2011
posted by admin

Dr Jones plays guitar

Sunday worship

On Sunday, we joined the local church we are partnering with for worship and teaching.  They meet in the lower level of the Boys House  (where we had our first clinic).   The church is made up of most the boy and girl orphans, numbering about 74, and many from the surrounding community.  The Boys House is on the left in the picture below.  The building on the right is under construction and it will house the church meeting place, offices and bible school when completed.

Boys House/Church

When we arrived, the praise and worship was going strong with guitars, and two types of bongo drums.  It’s hard to describe the joy that is found in the praises of the orphans.  They are not inhibited and even some of the tiniest ones will often lift their hands up to praise God. 

The local ministry leader opened a time of testimony.  Several little hands shot up.  Little girls and boys stood up from sitting on the floor and boldly gave a testimony of God’s faithfulness.  I want to stress that these are kids under the age of 12 and most  who spoke were about 6 or 8 years old. One said I was sick, but I am better now.  One said after the Friday night prayer and fasting , two children were delivered from demons and healed.  One said she wanted to thank God for helping her go to school and for every promise.   One 4 year old boy thanked God for helping him memorize his Bible verses.  He couldn’t , but then at the last minute he could.

 “Mama”, the ministry leaders mother, thanked God for our teams arrival as we are the only medical team that supports this ministry.  She said there was a time of prayer and fasting by all the orphans on Friday night for this week’s clinics.  A lady in the community who had been in bed for 20 years testified to God’s healing power.  She had been witnesses to by a Bible student and decided she would come to church.  She wore her husband down in asking until finally he and three other men brought her to the church service and she was completely healed.  She told this story and thanked God again!  Another lady said she brought a friend with her at Christmas time who had a severe infection in one of her fingers and it was healed.

A beautiful young Bible student came forward to give her testimony.  She spoke of the joy of being able to serve the Lord by distributing the gospel tracts the day before.  She talked about her desire to serve the Lord in every place not matter what problems or persecution she might face.

boys reciting their scripture

Dr. David Lewis brought a message from Mark chapter 4 about how we need to have faith and flexibility when we face times of fear.  He said we will all face these times, everyone of us, but the important thing to remember is that Jesus is there with us and He is in control.   We experience the character of God in different ways when we go through the storms.  Jesus has a blessing , a plan for us even in the storms.  We wouldn’t know God was able to deliver unless we had gone through the storms.  His message was very well received.

Dr Lewis brings the message


We had a group picture and then went to the ministry leader’s house for lunch.  We had some delicious tika chicken, grilled and tinder and lentils with rice.   In the afternoon, the ministry leaders wife took all the ladies shopping for Indian outfits and tea.  It was a nice relaxing day.

Jan 8, 2011 Clinic at Buddhist shrine

January 10, 2011
posted by admin

village town square with statue

Today, we offered a free  clinic in a  in a village next to a Buddhist shrine.  This was our first clinic not associated with the orphan chilren specifically.  Our clinic locations are determined in cooperation with the local ministry/local church that we are partnering with on this trip.  (they run the orphanage and Bible school)  The large, central Indian city of 3.2 million which we are near has the largest Buddhist temple in India and boast of 10,000 converts per year.

Buddha on the right, pharmacist on the left!

 It was a small village and we arrived in the public square where there was a public multi-purpose building which the village leaders allowed us to use.  You can see from the photos of our area where the team is beginning to set up that inside the right door is a statue of Buddha.  Outside on the town square, there is a large statue of a man who wrote the Indian constitution and was a beloved leaders and philanthropist.   He is viewed as a type of saint, or god here, and some of the children had his picture on a necklace around their necks.

Two years ago, when this team tried to hold a clinic at this location, there was opposition from local leaders, and a police escort was involved. The clinic did not work out.  This year, the situation was quite different.   The new “mayor” of the village is a graduate of the Bible school that is run by our local ministry partners..   He was therefore very supportive of the clinic.  He welcomed our team with a ceremony  and each of us were  presented with a lei of marigolds by one of the senior citizens of the community. 

Jan Lewis receives a lei

The local leader even allowed Bible school students to pass out gospel tracts in the neighborhoods around the clinic. This is a predominately Hindu and Buddhist area.  What a testimony of how God is using this local ministry and the Bible school to impact the surrounding communities.   Each day, we praise God for the strong Christian young men and women from the Bible school who assist each of us as a personal translator. We ate lunch in a local home and experienced some great hospitality. 

Mary Ellen Walker talks to student interpreters

 We served about 250 people this day, with a variety of medical conditions.  It must have been senior day because we had so many senior citizens come.  One older man was  sent straight to the local hospital because his blood sugar was so high, our equipment could not read it. (over 500)  We had one 28-yr old female HIV patient, who had contracted the diseaase from her husband, a trucker, who had now left her.  She had many questions of Dr. Clay Jones about her future. The older Indian men and women have such amazing faces, I love to photograph them. We had  a 2- year old albino girl come, which was interesting.  The physicians tried to help her mother understand the importance of sunscreen and eye protection, to which the mother responded with indifference.

man with high sugar


albino girl


It was fascinating to see a herd of cows occasionally walking down the street.  I just couldn’t get used to seeing that.  

cows in the street


On Sunday, the day after this clinic, one of the girls at the Bible school in the sewing program gave a powerful testimony of how blessed she felt as she boldly distributed gospel tracts.  She told us how all the orphans had fasted and prayed all night Friday for prayer covering for these clinics.  When she was finished with the tracts, she returned to the orphange where she still lives, went up on the roof and got on her knees, worshipping Jesus and thanking him for the honor of serving Him.  She wants to be a powerful witness for Christ.   Her boldness is truly an inspiration for us!

Jan 7, 2011 Clinic at Girls House

January 9, 2011
posted by admin
girls from the orphanage line up


The clinic at for the orphans at the Girls House was set up across the street from the Girl’s House.  It was made by stringing rugs and blankets on poles to create walls.  

setting up clinic in Girls Home neighborhood


Christy handles check-in, (Girls House - green)


 The neighborhood had concrete houses with wrought iron fences and a dirt road.  Most people in this neighborhood use a public well.    There are cows that wonder the streets and a mongrel dog lay in the road nursing two pups as we set up. 

street near Girls House


cows roaming


Across the street from the clinic you can see a small brick structure with a flag on the top.  That is a Hindu shrine for the neighborhood. 

brick Hindu shrine across from our clinic


At this clinic, Dr Laura (OBGYN) was happy to have another Indian OBGYN come by to help in the morning.  This clinic was not only attended by the orphan girls for their annual check-ups, but also by  many mothers and children from the neighborhood. 

Indian doctor lends a hand


The Indian doctor wrote 4 or 5 prescriptions for each a patient, which kept Bob the pharmacist busy.  Also the Indian doctor uses different dosing, so sometimes Bob had to cut pills in halves or fourths. 

Bob stays busy


Dr Clay Jones said that there were a lot of lice and scabies observed on this day and also a lot of warts from the Girls House.   One girl came in who had it and they have all been walking on the floor and spreading it.  Dr. Jones  told me how they treat them, which I found very interesting.   First, he scrapes the wart off the foot and then places a baby asprin on the shaved place and puts a bandaid on it.  Each day the place is cleaned and a new asprin is placed back on the spot.  This goes on for a week and it is very successful in removing the wart! 

docs at work


end of the day


We treated about 150 patients on this day, about 36 girls and many woman, children and elderly from the neighborhood.   Tomorrow, we will have a clinic in a little village square a few miles away. 

Sorry for the delay in postings.  We have not had internet for two days.  Just want you to know we are eating well and enjoying the variety of indian dishes, especially dosa that is serve for breakfast which is kind of like an Indioan crepe made with rice flour and filled with potatos chutney and spices.   

One of our team members, June Peterson, did get good poisoning one night, but is well now.  We cannot get water in our mouths here from the tap, which is hard to remember when we brush our teeth or shower, also we miss ice in our drinks very much.  

The moon is in crescent phase  here and venus is very bright.  The crescent is like a smile, not a vertical crescent, which is very unusual.  

We have been following the India / South Africa cricket on TV in the evenings.  We look to Nigel Bowen, our Bristish team member to explain the game.  Don’t quiz me on it, I’d fail.  Cricket is huge in India. 

I hear you have had snow at home and I can sympathize….yesterday, was the coldest day in all of recorded history in India.  Somewhere in the country it was 32 degrees!  :-)      Even when it gets that cold at night, the daytime temps are usually in the mid- to high 70′s. 

 Psalm 34:8 has come to my mind so many times here: “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!  Oh the joys of those who find their refuge in him!”  I feel the Lord’s blessing each time I see a colorful sari,  breath the fragrant air or taste the amazing food here.  God is with us and we thank Him!

Jan 6, 2011 Clinic at Boys House II

January 7, 2011
posted by admin

Check-In:  Jan Lewis and Christy Parker


Jan Lewis

Christy Parker

Christy Parker and Jan Lewis completed a form for each patient and also had their name and number written on a white board with erasable marker.  This process involved asking for the patient’s name and age.   We learned to greet each patient and ask these questions in the Hindi language, although we did need the help of an interpreter with understanding and spelling the patient’s name.   As the patient left check-in, they walked to the next station with their form and white board.

Photo / Height/ Weight:  Nigel Bowen

Nigel Bowen

Nigel Bowen

Nigel asked each patient to  hold the white board in front of them as he took their photo for their file.  Then he measured them up against a wall and weighed them.   The height and weight were recorded on their form by his interpreter.

Blood Pressure:  June Peterson and Treva Jolley

June Peterson

Treva Jolley

June and Treva took blood pressure and occasionally checked blood sugar.   The also used the stethoscope to check for heart murmurs.  The equipment they used was a little scary for babies so they found ways to distract the little ones and handed out gum making them the favorite stop along the way.


Triage:  Mary Ellen Walker and Lane O’Daniel

Mary Ellen Walker

  • Lane O'Daniel

Mary Ellen and Lane asked a lot of questions of each patient and made notes for the physicians.  There was a check-list of symptoms on the form that they used as a guideline.  Their notes were used to help direct that person to the right physician in the next phase. 

Medical Assessment and Treatment: Dr. Laura Engbretson, Dr. Clay Jones, Dr. Ray Walker

Dr Laura Engbretson

Dr Clay Jones

Dr Ray Walker

Each person received one-on-one, confidential treatment by a team physician.  An interpreter was present at each station to help the communication go smoothly.  If a physical examination was needed, the kitchen was used as an examination room.   The types of medical conditions that were treated included: rashes, groin itch, leg pain, runny nose and cough, ear infections, tooth abscess, stomach pain, allergies, high blood pressure, and skin infections.

Dr. Clay Jones treated one 10-year old boy who, along with his brother, came to the orphanage a few years ago after being abandoned by their parents in a region of India near the Nepal and Chinese borders.   These two boys had suffered from previous physical abuse.  This little boy had a severe foreskin fungus infection and scaring that was causing pain.  Dr. Jones examined the boy and through the interpreter explained that the boy did not have to worry, that there was a procedure that could make him well.  He explained circumcision in terms that the boy could understand.  Dr. Jones told the team later that the boy suddenly began to exhibit post-traumatic stress syndrome by crying, rocking and holding on to his ear lobe.  Dr. Jones also said that this is a text book response for kids who have had severe sexual abuse and who feel trapped or scared; they are remembering their pain.  Dr. Jones has a close bond with this child as he has seen him on previous trips and seeing him in so much emotional pain, really broke his heart.

Dr. Laura Engbretson treated a lady who asked her very seriously if there was any medicine she could give her to make her breasts bigger.  Some things are the same all around the world!

Dr. Walker diagnosed and prescribing antibiotics for a severe case of cellulitis, or skin infection on a patient that if left untreated could spread and create sepsis.

Drug Dispensing:  Bob Muklevicz, Pharmacist

Bob Muklevicz, Pharmacist

Bob is probably the busiest of any person on the team.  Some patients receive three or four prescriptions.  He has to gather each medication then, with the assistance of the interpreter, the description of the medicine and their specific instructions have to be written on the bag.  This requires a high degree of concentration and attention to detail.  Bob has been invaluable on the trip helping to make sure all the right medications were included.

this is the day that the Lord hath made!

As the sun went down, the mosquitos came out and we quickly packed up and headed back into town.  We enjoyed this day so much!  We are so grateful that the Lord would allow us to be his hands and feet to provide a healing touch to sick and broken bodies, and to provide encouraging and love to those who have broken hearts.   Please pray for those who desperately need hope and a relationship with Jesus Christ, our Great Physician and the one who binds up the broken hearted.   We feel your prayers here.

Jan 6, 2011 Clinic at Boys House I

January 7, 2011
posted by admin


Dr. Laura Engbretson and Christy Parker in scrubs

 Last night, many of us on the team did not sleep well.   A large Indian wedding party took place on the floor beneath our row of rooms and the blaring Bollywood dance music was so loud it actuallly shook our rooms, not an exaggeration.  It was at least 1:30 a.m. before the music stopped (thanks to the gentle persuasion and multiple front desk visits by Dr. Laura)  We were all a bit tired for our first medical clinic, but our enthusiasm more than made up the difference!!

We started the day by meeting in Dr. Lewis’ room and divided supplies and packed what we needed for the day in several large suitcases.  Then we headed off for the Boys House where we would be providing well and sick child check-ups for each boy and also for any villagers in the neighborhood who would also come for treatment.  These clinics will be a source of outreach to the predominately Hindu populations. 

team inspects new Girls House (Boys House and new Bible school/office/church in background)

Before arriving at the Boys House, the local ministry leader took us to see the construction of the new  Girls House (but temporary until they all move to new 24 acre site) which is in the same area as the Boys House.  In the photo above,  you can see the team inspecting the construction and in the back ground you can see two tall buildings in the back ground.  The three-story building on the right is the Boys House (blue) and the slightly shorter building on the left (unfinished) is the new Bible school/office/church building.  It will be so much more convenient for the ministry staff to have both children’s houses in close proximity.  This is a rural area on the outskirts of town.

team arrives at Boys House

We set up the medical clinic in the lower level of the unfinished building next to the Boys House.   The boys lined up and waited patiently for their turn to be seen.  Soon the word spread and people in the neighborhood were also in line.  We started at 11:00 a.m. and ended about 5:30 p.m.  All total, we assessed and treated 89 people ages 1 year  to 75 years old. 


boys wait in line


mother and children

old man

Below are photos of each team member and a description of their responsibilities.  Each team member had a translator assigned to them which were primarily Bible school students who had strong English speaking skills.

Organizing the Day:  Dr. David Lewis

Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis made sure we were prepared for our day by assigning each of us a day to be responsible for  daily devotion (a special “thank you” to the lady at  Bartlett United Methodist Church for the terrific devotional guides).  He also provides oversight  and accounting of all medicine and medical supplies that were taken on this mission trip.  He arranged suitable accommodation, food and drivers to safely transport us to and from  the clinic sites.   During the day, he makes sure we are kept hydrated, makes sure the process flows smoothly, helps assign translators, gives us lunch breaks and reminds us to take our malarone (malaria medicine) in the morning!



Jan 5, 2011 Meeting the Orphans

January 6, 2011
posted by admin

Central India

We flew out of Delhi on Indigo Air at 9:00 a.m. and landed in Central India around noon.  It’s hard to describe the vast differences between this part of India and the big city of Delhi, but I would have to say that THIS is what I though India would be like!  Delhi with it’s  cold, gray concrete, smog, congestion and poverty and been replaced with colorful saris, a burgeoning economy, fragrant flowers and citrus groves, wide streets filled with scooters and motorcyles, and warm sunny days.   It is like a foreigner coming to the US and only visiting the Bronx in New York and trying to formulate an opinion of America without experiencing the scenic beauty of the rural areas.  I’m so glad our team got to visit this part of India – it’s so beautiful!   The days are 70 degrees and nights in the 50′s, although, we’ve been told it can get over 110 degrees in the summer!

tree lined streets

After checking into our hotel and getting lunch, we headed out of town about45 minutes to visit the orphanage and community were we will be serving for the next eight days.  We arrived at the home of the ministry leader with his wife, three children and his parents, who are involved in the day-to-day operation of the orphanage.   We enjoyed coffee, sharing gifts (I was able to present more handmade dishtowels from Juanita Weaver in Whitetop Virginia) and watched an excellent video put together by a short term mission team from NC on the orphanage program and its’ God sized vision. 

presenting dish towels

The orphanage has 74 children who have rescued from the streets and railway stations all over India. India has a poplulation of 1.3 billion people, and of these, 35 million are ophans.  At this program, the children range in age from 2 years old to 18 years old and are without parents and previously without hope, most have been physically or sexually abused.   The ministry incudes not only the orphanage, consisting of a Boys House and Girls House but also vocational training programs, a Bible school and a church.  The ministry has a staff of about 22 people including cooks, house parents, Bible school teachers, maintenance and drivers.   The future vision of the ministry is to expand out to a 24 acre site which they own and to build 40 orphan cottages (each would contain 25 orphans with two house parents), a school, medical clinic, a church, a well, and recreational facilities that could be used by the surrounding villagers.   The property would also have gardens, poultry, dairy and fish farm to allow the program to be self sufficient.  The ministry is interested in short term mission teams to come for construction, gardening, and alternate energy projects like solar and bio-gas.

Rencently, the landlords of the rented Girls House informed the ministry they would have to vacate.  So the since the move to the 24 acre property is still about 2 years out, they bought a small plot near the Boys House and are building a new Girls House.   When the cottages are ready on the new property all the orphans will move out to the property together.

worship with the children

worship band

Then we were invited to a special worship service with the orphans.   We arrived at the Boys House as it was getting dark.  All the children, boys and girls, were in their shirts and dresses and provided us such a joyful time of praise and worship!   Several older boys placed guitar and drums.  One 16 year old boy told of how he had been abandoned as a child and found love and hope through this minstry.  The children had made us leis of white, yellow and orange marigolds which they placed around our necks.  They were each so loving.  We toured the Boys House, a three story concrete structure with basic washing, bathroon and kitchen.   All the children are provide uniforms to attend public school but have tutoring, daily prayer time and Bible study though the orphanage program.

I have been looking forward to this time to meet the children who I have only seen on Christmas cards and newsletters for the past few years.   God has worked all this out in His perfect way, and in His perfect time.  What a blessing to be a part of giving these children hope and future.   We will start tomorrow with our first medical clinic at the Boys House and surrounding streets.