Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Second Screening Day to Take Place Saturday

This Saturday we will be holding another screening day in Freetown.  Freetown, as you may know, is the capitol of Sierra Leone.  Some members of the Advance Team (those that go into the host country before the ship arrives to set up preparations) had done screenings in some of the outer provinces of the country and had scheduled about half of the surgeries we can perform during the 10-stay in the port.  These were collected through screenings held in each of those provinces, and all together 7,000 people were seen.  These patients have already begun arriving at the ship and surgeries have begun. 

When we arrived in Freetown, advertising was taking place for our screening which was to be held on March 7th at the National Stadium.  On that day, we had a tragic event take place and had to cancel the screening just three hours after we began.  The enormous crowd became unmanageable- there were some agitating others, about 700 people had been let into the stadium before our teams had arrived, there was some corruption going on with selling places in line (this is, and always will be, a FREE event), and with all these events taking place at once, a mad push for the entrance began.  The steel gate posts were bent in the process as the pushing and shoving increased in intensity and one man was found dead under the layers of people crushed in the stampede. 

This was a sad, heart-breaking day.  The desperation of people wanting help, the corruption, the child soldiers now grown into a generation of young adults that will fight tooth-and-nail for what they want, being inadequately prepared for these circumstances- all brought us to our knees that day as we mourned for what was supposed to be a joyous day.  We sought God's forgiveness for any ways where we could have done things differently.  And we sought His direction for ways to improve and make a second screening happen where these precious lives aren't put into any danger.

After two weeks of working on details with the various government officials and departments, we are gearing up for another screening day. 

Here is the radio jingle which will go out on several stations.  It is in English/Krio, so you may not understand it all (I certainly don't).  One thing that it does, is it mentions several of the conditions that Mercy Ships does not treat: asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure, reflux, etc.  Then it goes on to mention the conditions that we are equipped and staffed to provide help for:  benign tumors, goiters, cleft lip and palate, bowed legs, clubbed feet, cataracts, dental issues. 

Please join us in prayer that this Saturday our screening day will be:
  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Well attended by people who have conditions that we are able to help
  • Fruitful
  • A blessing to Sierra Leone

1 comment:

  1. So blessed to be able to peek in and see The Mercy Ship's ministry. We at Touchstone Christian Fellowship, back in the states are praying and so thankful for servants such as yourselves! Praises that the girls are loving it!In Christ, Sharon