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Please see some areas of need below.
- Old/new clothing
- Volunteer work
- Medical equipment
- Office equipment
How the Doctors For Life Clinic in Zavora, Mozambique began
The clinic at Zavora in Mozambique stemmed out of Doctors for Life’s mobile clinic ministry to African countries. We had always dreamed of having a permanent clinic in an African country and Mozambique is the first country where it has been realized….More
One of our biggest need for volunteers at this moment is for our clinic in Zavora, Mozambique:
We urgently need doctors and nurses to volunteer in the clinic for the month of June 2010. We also need medical volunteers for the rest of the year, on a short or on a long term basis. At the moment there is only one doctor and one nurse doing all the work. Please assist us to serve the people in Mozambique.
Journey to Mozambique
8-31 October 2009
The dream begins
The first time I heard of Mozambique 2003 was at the Kirchentag in Berlin, where Johan Claassen of DFL introduced the work of Aid to Africa. Since then I kept thinking about Mozambique. Johan had also mentioned that DFL planned to open a clinic there and that they would need medical personnel.
More than six years later
I heard through a friend that a clinic has been opened in Mozambique. Anna Sudermann and I made contact with DFL and enquired if we could come and be of help in October of that year. DFL answered that they would be glad if we came in October. My colleagues were happy for me. Some responses were:
“Iris, this has always been your dream”
“I would love to do it myself”
“I am jealous but am happy for you”
Application for a visa
When we were sure that we would go we applied for a visa, which was not such an easy matter for everything is written in English. A good friend helped us with the document and thus we overcame this hurdle.
Anna and I received a Scripture verse from the Lord, from Judges 18:5-6 “And they said to them, ‘Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether the journey on which we are setting out will succeed’. And the priest said to them, ‘Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord’”.
Then Anna and I started our preparations for the journey. At the hospital’s linen department I asked whether they might have clothing for babies in Mozambique. The next day I heard that they were donating 30kg of baby clothing!! But how to transport this much baby clothing to Mozambique?
We applied for more free luggage on our flight, so that Anna and I each had 40kg but unfortunately only up to Johannesburg. From there to Inhambane we would only have 20kg each, meaning that we would have 40kg too much. Someone gave us the advice that if there was no way out we should just start crying, this said and done. At the check-in of Johannesburg airport we found that all our good arguments were of no use so we just started crying. One of the stewardesses was pregnant and we gave her some of the baby clothes, the ice was broken and they let us travel on to Inhambane in Mozambique with 40kg overweight of luggage. We were thankful to the Lord for His help and were wondering what would still be waiting for us.
Zavora was our destination
Upon our arrival at Zavora the hearty welcome of the brothers and sisters there immediately made us feel at home – I felt like the fairytale ‘princess on the pea’. We had a good bed, warm water, a toilet and lovely meals – what more does one need in life? After a few days at the clinic we asked the Lord for births, (seeing that we are both midwives). We found it humorous when we had a call to ask if we would like to attend to a cat that was giving birth to a litter of kittens. With joy we left for the place of birth and were party to a cat giving birth.
Every morning we had a short devotion for the patients before we started to treat them. For us it is very important that the people do not only receive help and healing for their bodies but also for their souls. Anna and I practiced to speak the local language, which caused much merriment and laughter; thankfully the patients were very patient with us.
One day a young boy came with an open wound caused by an axe. He was only about 6 years old but was very brave and did not even cry – this really touched my heart.
Our first birth
A woman was having her 9th child. It was a good birth and it went very fast. We only had to write a short report on the birth and also little cleaning up to do, for here we had a cleaning lady, which we are not used to at home. In Germany the midwife is responsible for everything, also for the cleaning up.
I’d like to share some more impressions from our first journey to Africa. The people of Africa are very patient and have shown their love for us in special ways. Anna and I were walking to the beach taking about an hour on a ± 5km footpath. On the way there a woman gently took my beach bag from me to carry it – I knew her from the clinic, she had come for a pregnancy care consultation. She also offered us something to drink, be it from a very dirty glass. Still, I was touched by her kindness and drank the water. Goodbye to hygiene!
One day, while Anna and I were baking a cake a cat licked on the butter. We still used the butter for the baking, after all, the germs will all be killed in the oven. Again, goodbye to hygiene!
The return journey
For Anna and me it was very hard to return to Germany. On our return flight we shed many tears and in our thoughts we were already planning our next trip.
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