August 12, 2007

Visits to the Village

About 20 miles from Koutiala, on a good dirt road, is the village of Baramba. It hosts one of six clinics in Mali that have been started by C&MA missionary nurses several decades ago. All of the clinics are now directed and staffed by Malians. Each clinic has an ambulance available in case of an emergency that cannot be treated on site. As I arrived in Baramba with some visitors, the local pastor was just beginning to give an evangelistic message to the patients who were waiting to be seen. After a tour of the very clean clinic and maternity, we visited the Baramba Christian Girls School. Seventy or so young women, ages 12 and older, live on the school campus from November through April. There is a literacy class for those who arrive at school not knowing how to read or write. The girls take classes ranging from Bible to health to sewing and weaving. They also organize their meals and take turns cooking. We had a wonderful visit with the staff of the clinic and the school and were grateful for a glimpse of the impact they are having in their community and on young women.

Anesthesia and More Language Learning

My friend and colleague Carey has been patiently teaching my anesthesia this past month. I still have a lot to learn, but have some of the basics down of how we do things here (we keep things as simple as possible!). This past week our visiting doctor from the U.S. said he feels like he's at the tower of Babel when he hears French and Bambara being intermixed and spoken around him in the OR/hospital. I'm grateful I have patient teachers who continue to help me in my language study so that I can make sense of the languages spoken here and so that I will be able to communicate well, both as I teach in the hospital and share the message of hope in Jesus.

Praise God for several new nurses and nurses aids at the hospital. Pray for them as they go through training in the coming months. Pray for me as I continue to learn anesthesia.

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement which mean so much to me!

Jessica Schaeffer

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