Jessie and I received an e-mail from our special friend Dr. Kirby Kilpatrick, retired OB/GYN, currently what you might call a farmer, and certainly a poet for he has the soul of a poet.  He said that he had a few left over small medical “tools of the trade” that might be useful in Tanzania.  We stopped by on Friday morning.  He came in the kitchen with a mug full of the instruments seen in the pictures at the top.  (Don’t ask me why there are 3 pictures ~ I am afraid to delete one for fear they will all disappear!)   He laid them out on the kitchen counter and held each one lovingly and gently as he explained its purpose.  We sensed they held a lot of memories from his many years in surgery and delivering babies.  I suggested that he might want to keep them as memorabilia from his other life.  You could see the wistfulness in his eyes when he said:  “well yes, but I would rather that they be used.”   

Cheryl Rachels, FNP and Tom Lineberger, my physicians, Roger Waddel, Jessie’s doctor have given us stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs and rolled bandages.  St. Mary Magdalene’s Church will be sending us off with Band-Aids, so for once we feel like medical missionaries.  John Ceraso, DDS always donated boxes of toothbrushes and toothpaste every year. 

Two years ago we visited Kilamitende Hospital in the Diocese of the Rift Valley.  It’s a solid structure built by the Germans but with only one doctor and very few medical supplies.  It’s a day’s trip from Dodoma but this is where we hope to take these wonderful donations.  Also, Sandy needs a stethoscope.  Such joy your gifts bring to us as they will to physicians there.

The instruments are placed on my Daily Office book ~ I was seeking a dark background.  Now it seems very appropriate.  Jesus healed everyone he met during his time on earth.  Here is a prayer for doctors and nurses from The Book of Common Prayer:  “Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain.  Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen”  And as we southern women say:  BLESS THEIR HEARTS!

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