The full team

Hurry Up and Wait

(All is chaos, and that means all is normal)

2 April, 2019

Our team has continued hard in their work. Most days they are split into smaller functional teams, working in different areas on a multitude of tasks. Often they are brought to areas where the need exceeds their, and the overall response’s ability to keep up. They are putting their triage skills into place, prioritizing the more severe patients, and still doing their best to treat those whose conditions are, thankfully, not as bad.

Some days they are out in the clinics they have attended over the last several days, some days find them at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. The IDP camp is in an open field with no relief from the sun, and the conditions are brutal. These camps can be treacherous, as many people are packed into a small space with just the bare essentials of life. They are far from their homes, with none of the comforts they had. They are packed in with people they don’t know, lacking good sleep and the ability to work. Tensions can rise and people can do desperate acts. So far we have seen no such acts, but please pray that this continues. Our team is keeping their eyes open for trouble signs and doing their best to mitigate the pressures of IDP camp life.

In the field clinics, the team have reported approximately 60% rate of malaria amongst the children. This is a serious condition during normal times, but when living in disaster conditions, the danger multiplies. Yesterday (Sunday) our team received a two-year-old child in such bad condition that one of our nurses had to insert a stomach (nasogastric) tube in the child just to get critical fluids into him. Today the child returned to the clinic as a different child! The fluids were delivered in time, thankfully!

Some days the team is asked to assemble early for a flight to the affected regions, only to wait for hours on end until transportation actually comes. This can be very taxing, especially knowing that there are so many people waiting on them. As we said in a previous post, coordinating a disaster is almost an oxymoron (a contradiction in itself.) Please pray the coordinators would be able to get the resources they need, and things would smooth out quickly. Also please pray for our team to continue to stay professional and peaceful, even when their schedule is changing moment-by-moment.

Some great news – we have been continuing to build our relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the body that organizes the responses to most disasters, especially in developing nations. This has been very important to us as the way teams like ours are allowed to respond to global crises has been changing dramatically over the last few years and small teams like ours have had a hard time finding a place. Our team in Mozambique has had terrific to give and receive counsel with the WHO leadership in this response.

Please pray our team is able to:

  • Stay strong in extreme conditions
  • Take rest when they can and when they need to, even if they feel there is too much to do
  • Be a gracious influence and support to the other teams on the field and the coordinating agencies
  • Do great work for as many people as possible
  • Recognize and accept their limits

Thank again you for your support in prayer, finances and morale!