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Glenn and Kim

Kim and Glenn

Togo, Africa!

The President and the girl

Dear prayers and supporters,

Our pace quickened after the last letter.  So much has happened!  One of our many events was a visit from the President of Togo --- who  came with only a half-day notice!  He specifically asked to watch Glenn operate on a cataract!!  But, this letter will not only be about his visit, but also one special patient- a little girl named Gloria.

 As I rushed to get the last of my 25 blind patients up the gangway and on the ship before the Captain and the President's security closed the gangway for his arrival, the minute by minute reports came over the speakers of where the President was.  He was in the port.  He was at the gate.  The President is now on the dock "and will all who were asked to be in the greeting line please assemble."  Well.... Glenn and I were invited to be one of the dressed- up greeters who shook the President's hand as he entered the ship, but we had more important things to tend to. Things moved very quickly from there.  I found myself in a corner near the OR waiting for a patient to come out when the entourage arrived .... with lots of media in tow!  Our hospital administrator had prepared extensively for the visit, but when he opened the OR door, he found no one available to gown up the Pres.!!!  As he frantically began to do it himself, I offered to help.  On went the gowns on each visitor (but he forgot to fasten them...so I did) --- then, on went the plastic shoe covers (but in his hurry, they tore, and I went behind and re-covered their feet).  Then, he literally threw their OR caps onto their heads, hoping they would land in approximately the right place and pushed them inside!  If I wasn't trying so hard to hold my decorum, I would have laughed my head off at the Keystone cop style at which this all occurred!  In they went to watch Glenn who was in the process of removing a cataract. Whew!

But, they came out amazed!  And as they left, I then turned to one of the trailing media people and said, " so....which one WAS the President?" HA!

 The President then went to visit patients on the ward.  In the picture you can see him talking to a patient playing Jenga (they LOVE that game)...and to his delight, the blocks fell just as this picture was taken (below)!  The little girl with ace bandage over her eye is Gloria.  Two days before, I got a call from our field team that they were sending a patient immediately to the ship with a retinoblastoma.  I wrote it down, but didn't know what it was.  I heard our team leader, Bob Hicks in the background saying it was an emergency and she needed to be operated on soon!  I scrambled to line up the doctors, hospital bed, and operating room for the next day.  But, when Gloria got there, Glenn took a look.  He was alarmed also.  He said it was cancer and if it was not operated on soon, it could spread so quickly that it would enter her brain from her eye and we would not be able to save her.  But, this meant removing her entire eye...and quickly.  He wanted her in today.  I again scrambled to reset everything.  I then got a call from admissions team who said, " Momma doesn't understand and will not agree".  I prayed and knew I must take my translator to talk to her.  Jean had lost his 21 year old daughter last year to cancer.  I knew he would have to the words and the compassion.  As he talked to her, he discovered another problem.  Momma was a Muslim.  When she finally realized we would be removing a body part and not putting it back, she was required to call the father for permission.  But, she hadn't seen him in 4 years!!  Many of the nurses began to pray.  It seemed impossible to us.  But, 3 hours later, someone found him!  And she had the permission!  Glenn operated and felt that the cancer was contained in the eye and he got it all.  As all doctors know, this is never a 'sure' thing.  Gloria's operation by human hands went extremely well.  Now we have to place her life in God's hands.  Please pray for this little one and her Mom's faith. 

 We thank God for our experienced team that recognized the urgency of her problem and had the compassion to rush her through, knowing it could, and we pray DID, save her life!

The President left very happy with his visit.  The rumor now is that he wants to return to film what he saw and send it to all of Africa!  He was very moved.  Pray for this leader's heart to come to know Christ and lead his country faithfully. 

"Now I praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice.  And those who walk in pride He is able to put down."  Amen. Dan. 4:37

In Him,

Glenn and Kim

President of Togo with girl
togo president with girl