All seven churches in Tansen came together for the Easter service this year. There were about 500 people worshiping together. In past years, they have done marches around the town, demonstrating Christian unity and they have passed out tracts and Bibles. The churches decided this year to give a different kind of gift to Tansen. We split up into groups of ten or so, and went to different parts of town to collect up trash from the roads. The idea of using trash cans hasn’t really caught on here yet, so in our two hours of trash collecting, our small group filled a few 50-gallon bags. All together, they needed a tractor trailer to haul away all of the trash collected by Christians that day. So many people asked us what we were doing. We said we were giving them an Easter gift by cleaning up in front of their houses and stores. They agreed that it looked much nicer after we had finished. We even convinced two children to join us in our efforts. I pray that such children will be the future leaders in Nepal. Our circuit ended at the bus park where there was no small amount of trash. We told people that this was a group effort of all of the Christians in Tansen. We serve because our LORD served. Some people were appalled that doctors would collect trash. But then again, the Creator of the universe made things from wood, fed hungry people, talked to women, made mud with his spit for a blind man’s eyes, and held children. We are compelled to be like our Master.
For the medically inclined, here are some of the challenging diagnoses of the week: young adult with high fevers on and off for a year, with no response to antibiotics nor anti-malarial medicine, and no other abnormalities can be found (except for an increased white blood cell count and the fevers are now daily), tuberculosis with treatment interruption at six weeks (the patient was so thin, I asked what they were feeding him; they answered: rice and lentils and Red Bull; oh my!), Kala Azar, opacity on chest x-ray that I could not discern, ascites of unknown etiology, and then too many people killing themselves through addiction to alcohol.
On a high note, there was a premature baby that I cared for last week, for whom we had to stop the resuscitation efforts. When I came home and shared the story with Ana, she immediately put out a request for prayer. Well, I went to see that little one today. She is breathing on her own. She is off of oxygen. She is through her jaundice. She is nursing. And she has now surpassed her birth weight of 1900 grams. The parents are so happy. They still haven’t named her yet. They want to wait to see if she is really going to survive. This is a miracle. Our God continues to perform miracles. Thanks be to Him!