News from claudia in guinea may 2013


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News from claudia in guinea may 2013

  1. 1. News from Claudia in Guinea[5/23/2013 10:44:22 AM]Transitioning -- leaving Guinea and headed for Congo!May 2013Serving in Guinea Its hard to believe that our time here in Guinea will soon be coming to an end!   By the end ofMay we will have packed up the off-ship facilities such as the Dental Clinic, Eye Clinic, and HOPECenter (where patients from outside of Conakry can stay for a few days before surgery and forfollow-up care after their surgery).  On the ship we will be packing up and tying down things sothat they dont shift around during our sea voyage.  Many of our short-term crew members willbe say "au revoir" as they complete their tasks here and return to their homes.When we depart from Conakry on around June 2 we will be sailing for the Canary Islands,specifically for Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria. This is our annual ship maintenancetime set aside to maintain and improve our delivery platform -- the Africa Mercy.  Having asecure, clean facility with dependable electricity and water supply is a big part of what makes itpossible for us to do what we do for the people of Africa.  A poor infrastructure (electricity,clean water, sewage disposal) is one of the major limitations faced by hospitals and othermedical facilities in the developing world.  During this shipyard phase, in addition to thenecessary ship maintenance, we will be making some significant improvements to the hospitaldeck, including some renovations in the laboratory area where I work.                      Panoramic view of the LabDuring our time here I have been truly blessed with some wonderful co-workers.  And Im to bedoubly blessed in the coming field service in Congo as several of them return to serve again!During this field service we put a new instrument into service, the Sebia Hydrasy, which allowsus to perform analyses to determine if fluid from a cranial cyst is spinal fluid, or to determine ifa patient has sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait.  In addition we have also implemented aBlood Banking program to better support our surgical needs -- that is an exciting developmentfor me!An interesting statistic: Though 400-450 crew members are housed on the Africa Mercy at anyone time, during this field service (a little over 9 months) a total of 1254 people passed throughthe vessel and over 1000 of them actually lived on the ship for some period of time. Theseincluded237 Long term crew (including around 50 children)572 Short term crew196 visiting staff and guests  25 contract workers224 Day Workers (workers hired locally to supplement the crew)Subscribe Share Past Issues RSSTranslate
  2. 2. News from Claudia in Guinea[5/23/2013 10:44:22 AM]So you can see that there are always new faces and many interesting people to meet! One ofthose visiting staff was Colleen Conley, our Laboratory Manager.  It was great to get to spendsome extended time with her and to do a little house cleaning in the Laboratory!     Colleen visiting for a few weeksPatient story – Giving All Youve Got: Hasanatus storyYou’d better find a translator quick – because Hasanatu has a lot to say.Known affectionately by crew as Mama H, Hasanatu had surgery in January to remove amassive facial tumor. Pull up a chair, and she will tell you all about her favorite food (rice), herfour children (boys), her disdain for air conditioning (she’s freezing), her journey here by taxi(prolonged), and her village in Guinea’s interior (it’s that way [points]).                                                Hasanatu before and after her surgeryBut first, Mama H will tell you that it’s not just the hospital that makes surgery possible – it isthe attitude of giving in the heart of each volunteer. Time, money, energy – whatevercrewmembers can give, they will give. Because Mama H knows something that most people donot:  the crew of the Africa Mercy serves as the hospital’s blood bank.Blood banking is an intrinsic part of every hospital system in the developed world – one thatrequires laboratory equipment, space and highly specialized technicians. On the world’s largestnon-governmental hospital ship, there are still limited resources to store blood. But what theAfrica Mercy hospital lacks in storage capacity, it makes up for in its steady supply of willingvolunteers. Without our crew donors, surgeries like Mama H’s would not be possible.“When you need clotting factors and platelets, you need the blood to come straight out of oneperson and right into the next,” Dr. Gary Parker, the Africa Mercy’s Chief Medical Officer, says.“The outcomes of many of our surgeries are possible because the crew is willing to share theirblood with our patients.”
  3. 3. News from Claudia in Guinea[5/23/2013 10:44:22 AM]Due to the location of Hasanatu’s tumor on her head and neck, excessive blood loss during hersurgery was inevitable. Before her operation, a message went out to volunteers with her bloodtype: “We need you.” Soon, nine Mercy Ships crewmembers had donated blood to ensure thatdoctors would be able to replenish whatever Mama H might need.“I remember how excited she was about getting her surgery,” Mar Morales, a blood donor,says. “It is wonderful to be able to say that I contributed to her recovery!”On the evening after her surgery, Mama H woke up in a hospital bed, finally free of the tumorshe had carried for a decade. Emily Seamon – an ICU nurse and blood donor for Mama H –handed her a mirror.“It was a unique experience, to be a caregiver in this way,” Emily says. “As a nurse, Iunderstood the need for the blood donation and how important it was for Hasanatu … it waswonderful to care for my patient and to be a part of the picture from beginning to end, to see itcome full circle.”When Mama H saw her reflection, she smiled. For the first (and probably last) time in her life,she was unable to find words to say. It was a few days before she was back to her chatty ways.But, when she felt like herself again, she said to tell her blood donors “djarama” – thank you. Inreturn, she would like to teach them Pular, her native language. That way, her stories won’tdepend on a translator anymore.“It’s amazing – so many patients over the years … they’re alive today because the crew of theship shared their blood,” Dr. Gary says. “I can’t even start counting them now, but there aremany, many, people we never would have started surgery on … so I’m grateful for everyonewho’s given and who will continue to give in the future.”Pull up a chair, and there isn’t a Mercy Ships patient who won’t steal your heart. Time, money,energy, blood – being a crewmember on the Africa Mercy means giving it all you’ve got . . . andloving every minute!   Hasanatu and some of her blood donors Marcus and the Wordless Book
  4. 4. News from Claudia in Guinea[5/23/2013 10:44:22 AM] “How many of those books do you have?” Marcus asked Rosie.  “Only the one,” she replied. “Give it to me and when you return I will show you the fruit,” he told her. Rosie, a nurse from New Mexico, had been working together with Marcus, a local Guinean DayWorker.  Rosie was about to leave the Africa Mercy, but planned to return in January, a coupleof months away. Through God’s prompting, Marcus had come to Conakry from another part of Guinea about1000km away, settling in the Sofonia area.  He has a great desire to share the good news ofJesus, but was finding the way difficult in this Muslim community.  He heard about Mercy Shipscoming to Conakry and that they would be hiring people to help in their mission, so he appliedfor a position.  He got a job working with the Admissions team and there met up with Rosie. Rosie, on her part, has worked on the Africa Mercy several times.  This year she arrived inConakry at the beginning of the field service in the latter part of August.  Rosie workedalongside Marcus in the Admissions tent.  A gifted evangelist at heart, Rosie takes everyopportunity to share God’s good news of Jesus with those she encounters.  A couple of toolsshe has used are the Wordless Book and a simple bracelet, both of which can be used to tell thestory of salvation through Jesus without getting “in your face” or preachy.  But more than this,she lives the story with her heart of love and compassion showing through in all she does. Coming the Mercy Ships, Marcus began to understand that just preaching and reasoning withhis Muslim neighbors might not be enough to have them open up to God’s good news. WithMercy Ships he saw how love in action was more effective than just the words. And so, as Rosie was preparing to leave for a while, he asked her for her only copy of theWordless Book, promising her that she would see the fruit on her return in January.  So Rosieleft the “seed” in his hand.      Ibrahim, me, Marcus, and Rosie                                One of the school classrooms Imagine her amazement on her return in January when Marcus told her excitedly about a newchurch planted in Sofonia - in only three months!  And not only a church, but a school as wellwhich had grown to 185 students!  And as of this writing it has continued to grow to over 200students and both the church and school have moved to a new, larger facility. This is one of many examples of how Mercy Ships, though not being overtly evangelical,nonetheless contributes to the growth of faith in the African nations we serve.  By comingalongside local Christians and other Christian ministries we are able to support and encouragetheir evangelistic activities and be a tangible example of ‘love in action.’Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and itgives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, thatthey may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:15-16 (NIV) Ongoing plans As I mentioned above, we will soon be headed to the Canary Islands for the annual shipmaintenance.  This year’s shipyard work includes some renovations on the hospital deck whichwill allow us some additional patient bed spaces, as well as replacing the flooring on the wardsand other projects.  We expect to be in the port city of Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria
  5. 5. News from Claudia in Guinea[5/23/2013 10:44:22 AM]through June and until about mid-July.  We will then go to Santa Cruz on the island of Tenerifefor about a week before sailing to the location of our next field service in Pointe Noire, Congo. As for me, I will be with the ship for most of the summer.  However, Im planning to travel toIsrael for a two week study tour of the Holy Land (In the Footsteps of Jesus through JerusalemUniversity College) during the first couple of weeks of July as a birthday treat to myself. (Celebrating one of those ‘big O’ birthdays).  Im really looking forward to it, especially as Ivebeen reading in preparation for the trip!Next field service will be in Republic of Congo -- a new field of service for Mercy Ships.  Itshould prove to be both interesting and challenging as we break new ground and try newprocesses.  Please keep us in your prayers for the preparations (we already have and AdvanceTeam in the country) and for the services to be offered there. Blessings!  Claudia   ClaudiArabia2004@yahoo.comorClaudia.Juarez@mercyships.orgMailing address:Claudia Juarez, HCSM/V Africa MercyPO Box 2020Lindale, TX 75771 Financial SupportI serve as a volunteer and am reliant on the support of others for all of my expenses.If you are led to share in my ministry financially, please make checks payable to Mercy Shipsand send to:Mercy Ships, Donor ServicesP.O. Box 2020Lindale, TX 75771with a note designating for the support of missionary Claudia Juarez (#2793).Or, you can make a contribution online at: on Facebook | forward to a friend Copyright © 2013 Mercy Ships/ MV Africa Mercy, All rightsreserved. unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences