Sometimes I believe that the Masai women are some of the most brave and beautiful women I have ever met. I meet women every day who choose to rise above their poverty level, the chains culture binds them too, and the way their husband makes them feel.
I meet women who birth children naturally with such strength and dignity. Women who pray over their children who have HIV and hope for them. Who sacrifice their individual nutrition so their children can go to school. And who when they meet a stranger from another country- offer the blanket off of their back- to try and help another.
This past week has been super busy in the maternity ward and women's health clinic. Monday there were 4 births during the day and 2 that happened overnight. Loma Linda masters students and faculty have been visiting Africa Mission Services and helping at the clinic and school and some of their students got to help with the deliveries. Births in Africa are difficult to say the least and much "rougher" then the birthing hospitals women have in America.
One primigravida came into the clinic this week with a very long and difficult labor. She had to have an episiotomy because she was not big enough for the babies head to pass through (also a complication from female genital mutilation she had undergone). Unfortunately after her delivery she bled a lot. Even though we gave her medicines to help manage the bleeding oxytocin and mistoprostol, the next morning her hemoglobin was 2.6 and we had to rush her into the hospital in Kilgoris to try and get her an emergency blood transfusion. This women was strong and with God's help, she recovered well. I found out later she was a kindergarten teacher at the local school. God must have laid special hands on this sweet teacher because 2.6 hemoglobin is way too low.
Another women yesterday came into the clinic experiencing bleeding at only 8 weeks pregnant. Unfortunately she had a miscarriage. This was a very sad situation and she had to be cleaned out so that she would have no remaining "pieces" that could cause further bleeding. It is so difficult to see that sometimes even though a women is healthy- there can still be adverse situations and emergencies that can occur during birth. How do you explain to a women why a baby could suddenly die within her and that she would have to get a procedure to have it removed?
Although many of the local Masai women face adverse circumstances and challenges, I see their strength and their courage. When I am riding the motorcycle down the road, they always wave at me. Walking down the road, they shake my hand, gently stroke my hair, and tell me many times "Karibu" you are welcome here.
Even though I can't do very much to help the situation of Masai women here.. I definitely can't save the world- and sometimes I wonder if me being here even makes a difference... I can choose to let the Masai women inspire me. And I can choose to inspire them with an encouraging word, prayer, or small kind action. And sometimes I think inspiration and hope and prayer is the best, most healing thing we can do for someone else. Thankfully Jesus knows these women here. He knows their hearts and He cares for them just like He cares for you and me everyday- and especially when we are weak or hurting.
So I praise God for being the healer of the hurt and the injustice they face. And I praise God for giving these women the courage and strength they have- that you can see in their eyes. And I pray to God that He would help me and these women to know Him more. That as we behold Him we would be changed, we would be healed.