The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Posted: August 5, 2014 by Lenny in Egbe Hosptial, Egbe Nigeria, Lenny Miles, Miles In Missions, Nigeria

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The unexpected realities of working at a mission hospital…….

seyiWhen preparing for our new lives as missionaries over a year ago, I had never put much thought into the fact that we would be serving at a health care facility. Having never worked in a medical field before, I wasn’t really prepared for the sights, sounds, and smells of all that comes with it. This blog piece is about those new and interesting things that I’ve learned in the past year of living here.

First the Good. Wow, praise God for the miracles that do happen! I have been around many patients with hopeless diagnoses and have gotten to see those ailments get cared for and healed. This is very up lifting and it shows the power of God working through his servants here on the ground. Hearing the surgeon come out of surgery and tell us all that the patient will make it when the case could have went one way or the other on the operating table, is very, very encouraging. Also, when a patient that had a particular “rough case” gets to go home and is smiling from ear to ear, it is very rewarding for us here serving in this capacity!

burnNext, the bad. Lets face it, death is not pretty. Sometimes it can be welcomed for the elderly family member that has been suffering for a long time. However, generally death is not welcomed and no-one really ever wants to say good-bye. One of the most sobering and impactful things for myself is seeing death up close and a little too personal.

Several cases come to mind as I write this, but I want to tell you particularly about a 20 (+/-) year old man that came in with major chest trauma. I remember there was yelling and commotion at our gate so I went to investigate. This is usually the case with most road accidents because someone is usually irate at the other party. The young man was just being wheeled out from our x-ray unit. I stood on the side of the walkway and could see the mans lifeless eyes as they wheeled him by. It hit me like a ton of bricks. An alive an energetic man just a few minutes before, was now dead and had died while they were taking x-rays of his chest. The story is that this man was a “tree cutter” and with this job, they load large logs onto the back of dump trucks. He happened to be standing between two trucks when one backed up and crushed him at chest level. So very sad. 

oubres and jospehLastly, the ugly. Well, lets just say that sanitation is not the utmost priority here. During times of maintaining equipment its very common to open up a panel and find dried blood and other unrecognizable things inside. Next, the morgue at the hospital is not a place that I frequent. I’ve been there a total of two times in a year just to maintain several air conditioners. The smell of death and decay is something I will never forget, although I would like to.

Also, the reality of amputations has hit home. The doctors might explain that a person has to have an extremity taken off due to gangrene or a severe injury and I wonder where that body part goes. Well, lets not go there at all!  There are no garbage trucks, no biomedical waste trucks, or anything else that comes to this hospital. These things simply do not exist here and all of our waste is contained within our 33 acre compound.

team photoOur revitalization team here is doing everything in our power to improve the conditions I described. Most comes from educating the staff, doctors and nurses. Other things such as improved morgue facilities to care for our dead and an incinerator to take care of the biomedical waste, comes from us the maintenance and construction crews. Please pray for God’s continued blessing on this project through financial partners, wise missionaries, and our Nigerian counterparts to bring this hospital up to its full potential.

mgirlsThrough all of this, God has shown me many things in my heart to love on people more and truly appreciate my family. As we all know, life if very fragile and it can be taken away at any moment. Love God, love your family, and love your neighbor as yourself. These things are the most important acts we get to chose to do everyday.

  1. Steve Kruse says:

    Very good insight into life at Egbe Hospital and the wonderful work being accomplished there. I especially liked your closing comments – So True! God bless you, Patrice, Cason, Jolie and all those involved in the Egbe Mission

  2. Dale Meiler says:

    Hey Lenny how are you man! Think about and pray for you and your family everyday! I can not believe you have been in Egbe for a whole year already! I pray you guys have a great time away from Nigeria and get some great rest and relaxation. May The Lord continue to bless and keep you and your family! Love ya brother! Dale Meiler

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Dale Meiler says:

    Lenny, It is hard for me to believe you and your family have been in Egbe for a year already! I am sure that you can believe it since you have lived it! I hope and pray your time away with give you strength and peace to continue on with your ministry. I think about and pray for and your family everyday and know that God will protect you even through this Ebola situation. Many blessings my friend and brother in Christ.

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