by Jackie Bailey

Last Thursday I volunteered to help with patient screening that was held at a local hospital.  There were about 2,000 people lined up to be screened for possible surgeries on board.  It was an extremely hot, humid day and people had been standing in line since 4:00 a.m. Many had traveled some distance to reach Tamatave, but there was no pushing or shoving. People were very patient and kind to one another, offering seats and sharing shade and water.  It was very different from other patient screenings I have seen.

I signed up to be on the prayer team that prays with the people we couldn’t help. The experience was very moving, incredibly sad and yet beautiful in many ways.

Please pray for the following young people we encountered in the prayer room who had to be turned away for medical treatment:

We sent away several mothers who had babies with encephalitis. Babies tied to their mothers’ backs with tiny bodies and huge heads are images you never forget.  Please pray for these families and their babies who will soon die. Mercy Ships has sent a palliative care team to try and help them through the dying process.

A man led his two blind children to us, each holding on to his arm–a 13 year old boy and an 11 year old girl. They were waiting to be seen in the hopes of restoring their eyesight.  They had their vision until age 7 or 8, but had untreated glaucoma. I’m not sure why they had it so young, but our eye team was not able to help them.  This family and their situation was particularly sad to me because there are no services or help for the blind. I guess the only bright spot was that they had each other.

A 16 year old girl came with a 9 month old baby that looked like it was about 2 months old. This baby was clearly not going to live.  The mother was also pregnant with a second baby. She was unmarried and confided that she was about to have an abortion.  God magnificiently intervened and she not only committed to not abort the baby, but also committed her life to Christ.  It was amazing!