During the 2 weeks I was serving at Faith Alive in Jos, Plateau State, the news and events surrounding the spread of Covid-19 prompted Samaritan’s Purse/World Medical Mission (WMM) to begin shortening the trips of short term volunteers that were overseas. I was scheduled to drive overland from Jos to Egbe, Kogi State, on March 13, (12 hours total drive time), and serve at ECWA Hospital Egbe until April 6. With the overflow of volunteers needing to get home, the travel coordinators were working overtime to make flight changes. I knew that at some point WMM would let me know about my new schedule. When it came time for me to leave for Egbe, the flights had not been changed yet. After MUCH FERVENT prayer we (meaning me, SIM and WMM staff) decided to proceed as previously planned until told otherwise. God was and still is in control. God’s Presence was and still is with me. God was and still is my Guide, Strength, and Ever-Present Help in time of need. God had things for me to accomplish, and I knew that He would get me home in His Time.
During the one week spent in Egbe, I was able to instruct a new, on-the-job Anesthesia Trainee on airway management, the use and placement of both LMAs and ETTs, and to walk him through his very FIRST general anesthesia. We also had a little time to have some teaching sessions on treating complications of both general and regional anesthesia. At the same time, it was a short but wonderful week of serving with the faithful Anesthesia and OR staff, strengthening our relationships, and sharing stories of things happening in their families and around Egbe.
A “first” for ECWA Hospital in Egbe is the arrival of Dr. Ben and his family. Dr. Ben is a General Surgeon that graduated from the PAACS surgical residency in Cameroon. He and his wife (who is a Physio-therapist) are originally from the Congo. It was a privilege to serve with him in the OR. His surgical skills are exceptional, his “people” skills with the OR staff, the other physicians and ward nurses reflect compassion and patience with gentle teaching and encouragement, and he has great “bed-side” manners with his patients. To see all the wonderful changes taking place in Egbe was a great encouragement to me. I look forward to going back whenever the current world-wide situation once again allows international travel. I am reminded of some verses in Proverbs 16: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end.” And “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” In short, God had everything worked out even before I went! This was very evident when I was on the very last flight out of Abuja when all international flights in and out of Nigeria were banned. God is Sovereign and His timing is always perfect! (See pictures of Dr. Ben and OR staff below.) Written by: C. Marflak