After nine days of travelling thousands of miles, crossing multiple time zones, driving hours every day to get to and from our clinic destinations, helping thousands of patients in 40C+ heat … it was finally time for a well-deserved and welcomed rest for the entire team.
Sunday started with a very African style church service. Because of our large numbers and many who had joined us from nearby villages we had church under the big kapok tree in the Carpenter NEA compound. Some of the canopies that had been used at the clinics were deployed to help keep some of the attendees out of the blistering hot sun. Our three hour service featured dancing, singing, testimonies, and preaching, with almost everything translated as we went along. It is almost impossible to describe the joy and energy of our Ghanaian Christian brothers and sisters at these services. Our Canada/UK choir sang several hymns that were much appreciated. David Mensah preached a message from the book of Ruth that was so relevant to all those attending.
Sunday evening everyone was invited to the Mensah residence for a few hours of informal relaxation and socializing. Dr. Balaji, one of our dentists, is also a very accomplished musician and we all had the pleasure of being entertained with a few Beatles era songs. David and Brenda Mensah shared some amazing insights about their early days together with their family in Ghana as well as God’s provision and direction at critical times during the past twenty five years.
Monday, after breakfast, the team was off to a picnic by a spectacular waterfall near Kintampo. It was a great opportunity to take in some beautiful nature scenery and a few took the opportunity to jump into the surprisingly cold water for a refreshing dip.
After this trip and back at the compound it was time to start setting up for the three days of clinic right at the compound that starts first thing tomorrow morning. As we went up to the dining room for dinner we couldn’t help noticing about 30 people sitting in the nearby gazebo. They had apparently organized a bus from near Tamale which is over three and half hours away, to be first in line to attend our clinic in the morning. The fame of the Health Teams that have come year after year is spreading far beyond the immediate area where clinics are held and people travel for hours to be seen by the team doctors.
The vast majority of team members continue to be well with a few each day that have to stay behind to recover from the now familiar ailments, but they are usually back in action within 24 hours.
All would like to send their “greetings” (a very Ghanaian term) to friends and family back home as we prepare for Week Two.