Friday finale in Ghana
It was a celebratory last day in Pokrom Nsabaa as the team wrapped up the 5-day clinic. Breakfast started at 6:00 a.m, and the sister duo of Kalah and Laura wanted it noted that they were on time for the oatmeal breakfast. Dr. Jackson stayed home to rest today. Kalah was back to her vibrant self and feeling healthy again, Dawn is getting her voice back ...a bummer as Gary never lost his. Ha! (God receives all of the Glory!)
We headed north and stopped for scenic pictures near the top. Simply beautiful.
Clinics went well with and smoothly and for the most part the crowds were controlled until they sensed that it was time to cut off the line which was about 1 o'clock. Then pockets of pandemonium tried to take over but the volunteers (from Compassion International, Ghana) did a pretty good job of controlling the masses. We kept the doctors safe and protected, which I vowed Nick Viscome we would do. (Laura is his daughter)
The meds seem to be enough. Other than running out of multi-vitamins (This is what we will need more donations for our next team), with the more important meds, another bottle or two seemed to show up in some box. This was befuddling yes, but we are so Grateful to God, yes.
Karen handed out 100's of beanie baby toys to the children, 5 basketballs were left with the school, as was lots of candy. I think a dental team will be coming in May
After taking pictures with the volunteers we packed up and headed over to the Chiefs house for a time of saying goodbye and they handed out native dresses and shirts to us all. They also gave us a signed letter of thanks and they anointed Karen as queen Minister of Economic Development to the region since Scott was not there to take the kingship role. They dusted her arms in white as
is their tribal custom. The Minister of Drinks (yes, that is a title) was a tad slow on getting us drinks. 90 minutes of pomp and fuss in the heat of the day will do a number on anyone including our van driver Kelvin who got deep into the snoozing mode.
We finally were able to make our exit and we headed back over the mountain for one last scenic time. We're going to miss these views and picturesque scenery no doubt.
We arrived back at the compound to find Dr. Jackson feeling quite chipper. We ordered our supper and headed for the showers. We learned quickly that takes an hour and a half for food once you order it so we order and then shower, that is except Gary, he is getting mentally prepared for another round of 4-down. Did I mention mental and the Yankees in the same sentence?
The forecast is for shopping on Saturday and church on Sunday and then preparing for our return trip on Monday.
These special people are just some of the awesome volunteers who helped our team while in the village of Pokrom Nsaba. They are from all walks of life. Some work or volunteer for Compassion International, some are from the local health clinic and authority and others work at the church. Thank you volunteers. You made things so much easier for our team!!
Thursday in Ghana
From the daily notes of Don Hess
Our breakfast of eggs-over-easy, coffee or tea, and homemade bread was served at 6:00 a.m ...note that Mr. Initiative (Seth) was late for breakfast but was given grace by the team as he has been working long and hard days.
The team had to wait for the driver so they made good use of their time by playing "4-down", a card game taught by Kalah, Laura, and Don.
We headed for the port to try as a team to help lend support to getting the mini-van released. It was a circus for awhile but eventually we found our way to someone who said they could expedite the process. We prayed for Jacob and his wife. They were blessed by our prayers and words.
Upon arriving at Pokrom Nsabaa, Grace, Seth and Dr. Jackson went to treat the staff at the chief's palace ...a tad political for their blessing us to come. The rest at the main center treated the steady flow. Dawn gave some time to re-treating some wound-care wraps from earlier in the week.
The line was shut down by 5:00 (always a hard thing to watch) and attention was given to set up
for the evening outdoor crusade. By the way, our meds seem to be multiplying and for some reason we are not running out. Gary is appearing to be befuddled. (God's not!)
By 6:00 the sound system was in place and the music band began. Did I say loud? It was loud. By 7:00 the story of Jesus on film was started, which was in their native language. You could see flashlights in the distance making their way to the crusade. By midway thru the film about 300 had gathered on the open dirt field and by the time Chinedum began preaching they were still filing in.
With it being a long day, our team headed out early but a phone call just came in saying that people really responded to hearing the gospel ...he said they ran to the front.
Today we saw 1st hand how the serving of medicine is a forerunner of the
gospel. The door was left wide-open ...for ears to hear, eyes to see, hearts to
respond. And they did. They ran.
Wednesday in Ghana
As described by Don Hess
Dr Jackson gave the team a 6:00 breakfast start ...each day has been a bit later. Coupled with our stops for the Bank for dollars exchanged and the need for ice, we got to Pokrom Nsabaa by 10:30. Word is spreading to the mountain regions and lines began forming my 6:00 a.m. The older ladies using the canes were handing out the stern looks and were not pleased by our tardiness.
A brief ribbon cutting ceremony took place for the new basketball hoop. Kalah Weaver and Don played vs Seth and Chinedum to show them how the game was played. That was followed by a 30 min. instructional clinic on basketball fundamentals while the medical staff got the day rolling in seeing new patients.
Dr. Jackson and Grace went to the Chief's palace and treated about 20 staff. The Chief is returning thanks by helping politically to get clearance for another van stuck at the port.
It was very difficult to close off the line today as there seems to be a sense of those coming from distances having to come back the next day and the fear of not getting treated. Certainly is difficult.
We made it back to the hotel by 7 o'clock and quickly ordered our meals so that it could be ready in an hour and we all enjoyed the comforts of a warm shower before returning to get our food… Fried rice and chicken seems to be the meal choice.
Dawn is getting her voice back and Gary is still hanging in there with his. Pray that we can get in some more pharmaceutical supplies as we are running short on quite a few items. It was a great day of service.
The Nigerian brothers again had good reports from the prayer tent and are excited about the outdoor crusade Thursday night.
(More commentary to come tomorrow evening!)
As described by Don Hess
We slept in until 5:30 a.m w/ breakfast at 6:00. We were on the road at 6:45 and in site by 8:00 and this time only 15 minutes of prep time and the nurses and doc's were rolling. The lines were long and by 11:00 numbers were handed out to ensure an appointment and the rest were given a number for 1st in line for Wed.. The Compassion Int'l volunteers had their hands full with crowd control.
The Nigerian entourage of 4 arrived at 9:30 to take charge of the healing & prayer tent and they were at great asset to the day for all those who requested prayer.
One lady returned from Monday all excited that her pain went away and she was not using the cane to walk.
Lunch was provided once again by Pastor Charles and his side (wife) Lawrencia ...a delicious option of chicken or fish with either rice or French fries. We are consuming lots of water and way too much soda!
The basketball hoop and backboard was set up and a Wed. ceremony will dedicate the new game to the region.
It was determined by a joint effort of the local Presbyterian pastor, the Nigerians and Pastor Charles that there will be a Thursday nite open air crusade. Word will be going out by radio and word of mouth to advertise the event.
We saw the last patients at 3 o'clock and headed home. It is a beautiful journey each day over the mountains and the. Seeing the city of Accra and the Atlantic Ocean laid out before us.
The team is healthy except for Dawn losing her voice. Gary was shouting Hallejujah about her losing her voice ...and as of this 5:00 report, he also was starting to lose his voice!
Originally posted by G.I. team member, Don Hess:
Today was a full first day. We were up at 4 AM with breakfast at 4:30 and on the
road north a little after 5 AM. We took a more direct route up over a beautiful
mountain overlooking the city and ocean and arrived there in less than 90
minutes. We began setting up for the clinic and lots of work to divide out the
pills for the pharmacy. This took about an hour and a half and then we had a
special request from the chief for us to come give our greetings and to receive
on our event. This was a first ...in all of Dr. Jackson's travels, 20 years of
medical mission trips, he and Karen had never experienced this. We walked about
three quarters of a mile to his compound and it was quite an experience to come
to his house and listen to his greeting and introduction to all his men that run
the area, including his minister to the ancestors, his minister of drinks, and
even his right-hand man who just happened to be on his cell phone as he was
The clinic started around 9 o'clock and the three doctors, one
pharmacist, two nurses, and the rest of our volunteer team along with about 10
other volunteers from compassion international went a solid five hours straight
and gave care to approx. 300 men, women, and children. We ate a late lunch and
returned to a wonderful local meal of Fufu, spinach, rice, yams doused w/ fish
soup. It was made by Seth's sister and niece.
More from Dr. Kimber
We found the weather up at Pokrom Nsabaa to be a little cooler than Accra, when we finally got there this afternoon. We enjoyed the last of a local soccer match, met one of leader Seth's sisters, and interacted with many of the village children. Since it took so long to get the van started and get out to the village, we decided we will set up tomorrow morning, and will try to start our first clinic later in the afternoon, Lord willing and if it is all right with our Compassion International partners. We have already treated 2 patients and made 4 diagnoses!
They have publicized our team's visit as to villages as far as 10 miles away, and they think that there will be a big response.
The following entry was taken from an e-mail from Dr. Roger Kimber.
On the way to Ghana:
We had and uneventful trip to Ghana, with a long enough layover in Amsterdam. We got to go to world famous tulip gardens there. It was a bit chilly but they were beautiful and it sure beat sitting in the airport.
Day 1 on Accra:
This AM I went for a run, and was surprised that I could only run a few blocks before I had to stop and walk (I still went for about 30 minutes). Dr. Scott Jackson (who recently recovered from a
bilateral pneumonia which put him in the hospital for two weeks) had been pestering me about my cough since we took off, and I finally took the hint and had him and Dr. Laura Viscome listen to me and they agreed that I have pnuemonia. I am eating and drinking and in no danger at this point of getting as sick as Scott was, but I do have travel health insurance. Pray for speedy
recovery and not disruption of our work on my account.
We have been well welcomed by our hosts, including a team of young individuals from Compassion International, Ghana (Richwell Ofosu and Daniel Asante) and the guest housestaff.
We had a brief orientation meeting last night and prayer from a local pastor. Then we all collapsed into a deep sleep (some were awakened by a dog/cat fight).
Unfortunately the van that we will be working out of as a mobile clinic, was found to have a dead battery (headlights were left on--boy have I been there in the past), so we are waiting around for the battery to get charged up enough to start it.
Today's tasks are to go out to the village and set up the van. Tomorrow we will link up with our Compassion International partners/hosts and coordinate our work for the rest of the week. We thought that we would start on Monday, but it turns out that people take Easter Monday here seriously, and it is a real holiday.
We have used some of the down time to do some medical strategizing and remind ourselves how to treat malaria and scabies if we encounter it, as well as getting to know each other and our hosts. I will send more updates as I get opportunity.
Thanks for your prayers and support.
At 11:30 am on April 18th, the first Ghana Initiative team of medical missionaries are prepared to leave for Dulles Airport in Washington DC. The team consists of 10 men and women from Lancaster County, PA. In just a few hours the team will board a KLM flight headed for Amsterdam, Holland then Accra, Ghana. We are praying for safe travels and for God to do great things through your obedience in serving the people of Pokrom Nsabaa, Ghana. The photo below shows the team members just before boarding the van ready to depart for the airport.
The first Ghana Initiative Team is ready to depart for Accra, Ghana. A team of 10 will depart Dulles International on April 18, 2014 for a 10 day mission. The team is lead by Mr. Seth Pobee, G I Director and Co-Founder and Dr. T. Scott Jackson, Team Medical Advisor. While in Ghana, the ministry team will serve the people of Pokrom Nsabaa, a small village, 30 miles north of the capital city of Accra. The Ghana Initiative team will work with members of Compassion International (Ghana) and representatives from the District Health Authority and Local Medical Clinic to examine and treat those with medical needs. All medical services and medications will be provided to all Ghanaians free of charge. Check back to our website for accounts of how God worked through the team of volunteers folowing their mission experience. Please pray for the G I team, that God may work through them to spread his love.
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