A First Aid Kit in Africa

December 5, 2012 | Blog | 4 Comments

On our Mission Study Trip in Africa we came across some village based clinics and a hospital where dedicated nurses worked. One clinic nurse would regularly visit outlying villages up to fifteen kilometres away. She walked. We saw her resources. Our first aid kit would have nearly as much in it as was on her shelves.

First Aid KitPart of our equipment was a First Aid kit. There were bandages, aspirin, disinfectant and a couple of syringes among other items. The syringes were in case we had to go to hospital or a clinic. In no circumstance were we to use one of their needles. Why? There was no guarantee that needles hadn’t been used before. Instead of injecting health or antibody there would have been the possibility of receiving a more severe infection.

One of our host families had two children, a boy and a girl both under ten. The girl had injured herself riding a pushbike. She had put her foot through the front wheel spokes and then catapulted over the handle-bars. All they had to put on the child’s possible broken ankle was iodine. She was such a brave little lass, hardly complaining and only whimpering quietly with the pain. Our bandages, aspirin, etc came in handy for her.

There have only been a few times when I would have longed to have the gift of healing. It isn’t fun to feel helpless after you have done all you could to ease the pain of the sick. Of course we prayed. Of course we did what we could. Looking into that brave child’s eyes wrung out of the heart, not prayer, but the angst of frustration. Where were the funds to help medically the sick, injured and dying?

Reflection on 3 John 2: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

Lord, you looked with compassion when you walked this earth. Healing was on your heart for them. Your word offers first aid applications as well as preventative medicine for which we are thankful. The pity I see is that people take little notice of your directions for health and healing. I notice also that you gave your disciples an authority to go and heal. History bears witness to the obedience of the Church to this mandate. The need remains so great it is overpowering. May those in the forefront of this ministry to body, soul and spirit sense your refreshing presence.

When the people were in need of food after being with you over a couple of days you told your disciples “you give them something…” (Matthew 14:16). Looking at the need and their own inadequacies, the problem seemed overwhelming. What you did with a small boy’s lunch to feed the multitude is in itself a parable of what you do when we offer our pittance to meet the poverty of others.

Lord, may I be saved from excuses that cover my neglect or indifference. May I hear again, “you give them something…”.  Lord, let your health and healing flow through your people to a sin sick and sorrowful world.

My Final Thought: Compassion is motivation for action, not emotional camouflage for inaction.

Ray HawkinsRay Hawkins, “The Neurotic Rooster”, 2006, private publication, used with permission.
More information http://rayhawkinsauthor.blogspot.com.au/p/home.html

Ray is a retired Church of Christ pastor with a love of writing, mission and kids. He keeps fit by chasing grandchildren and writing devotional meditations, and helps his son out with a sea horse tourist venture and breeding program in Tasmania. This reflection was written after 3 trips to Africa with his wife, Mary.  Watch out for more to come.

4 Comments to "A First Aid Kit in Africa

  • Amedar Consulting Group On 07/12/2012 @ 05:17 PM

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  • Ray Hawkins On 18/12/2012 @ 08:52 PM

    Just want ed to say how I appreciate your regularity in putting up a devotional from The N. Rooster. If I may I thought I’d put this one on Facebook and hopefully make SWN a little wider known. I’m new to Facebook and have lots to learn. Hope this comes out okay.
    Ray.

    • Lindsay Fell On 20/12/2012 @ 12:09 PM

      Dear Ray We thank YOU so much for allowing us to use your material on our website. Please do put this blog on your facebook. I have tried to find you on facebook, What is your page? If you like, go to our SWN page (facebook.com/secondwindnetwork) and like us and that way we will find you and like you back. I’m afraid that we are not very good facebook users either !! Blessings and have a wonderful Christmas with your family

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