We begin our work days with morning reflection at 6:30am. On Monday Dr. Dan Lum, pediatrician, invited the missioners to reflect on “God’s time” which has a quality of timelessness. How can we achieve this when we live in a world of appointments and hurry up? He strives for this through prayer and through his relationships but being in Bolivia on mission is also an opportunity for us to live with timelessness. We can try to be in the moment and to give our full attention to what is happening right now without the anxiety of what is to come or what may not have gotten done. The patients seen have often traveled many hours or even days to see our clinicians – what is time when there is something so important to attend to?
Today, Kristen Skoch, nurse missioner, led our morning reflection. We began by singing the Taize Chants, a favorite of hers, to encourage our reflection on the lines “nada de turbe, nada de espante”… Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten. She relayed her own fears about coming on mission and how prayer helps her overcome them. I thought of my own anxieties in preparing for this trip – so much unknown ahead of me when I tend to over organize my world and plan my days moment to moment. Would I be flexible enough? Would I get sick? Would I find a friend? What did I know about writing a blog!?
In addition to their thoughtful and honest reflections that help the mission team center their work these last two days, Dr. Dan and Kristen are also an inspiration in the pediatric clinic. The clinic days are full of challenge. Last Friday a little girl named Jade came to clinic. She was very small for her age – appeared to be around 3-4 years old instead of her 6 years. Dr. Dan spoke with her mother about her history and looked at past lab results that had been done by other clinicians. Besides her short stature she had a chronic anemia and an abnormal gait consistent with rickets. Dr. Dan made the diagnosis of chronic renal failure and referred her to a Bolivian kidney specialist. He just found out yesterday that she may need a kidney transplant that they do not do here in Bolivia. He offered up a prayer for her health today.
Click below to see a video of Dr. Dan entering the busy clinic area or copy and paste this URL into your browser http://youtu.be/B3aMqTWo_a0 [youtube=http://youtu.be/B3aMqTWo_a0]