World View

A view to those out in the world into our life.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Pakistan Earthquake Chronicles Part 3

Girl in Pakistan
(This is Part 3 in a Series from Matthew McClure, MD)

Our team, consisting of 16 doctors and translators would travel each day to the hardest hit areas and set up a medical clinic for the community. We would treat such conditions as wound infections, abscesses, scabies, muscle and back injuries, depression, skin rashes, asthma, malnutrition, and many other medical problems. The third day in Pakistan, two doctors visited a UN tent camp to follow up on a previous day’s patient seen in the hospital. While there, they “happened” to meet the head of UNICEF in Pakistan as he was inspecting the new camp. UNICEF stands for United Nations Children’s Fund. He asked if we could help them with medical epidemiology (statistical information on disease) for the camps in the area. The current camps were growing each day and many more camps would be started in the coming month. UNICEF needed to know what kinds of diseases and medical problems were occurring among the people in the camps in order to know types and quantities of medicines to order and obtain for the upcoming winter. When we were first approached by UNICEF with the request for help with their epidemiological study, it seemed very tedious and wasteful of our most precious resource: time. We would be going tent to tent in the huge camp and interviewing the people to see what medical problems existed in their family without even being able to treat or help them. We came to show God’s love though compassionate medical care, not do research and statistics for the UN. But who can fathom the mind and plans of our God. We did not realize at first what an amazing door He opened to witness to the people. We were able to go to each tent and sit down and speak with the families not only about what illnesses they have, but to hear about their loss and to listen to their individual story. We were able to minister to their emotional and spiritual pain without being forced to filling the role of “doctor” and treat every little physical ailment. Any urgent medical condition we could send to the UN doctor on site at the camp. We were able to simply care for, listen to, and pray with the people. Being in the UN tent camp gave us a semi-protected environment to pray and minister to this once hard and calloused people. They desperately needed someone to listen to the stories of their loss and share their grief. They were able to share about their loved ones killed, their sadness, their physical pain, their fear, Allah’s anger, and their hopelessness. We in tern were able to speak about God’s love for them, His desire for them to be His children, and His forgiveness and mercy. We were able to pray for them boldly in the name of Jesus Christ, something we might have been killed for before the earthquake. The people were amazingly open and grateful for compassion and prayers. Many made statements such as “you care for us more than our own people or government”.


Post a Comment

<< Home