Friday, November 7, 2014

Purpose Driven Life - Medical Missions From Afar

When I was a very young child, I knew I wanted to be a pediatric nurse. There was rarely a doubt in my mind; except for the time I thought I could be a rock star or a well published author, but truly God had given me the desire to help people medically at a very early age. So like any Type A personality would do, I planned out my life down to the days. I had a job before I graduated from nursing school, worked for a few years, set out as a traveling nurse, and then...got extremely burned out. Yes, life happened! Nursing was beginning to wear me down. The long nights, working holidays, and the death of children (I was an ICU nurse in various Children's Hospitals) were too much for me. I began to question God as to why He would put this desire in my heart for me to have burn out after just 8 years.

Life continued, work went on, I got married and we started a family. I then became a stay at home mom...my new dream! It was perfect for me and I was enjoying that time until life happened again and I was diagnosed with a cancer. I began to see why God allowed nursing to be a career of mine. It allayed a lot of my fears as I knew what was going to be happening, and I could easily explain it to my family members. This was such a blessing!



However, after that was said and done, I had no idea how God would continue to use my knowledge and skill in healthcare...until a year later when I met a little girl in Ethiopia on my first trip with Ordinary Hero.

Her name is Mekedse, she is 11 years old and has a fatal heart condition if not treated. She was born with this and quite honestly it is a miracle that she is still alive today. However, it is beginning to take its toll on her little body and she is feeling the effects of it more and more with each passing day.
I was alerted to her condition by her father when he said she had a "tired heart" on her sponsorship form." Immediately I knew. I remembered her not wanting to run around and play, saying she was tired. When I saw her again, 9 months later, I assessed her and listened to her with my stethoscope and knew she had two holes in her heart. I knew right then that God was asking me to do something. To use the talents He had given me for His glory. To work hard and advocate for this little girl as she was going to be used by Him as well to further His kingdom. So with the help of the Ordinary Hero staff in Ethiopia, Gift of Life International, and Heart Trust, I was able to announce last week that Mek is going to be given the gift of life through heart surgery in the United States! God heard our prayers and answered. It was a long process with many tears shed and prayers cried out, but it was all worth it as God has already used Mek's story to soften the hearts of so many people!



And now - well, there is another little girl named Amarech. Friends, this precious little girl was brought to my attention several weeks ago and she is in desperate need of a heart surgery as well. I mean extreme need! After speaking with her sponsor about her condition, we sent her to clinic for an ECHO and it was determined that she has Chronic Rheumatic Heart Failure. Basically, her heart is failing due to an untreated strep throat. Something so easily treatable here in America went untreated there due to lack of resources and it has ruined her heart and it will eventually cause her to die. The two main valves in her heart are severely damaged and she has already developed pulmonary hypertension, meaning the pressure in her lungs is too high. She is on 7 different medications for these issues but none of them are helping as her lips are blue as are her hands. She is not oxygenating well. She is fatigued to wear she can't walk far and has to rest frequently.
BUT GOD... I pause here because I had written out something different five days ago here but her story has changed now. The day we received confirmation for Mekedse's heart surgery, I also got an email from another organization saying they couldn't help Mek but were sending her records to a physician in another country who probably could. I took a deep breath and emailed back letting them know that Mek had been selected for surgery but that I had another little girl who was in desperate need and asked if we could submit her instead. The answer was a resounding "yes." And now we wait with high hopes for this child as well.



I am not just telling you these things to share my stories and how God is using my nursing abilities across the ocean. I share for two reasons. Number one, is because I hope you can see just how big our God is and how He truly does work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). I used to hear that verse and think "yeah, well that's nice but..." Friends, He really does do just what that verse says! He works ALL things out for our good and His glory!!! It may not look how we want or expect it to look, and there may be pain, tears, and doubt in the process. However, if we are walking in accordance with His will, then it will always be for our good and His glory.

The second reason I share is because you can become part of stories like these. Yes you! We need monthly medical sponsors for Entoto Mountain and Korah. Clinic visits, tests, medications, and hospital stays begin to add up and we are unable to fund them all. We also cannot just expect the children's sponsors to be able to fund these extra costs as they arise. So we are searching for people who would like to be a medical sponsor for either Entoto Mountain or Korah. If you sign up for this, I commit to sending you monthly updates on who the medical fund has benefitted that month and what their issue/s were. If possible, I will also send you a photo of the person whom I am referring to so that you know who I am referencing. If this is something that you are interested in or would like to learn more about, please email me at KBlevins@ordinaryhero.org
I would love to have you join me in this "medical mission from afar"!!

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