From Courtney, a Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing student:
There are many connections made in the WELS. I was playing with the Seminary children today when a Seminary student named Bismark came up to me and asked if I knew Pastor Dan Kroll, who had once been a missionary here in Africa.
This student was from Malawi, and Pastor Kroll had encouraged Bismark to attend the Seminary and become a pastor. ?Bismark is now graduating from the Seminary on Friday, and will move with his family to serve as a vicar and then a pastor. ?It was inspiring to hear how one missionary encouraged a man from Malawi to be a pastor… and I have confidence that he will be an excellent one.
From Katie, a Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing student:
Today I had the wonderful opportunity to partake in home-based care (HBC) with Paul and Jaimie. I was uncertain of what to expect, yet anxious to see what was in store for this gorgeous sunny day in Lusaka.
When we arrived in the Chamba township, I immediately became humbled. As we walked to the patients’ homes, rocks, broken glass, and garbage covered the dusty dirt roads. At times, the soft breeze brought a strange odor. Barefoot children chased each other while roosters trailed around pecking for food. Bright colored pants and shirts hung out to dry at several homes.
I found it quite entertaining when the children pointed to Jaimie and me yelling, “Mzungu!” (white person). ?As we were walking, some children even followed us around, amazed at seeing white people.
The thing that moved me the most during my time doing HBC, though, was giving a female patient her Piggly Wiggly tote bag filled with toothbrushes, floss, pens, encouraging cards, and a small toy. Up until that point, she was quite despondent and clearly appeared ill. As soon as she held her bag, happiness and gratefulness quickly overcame her. She tightly clutched the bag to her chest as she expressed her gratitude. Seeing her ear-to-ear grin and appreciation warmed my heart and gave me goosebumps.
I can honestly say that today’s clinical has had the most impact on my heart and mind. ?I am so thankful to God for all the blessings he has showered upon me. ?Being immersed in Zambian culture on a more personal and intimate level has definitely made me more appreciative of my own life and how good I truly have it.
From Courtney and Hailey, Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing students:
On Thursday, we drove with Paul to the Linda Compound on the outskirts of Lusaka. ?Our main mission was to host a free blood pressure clinic in the Lutheran church parking lot to screen residents for high blood pressure. We set a record for attendees with 43!
This record was possible due to the help of several community volunteers: Patricia, Jane, and Beatrice. ?These volunteers aid people in their community who need medical attention through a home health program. They do not get reimbursed for their help. They use their community influence to convince residents to get their blood pressure tested. This screening was a wonderful way to reach out to the members of the community for physical aid that could potentially lead to spiritual aid as well.
From Alissa and Kate, Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing students:
Muli Bwanji! ?Chelston Clinic is a Ministry of Health clinic in Lusaka with various individual specialties: x-ray, physical therapy, dentist, etc. We had the privilege of watching screenings for new HIV patients. ?The exam included writing down specific directions on how to walk to the patient’s home in case they miss too many doctor’s appointments – so different from how it is all left up to the patients in the States. ?We were also able to talk to the physical therapist and watch her cast a patient’s leg. ?We also learned a lot about ART (antiretroviral therapy for HIV) and all the different types there are. ?It’s interesting to see how everyone bases their cares on the holistic approach rather than a focused approach like specialists do in America.
The equipment at Chelston is limited. ?They have a limited number of older machines. ?Much of their other equipment is actually made out of paper m?ch? – even the chairs! ?They are expanding their mother and child health clinic, so it was neat to see the new building even though it is not finished yet.
The two doctors have been treating us like the Zambian nursing students and making us feel very welcome. ?They’re more than willing to answer any questions we have. ?We’re even starting to get used to being called “mzungu” (a non-derogatory term for “white person”)! ?Overall, there are so many departments and so much to see at Chelston. ?It’s been a great clinical experience!
From Dr. Rebekah Carey:
Every evening after supper one or two students present a devotion. Each has been spiritually uplifting. Tonight’s devotion by Alissa was especially poignant.
Romans 15:1 “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
1 John 3:17 ” But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
These passages talk about how Jesus’ earthly ministry showed the importance of meeting not only the spiritual needs but the physical needs as well. It is just like we talked about discharging a patient and knowing where you are discharging to. It would be hard for a person who does not have food to understand his or her spiritual needs.
We should not provide physical care at the cost of ignoring spiritual needs. Nurses are given an amazing opportunity to be caring people and meet both physical and spiritual needs. What we do as nurses is a beautiful picture of being the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need. May we never take what we do for granted. May we all show compassion for the needs of other people, and, in doing so, show the love of Christ to the world.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us be compassionate to the people who need our help. Help us strive to not only treat their condition or disease but to also meet their spiritual needs. Bless our hands so that we can help heal your children and show your love to everyone. In Jesus name. Amen.
From Kyra, a Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing student:
Bwanji! Hello! I’m writing this on a small bus full of 25 nursing students and chaperones, 25backpacks,and a variety of curios (souvenirs) from the weekend. We are headed back to the Seminary in Lusaka from Livingstone. While we were in Livingstone, we saw Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world. It was truly a breathtaking experience. Many of us got soaked going walking around the falls, over the Knife’s Edge bridge, and down to the Boiling Pot.
Elephant along the road in Livingstone
After walking around the falls, we had our first experience at a curio market. There were over 40 different shops, some with two or three vendors in them. It was somewhat overwhelming. The vendors were very persistent. We got a lot of good practice with bargaining. All of us did pretty well. We have some neat mementos, but even better stories that we can’t wait to share when we get back! We’re having a great time and can’t wait to see you all!
From Kayla, a Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing student:
I had a great experience at the Kalingalinga Hospice site. Within minutes of getting there, I was taking blood pressures, temperatures, and weights of patients. I got a lot of practice with saying local names! I enjoyed talking with the CNA I was working with about the similarities and differences between our two countries.
After lunch, I spent my time with one of the clinical officers. Right away, one of his colleagues stopped by, so he trusted me to do a patient assessment while he left the room! It was difficult because English wasn’t the patient’s first language, but together we used different words and gestures to understand each other. I even uncovered a possible metastasis from a previous tumor that had been removed.
It was a great experience at the hospice, and I felt that the clinical officer valued my opinions and used me to help explain things to the patients.
From Melissa, a Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing student:
Beit Cure Hospital is an amazing place that helps treat children free of charge. They house the children and their families and provide meals while they are there. I had the privilege of attending clinical at Beit Cure Hospital. As much as the staff, patients, and families learned from me, I found that I learned just as much, if not more, from them.
One patient who will always have a special place in my heart is a nine-month-old boy with hydrocephalus. He was so precious and innocent. The instant I saw him, I realized how special he was!
I talked to his grandmother about how she relies on her faith to get through troubling times. She said it is the sole purpose in their lives, and that this situation is all in God’s hands.
I was reminded that through the tough times, God is always there for us. He is there for guidance and support to get us through. God works in mysterious ways. I firmly believe that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest and bravest soldiers. This nine month old boy and his grandmother are some of the strongest people I have met. They are truly inspirational. So please tonight before you sleep, say a prayer for the health of this little boy and for strength for his family. I know they will be eternally grateful.
From Dr. Kristi Meyer:
Today at Kaunda Square School, Flo, a Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing student, was talking with the school headmaster, Mr. Lungo. He told Mr. Lungo about winter in Wisconsin: -40 to -50 degrees Celsius and half a meter of snow on the ground.
Taking advantage of the teachable moment, Mr. Lungo relayed this information to his sixth grade class. The class absolutely did not believe him, so Flo got called into the classroom to educate the class about Wisconsin winters. One of the school kids asked how we survived winter! We told them we wore lots of layers and bundled up, I don’t think they were convinced…