My heart is so full - I have two awesome updates for you.
First, thank you all so much for praying for our four noma patients. I shared your responses with the nurses on the wards who shared them with the patients, much to everyone's encouragement.
This afternoon, Zoe and I were taking out our trash. As is our custom, we stopped by the tent that serves as the outpatient waiting area on our way back to the ship to see if we knew anyone. Sure enough, one of my patients from last week was there, along with his mama and his little brother. My patient, understandably, wasn't thrilled to see me since I had been taking care of him right after his surgery, but mama and baby brother were all smiles so we sat down to 'chat' for a while. (Given the fact that neither of us speaks a single word of the other's language, conversations are limited to smiles, hugs, and babies being passed from arm to arm. It works surprisingly well.)
We'd been there a little while when I heard someone greet me. Hearing the quiet bonjour, I looked up and saw one of the patients you prayed for, Alpha. It took me a moment to recognize him, since I've never seen him out of a hospital gown. I've also never heard his voice, since he had a tracheostomy while I was down in D Ward. But there he was, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, greeting me with a twinkle in his eyes.
At my look of surprise, he smiled as well as he could with his new lips, gesturing towards town to tell me that he's staying at the HOPE Center now. I handed Zoe to him, and they sat together for a while in the heat of the afternoon. She rested quietly in his lap as he carefully wiped her drool with her bib and then his own on the blue cloth he carried while the two of them just stared at each other in wonder.
God is on the move; our patients are getting well.
And if you had any doubt at all about His working in this place, I'd like to introduce you to Alseny.
My dear friend Tracey took that photo this morning, and I'm going to let her update you on our little friend, because the story is so much bigger than I could even have imagined.