I recently had the privilege of attending a Mercy Ships Dress Ceremony. This is a celebration for our VVF patients.My class attended this ceremony as a field trip. What an incredible opportunity it was to be reminded of the amazing things God is doing through Mercy Ships. It was so great to hear women testify to all that God had done to heal them inside and out. I loved the encouragement of once again seeing the big picture of what I am a part of here in Madagascar. I was also reminded of how incredibly blessed I am to have been born to a mother in America who had health care readily available to deliver me through a c section. I don't want to be ungrateful for the many ways God has blessed me above and beyond anything I could ask or imagine.
A short video explaining our Women's Health Program
This field service, we expanded our women's health program from the usual 8 weeks of surgery to an entire outreach of surgeries specifically to treat the devastating condition known as Obstetric Fistula. The most exciting part is the development of a Regional Fistula Center, right here in Madagascar, referred to as our OBF Clinic. We have partnered up with a few other organizations, the local government, and many others.Together, we'll be leaving behind not just a building with fancy operating room equipment, but a legacy of love and compassion as we work alongside local surgeons and nurses and help give them the tools they need to continue caring for heir own people long after the big white ship sails away. Another NGO will continue overseeing the clinic after the ship departs Madagascar and will provide continuation of training and further development of the clinic. Local nurses have taken part in classroom learning and then moved on to learning hands on in clinical setting. The nurses gradually took on more responsibility and were supported until they gained confidence and skills they needed to work independently. The number of patients who will pass through our doors By the end of the field service will be approximately 400, but the amount of women that will pass through the same doors for years to come is infinite.
(Here is a link to a blog written by my friend Natalie Bullock that explains a little more of what these ladies have experienced before coming to the ship. VVF Reality)
Thank you so much to those of you who make it possible for us to bring God's hope and healing to the men, women and children of Madagascar.