Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Costa Rica...And My Breaking

As you may remember my prayer for the people of Costa Rica was that God would break me for them...The first morning of clinic we got up very very early, launched from the motel, and headed to a remote village. Once again the drive was  interesting. 

We stopped in the middle of the road and let cattle go by us on either side, we crossed over a large fast flowing stream with a bridge made out of logs covered with dirt.  I aptly named it the mud bridge.  It had rained the night before and the roads were very muddy and rutty.  We saw iguanas sunning themselves...we saw workers in the pineapple fields, the further we went we saw fewer houses, yet when we drove up, there were around 200 people there waiting on us.
David said, where did all these people come from?  As I mentioned we were in a remote area with few houses and even fewer cars.  The preacher told us that the villagers had gotten up before dawn and walked for hours to get there.
The building that we used was their multi-purpose building...for church, for meetings for school assemblies. The principal had let school out that day so the children could have check-ups.  The building was made out of cinder blocks, had a tin roof and was open for about 3 feet between the cinder blocks and the roof.  This allowed the breeze to circulate, and for some reason  we were unable to use the large fans that were there.  The floor was beautiful ceramic tile.
We sat our clinic up in the shape of a stop sign.  We sat on the inside of the stop sign and had the patent's move around the outside.

The first station was registration, where we obtained their demographic information, took their vital signs and got a brief history and their chief complaint. 
From there they saw the physician, then were either seen by the nurse to have their ears washed out, collect a urine specimen, see the physical therapist or be fitted for a pair of reading glasses.
My station was the last one.  I dispensed their medicine. I gave all the children their first dose of antibiotic and had them to stay for about 30 minutes to make sure that they wouldn't have a reaction.
We dispensed thousands of pills.  Thousands.  David and Ronald became very good at reading the physician's hand writing and pulling the medicine for me.  I would double check the prescription and then dispense it.  We mixed so much Amoxicillin if we had been allergic to Penicillin we would be dead!!  I  marked the medicine cup with a sharpie so they the parents would give the correct amount.  Plus I made sure that they knew what signs and symptoms of an adverse reaction to look for.
Now all this said, you can see where our interpreters were very important.
Now for the breaking part. The only time we stopped was to eat lunch.  Around noon it began to get very hot.  I was guzzling water like there was no tomorrow, I poured water on my head and on my arms, I rubbed alcohol gel in my hair and on my arms to help cool myself off.  I poured water down the front and back of my shirt and on the legs of my pants. 
I went through 5 interpreters.  I noticed that they kept changing out, but I really didn't think a whole lot about it until James (10 years old) said "the interpreters said you are working like a machine."  I didn't realize what he meant at first, but it occurred to me that this old fat nurse was working those young kids in the ground!  God just kept strengthening me I guess.
Dr. Rushing's last prescription of the day.
That day we saw 500 patients.  500.

At the end of the day that beautiful tile floor was solid mud, we had dispensed thousands of pills, given out hundreds of toys, clothes, and Bibles, we had drank enough water to float a small boat, and we had shown the people of Costa that because Jesus loves us, we loved them.
Around two o'clock it came a huge thunder storm that blew out a transformer and ended our electricity, but we were able to finish with all the patients.
By this time I had nothing else to give.  Nothing physically, nothing mentally, nothing emotionally, nothing spiritually.  I was broken.  I had given everything that I had.  I had nothing left. I was completely empty.
I realized that despite drinking water all day long, I had not been to the bathroom one single time.
I went into the bathroom, and remember the open air between the cinder blocks and the roof?  I sat down and I could hear the rain on the tin roof, I could see the rain falling, I could feel the gentle mist of the rain on my face and the wind was blowing too....as I sat there this old timey gospel song came to me and I began to sing ..."oh land of rest for the I sigh, when will the moment come? When I shall lay my armor by and dwell in peace at home.  We'll work, till Jesus comes, we'll work till Jesus comes and we'll be gathered home."
A beautiful feeling of peace and refreshment came over me.  I felt the Holy Spirit surround me and strengthen me.  He knew I needed it.  There was still a way to go. 
I came out of the bathroom refreshed, we had church services in the dark with flash lights, we sang and prayed and listened to a sermon.  And then we traveled back to the motel...safe....over the mud bridge.

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