Monday, November 28, 2005

Sharing a serving experience

In early November this year, I joined the Medical Service International with my colleques to give teaching to doctors in Heqing, Yunnan. We hope that through our service, the standard of local medical care will be improved and most of all, we shall have interaction with the people there and through us, they can feel God's love. I learnt about the plan early this year when I saw circulars of Christian fellowship in the hospital. There were brothers and sisters of our department who had went there and shared their experience in the circular. I felt that I had the gift that can be used too. In the process of preparing, there were times when I felt quite anxious. I am afraid of giving speech in front of big audience and my experience in trauma management is very limited. I've heard that the life of local people were harsh and hot water may not be available at night. But on our inadequacy, God's power is manifested. The experience turned out to a blessing to my life.

When we arrived at the airport, we were welcomed by the fresh autumn breeze, the land was surrounded by mountains in different tones of colors made by the setting sun. Silke, the wife of Ekehard come to guide us. They were a couple from Germany who was devoted to serve the people of Yunnan. She brought us to the hotel to settle down. Although the hotel is very small,
but everything is available. The best thing was that 24 hr warm water supply was availale. I need not worry about having to have cold water showers. Once I entered the room, I saw a brunch of flowers with welcoming cards prepared by Ekehard and Silke. They were really very thoughtful.

The next day we spent on preparation. We prayed together that God would equip us to finish the task He entrusted us to do. Eckehard introduced the general background of the town to us. Heqing is situated on a plateau of 2200m. Apart from the Hans, there were many minority groups like the PaiZhu and ChangZhu. The good thing was that all can communicate in Putonghua. Eckehard and Silke had been there for 5 years. The infrastructure of the town was improving all over the years. Many mountain people got fresh water supply. Some of them become shepherds. The next project MSI was planning is to get sheep experts to help them solve out problems in sheep raising. There were many shops in town, the roads were built very straight. Twice a week the people will gether in the market place, the mountain dwellers will bring fruit, silver embroideries and some handicrafts to sell. There are also orchid markets where the orchids can be sold at very high prices. It seems that the local people's living standard is raising. One of the thing we pray is that they will realize their spritual needs and come back the Lord who is the only One who shall ultimately fulfill their life.

The hospital we went this time is very near the hotel, only 5 minutes walk will take us there. There are specialties of medicine, surgery, ENT and trauma. 2 dispensaries, one giving western medicine and one giving chinese medicine is in service. On the second floor is the lecture room and the operating theatre. However, cleaning facility like wash basins, rubbish bin and toilets were not easily accessible. The wards were separted from the consultation area.

The following 4 days we began the teaching. The students were from the towns and villages all over Yunnan. Many of them were experienced doctors in surgery and orthopaedics. They pay a lot of attention in classes and raise questions. There were two local doctors who had joined the course in the past. They beagn to teach this time. The enthuisiasm of these doctors really impressed me. In the afternoon, some doctors have the chance to stay and learn practical procedures like intubation, chest drain and establishing intravenous access. They also had scenarios where they can practice what they had just learnt. Many of the students expressed interest in the new learning method. They felt more confident when they face real patients next time. Through the process of teaching, I also learnt a lot. I tried to observe and listen to the response of the student. As I go along, my anxiety decreased.

The 4 days of teaching finished very soon. During the nights, we gather in Echehard's home for fellowship, we share our feelings and opinions and enjoy the delicious food prepared by Silke. Clara and Samuel, their two kids, played with us. I still remember the huge Guinea pig Samuel kept. I wonder how he feed it to make it so big. Clara played piano to us. I was amazed that she can play the concerto of Huang He.

The six days ended very soon and I am back to Hong kong for nearly a month now. The memory is still fresh. I find that my trust in God is growing and my life is enriching as He had promised.