Welcome to Zimbabwe

Filed Under (Blogs) by Susan on 13-07-2017

We were definitely a sight to behold at JFK international airport.   A team of 10 people all wearing identical “Love Without Reason” yellow shirts, trolleying 30 pieces of luggage which were all tagged with the same beautiful Volunteer Orange ribbons.  We were an excited bunch, taking selfies, praying in tongues and passing out snacks.

The flight was uneventful, other than people asking us “What is Love Without Reason?”   One pastor from Kenya invited us to bring Love Without Reason to Kenya!  God willing that day will come very soon.

 

We were greeted by an amazing team at the Harare Airport.  Each LWR family was hosted by a church family from Revival Ministries International, which was LWR’s hosting church for our very first medical camp in Zimbabwe!  Sunday morning three separate churches received the Word from different groups of LWR’s team.  Each service was powerful.  The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles!

 

Beginning Sunday up until Saturday each day was designated with tasks and preparation for the Sunday (Father’s Day) medical camp at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.  Everything from visiting the hospital and laying the map for camp day, to sorting out medical supplies to creating patient files!!  Whether you had a medical background or not, your skill was used here!  During the evenings, various meetings were held:  awareness meetings on Human Trafficking, a seminar on Women in Ministry, and a Message of Hope from Philip Mathews.  Every person on the ten member team from America shared or spoke during these meetings.  Our first two team members from India came as the Trustees of LWR Foundation, the remaining “Big Five” which included the surgeons and anesthesiologists would arrive on Saturday.

 

The day of camp finally arrived!  The Admin team arrived at 6a.m. and there was already a line of twenty patients waiting for the doors to open.  We learned that many traveled from 300-500 kilometers away, and their transport had arrived late in the night or early that morning to deposit them at the hospital.  We all assembled at each of the 11 stations, which included a photo session, pediatrician, surgeon, and anesthetist evaluation, blood work,  and counseling.  The amazing volunteers (close to 100) checked in at their stations ready to help at their first medical camp.   The medical students from the University of Zimbabwe came with their white coats to assist in history taking and in registration and to learn from the health care providers.  Nursing staff from the hospital assisted the patients with weights, blood pressure and blood draws.  Runners transported vials of blood to and from the lab in order to streamline the movement of patients.  Approximately 149 patients came through the camp, with 46 being screened out for non-facial health issues.  Of the remainder, lists were made to accommodate patients for the June mission, and for the next camp mission.

 

Beginning Monday morning, children and adults were brought to the operating theatre for surgery.  Santhosh and I visited them in the hospital ward that evening.  Many parents that night itself thanked us with tears of gratitude in their eyes, as they gazed in wonder at their children’s new faces.

 

The days started at 5a.m. and ended at 11pm with the workload in the hospital.  Our lead operating room nurse, Sister Botoro, told us “I will not be tired, until Sunday.”  Their hearts were moved because of the love shown to the people of Zimbabwe.  One surgical nurse cried as she shared with us during the focus group meeting on Friday night, “No one cares about the poor.  No one.  But you have come to change their lives.”

 

Friends, the work is not over in Zimbabwe, it is only beginning.  If you have given to Love Without Reason, please know that this is your victory too!  If you have never supported the cause, I urge you to partner with us.  There was only 1 craniofacial surgeon in the entire country, as a result there is a five year back log of patients with such birth defects.  With the help of LWR surgical team passing on their skills, many more surgeons will rise up in this country.  The five year back log will disappear.

 

Thank you for joining with us!   God bless you for answering the call!!

Until the World is Cleft Free!

Susan

www.lovewithoutreason.org

Share

Walmart After Hours

Filed Under (Blogs) by Susan on 01-06-2017

I’ve always heard my friends advise that one should avoid going to WalMart late at night due to the shady crowds that can frequent the supermarket.  Normally, I would not be going late at night, but it was unavoidable so  Santhosh and I made the trek into the local store.  While the shopping was uneventful, once we returned to our car, the excitement began.

 

We saw a police officer chase a man across the parking lot.  This middle aged man ran to my side of the car, while the police officer remained at the driver’s side of the car.   He told Santhosh not to move the vehicle and so we just stayed parked in the middle of Walmart’s parking lot.  The criminal ran using our vehicle as a shield from the police officer.  They both ran around our vehicle and yelled at each other from across the van.  This continued for a few minutes, and the officer called for back up.  He finally motioned for Santhosh to drive ahead.  He peeled out trying to make it easy for the officer to catch the criminal.  Within minutes, several other officers arrived on the scene and the criminal was head down on the police car.  (Just a quick reminder, always lock your doors as soon as you enter your vehicle!!)

 

We were marveling at the courage of the officers.  They lay their life down every day for strangers.  We don’t always see the good, but I am so grateful for the safe environment the Chattanooga Police Department was trying to create for me and my family.  Our police officers do this every day.  The next time you do see an officer, think about passing a Zaxby’s gift card or a word of encouragement to them.   They should hear more from us.  If we did not have the rules and the laws, then we would live in even more chaos.  May God be with our officers and leadership and give them supernatural wisdom and direction and protection as they work so hard to serve and protect us.

 

God bless you all!

Share

Milestones and Memories in April

Filed Under (Blogs) by Susan on 28-04-2017

Meet Shyam Sundar, who is Love Without Reason's 300th surgical patient.

Meet Shyam Sundar, who is Love Without Reason’s 300th surgical patient.

April is a great month to be thankful for so many things.  Sometimes I think that April should hold the Thanksgiving holiday.  It is so wonderful to put away the winter clothes, and enjoy the longer sunny days, the beautiful flowers, and everything turning green again!!  It’s truly a time of thanksgiving, but in that season is also a time to remember the past.  For me, April 2017 marks three years since I resigned from my corporate job as a nurse practitioner.

 

It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made.  To take a leap of faith, not knowing how to pay for the children’s school fees, when would we be able to go to the grocery store next, would the mortgage be paid?   So many questions, and zero answers.  But the scripture tells us that even before we ask, our Father knows what we need.  Truly, He has supplied all our needs, and even some “wants” too.

 

I don’t think I would have imagined that three years after I resigned from my job, Love Without Reason would be celebrating the 300th surgery.   What  a milestone!  To God be the glory, because He has done great things.  We can never say that we have done this and built this ministry.  We had nothing to build with.  There was only a willingness to be obedient, and to listen, even when it all seemed foolishness.

 

In the dark and dank brothels of Mumbai, there was a lot of rejoicing as Santhosh led five women (one of whom was a former madam) to the Lord with the message of hope and salvation.  The madam who had 5-6 girls as slaves, set them all free.  They have been placed in shelters in Mumbai for their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

 

Sometimes we don’t have the complete answers when we submit ourselves to the will of God.  But one thing we can be assured is that if He started a good work in us, He will be faithful to complete it.  Don’t be discouraged about the timing of the fulfillment of the plan of God.  It will come to pass.  Be faithful and continue the work and the walk of faith.  May God help us all to do just that.  If I can pray for you, please let me know!

 

Blessings to you,

Susan

 

 

Share