On our recent medical outreach trip we were able to visit communities who had never had any outside medical workers visit their area to help. In most of these villages the livelihood is farming and menial work with many earning only pennies a day rendering healthcare unattainable. Our day 2 clinic was in a small secluded village which had around 40 beautiful families, mostly all related sharing the same last name. The only way to reach this village was by driving bumpy, palm tree - lined roads right through a river. We were told to pray it didn't rain or we couldn't get through - so pray we did and we had an exhilarating crossing! We were all humming the Indiana Jones theme song as we bounced and jostled through the shallow water, passing a caribou who barely even noticed us
After a full day of seeing patients one of our Filipino team members asked if we could make a housecall to see a very sick friend. This 46 year old lady was a former militant with multiple scars from gunshot wounds. She had a foot wound as a result of untreated diabetes and was now under the care of a traditional "healer." This is very common in rural areas where medical care is sparse and very expensive. When Dr. Royal entered the house the situation and smell of the infected wound was appalling. Her infected sore foot was smeared with herbs, covered in leaves and mumified in scotch tape- yes, scotch tape. As he leaned closer he wiffed the classic smell of a bacterial infection. The "healer" said if anyone else saw the wound an evil spirit would come upon her. What was Royal to do? It was a collision of tradition and superstition with medical science and the power of God. Without being able to examine the wound they spent a long time listening and praying with Maimee and her caring husband who were so touched by the compassion of our team member and this american doctor. They were willing to add stronger antibiotics and diabetes meds to the "healer's" treatment and agreed to a careful follow up plan with our friend. We are praying for God to intervene in miraculous ways for their physical and spiritual healing.