Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Me, a Nurse?

A career in nursing has never, ever appealed to me. Don’t get me wrong, I really admire and respect those who are nurses, but infections, blood, needles, injections? Nope, those were things I knew I definitely wanted to avoid. I remember way back when I was in third grade, my teacher (my Dad) gave us an assignment to write an essay about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Almost every single girl in the class wrote an essay about wanting to be a nurse. I guess it was kind of the equivalent of a little boy wanting to be a firefighter, but not me. What did I write about? I wanted to be a forest ranger like one of my older brothers. I remember even drawing these little men and one little women, dressed in green, tracking bears through a forest! Well as it turns out, ironically, I am in the forest, also known as jungle, but am I tracking bears or protecting the trees? Nope, I’m doing the one thing I was sure I never wanted to do! Nursing! It started like this. A work team was here and when they were leaving decided to give me their leftover first aid supplies. It included a large amount of band-aids, antibacterial wipes and Neosporin. I didn’t want to say no, but I had no idea how I could possibly use all that stuff. Jayden had the occasional small scrape, but this many bandages, antibacterial wipes and Neosporin? He probably wouldn’t use that much in a life time, much less in the three months we would be in here in Pignon. Another team that had been here previously had left a box of surgical gloves in a bathroom cupboard, I saw no use for those either, but little did I know.
Remember several weeks ago when I wrote about Mona and washing her hair and giving her my shirt? Well, I used the extra water to wash her arms and legs and noticed several infected sores on her knee. I really don’t like looking at infected things, but I couldn’t just leave it the way it was, so I dug out a pair of surgical gloves, a bag of antibacterial wipes, bandages and Neosporin and got to work on her leg. Examining it closer I could see that it had started out as a several minor wounds, probably her just falling on some rocks, but they had become badly infected. Her dark skin was turning black and… okay, enough! You can probably imagine what an infected leg looks like. It grosses me out even writing about it. Anyway she didn’t complain when I cleaned out her wounds or when I put on the cream on her bloodied tender skin. She even smiled bravely and excitedly pointed to her band-aid. Well, the band-aid didn’t last long, but at least the wound was cleaned. Well, that was only the beginning. The next day she came again and I cleaned it all over again and once again applied the antibacterial ointment. The next day she came again, but this time she brought some friends who also had all types of infected wounds all over their body. “Mina, Mina, they would call during our Creole lessons, so finally I told them I would help them but they had to come at a set time. Everyday right after lunch I would pull on my gloves, line up the every growing number of kids and get to work. Well, the antibacterial wipes, that would have lasted Jayden a lifetime soon dwindled. What am I going to do when my supply is gone? I wondered. Well the next team came and guess what they gave me? A giant bag of alcohol prep pads! So, I had no excuse to stop. And you know what? After seeing the results, I couldn’t stop anyway. Mona’s knees are completely healed, I’ve manage to treat the infection on Mali’s elbows and I got to Djempsky’s cuts before they became infected. I still don’t like blood, wounds or infections, but treating the wounds, cuts and sores of these children is making a difference, so I have to do it. I can’t stop.


  1. What wonderful opportunities you have to minister to these children. If not through the sewing then it is through your medical help. You will have many opportunities to minister to the spiritual needs of these children as you attend to them.

  2. Hey Will - Before you know it you'll be using your sewing abilities to sew up cuts and gashes.

  3. Oh Will, how brave you are! Good job. I think you're getting divine strength to do this!

    I love reading your stories, haven't had time for a while 'cause my mom's been sick. She's getting stronger again, but needs her gall bladder removed. They're thinking the 3rd of March. We are worried, she's 91, but God's in control.

    Also Blake, our new grandson needs open heart surgery the beginning of March, so that will be difficult too.

    I don't know if you've heard but Angela has cervical cancer. She will need surgery too, but she doesn't know when yet.

    We hope we can get to Maui from the 14th - 28th, but it will depend on how everything goes!

    Take care, love Henry and Jenny

  4. Will, you are amazing! Little do you realize what a blessing you are in the lives of these precious children! They will never forget your gentle loving kindness that you show them and it may well be the difference in how the rest of their lives turn out. Keep up the good work, and please keep writing! God has gifted you with many talents! God bless you,
    Aunt Judy

    (Have you ever read "Jungle Pilot"? Gerrit and Klazina had them at their fundraiser, and it's an awesome book about Nate Saint, I'm reading it right now.)

  5. Hi Will,
    I am not offended at all about your feelings about being a nurse!! Ha,ha...sometimes we think we have our lives all figured out and then God has little 'surprises' for us! I think it's wonderful that you're meeting the needs at hand in such a caring way. God bless you for that! God promises to bless those that faithfully use their talents and you certainly are:) Praying His protection and guidance for the 3 of you and all the people that you come in contact with.
    Love Sandra