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Glenn and Kim

Kim and Glenn

Togo, Africa!

Volcano ash and other stories

Dear all,

The Africa Mercy is asking for prayer.  Due to the volcano erupting in Iceland, many of our volunteer surgeons and nurses are not able to get to the ship.  We do have our beloved eye surgeon on board, and our long term Maxilla Facial surgeon who has lived on board for more than 20 years (but was hoping for a family vacation).  But, our other specialty doctors have patients waiting.  The news reports are saying that the ash is going to clog the air for months.  We have only 3 months left here in Togo.  Please pray for the ash to clear. 

That being said, I must tell you of our wonderful new eye tech that is seeing hundreds of eye patients each day on the field where tensions run high.  His name is Joel and he is from Northern Ireland (my new favorite accent!)  Joel and a friend decided to DRIVE to Togo!!  They left Northern Ireland in an old Volkswagen Van (complete with curtains hanging in the windows) and drove across Great Britain, ferried over to Europe, then drove across to France where they caught another ferry to Africa!  They had many stories of miracles along the way (as you can imagine was necessary!)  The funniest one we have heard so far was when they were half way across Western Africa and they heard a bang and thought the tire had gone.  They looked out the window (no, they didn't stop!) and saw the tire was there and drove on.  They then felt another blow and knew it was the tire as they began to swerve.  They got out and saw that the tire was only being held on by one lug nut!  They had lost the others along the way!  They were in the middle of rural Africa and knew no one would have lug nuts to fit their car, so they began to walk back along the road looking for at least one more.  Do you know they found ALL their nuts!!  Ha!  It was so funny to hear it told in his N. Ireland brogue.  But, He was sure God had protected them all along the way. 

Now, he is not recommending this as a solution to our problems and he himself is flying back!

I did want to tell you about our youngest patient yet.  A one month old with bilateral cataracts, born blind.  She was big enough for surgery and not dehydrated (which is rare here).  She did very well and could see the next morning!  Her little eyes went cross-eyed trying to focus on her momma !  She was so cute.  Below is a picture of her right before going into surgery donning a handknit cap made by Mrs. Sievert in Tyler,Tx.  Mrs. Sievert is 85 and loves to knit!  She goes to my parents church and has sent over 100 of these caps to keep our little one warm in our cold hospital. (Our little ones are not acclimatized to air conditioning and shiver trying to get warm after being used to sleeping in sweltering conditions).  Our patients love them and our nurses are very appreciative!  And they get to take them home!  What a sweet gift.  Thank you, Mrs. Sievert !

By His Grace,

Glenn and Kim

Cataract baby in cap
cataract baby