Wednesday, May 31, 2017

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens

               Our son, John, has been a God-send to us.  He came for a one-week visit in 2006 and is still here, eleven years later, serving God and the people of Tanzania.  He also takes very good care of his parents and fusses over us.  Lately, he has begun to worry about what will happen to him when Karen and I leave here for heavenly pastures, but try as I might to reassure him, he still worries.  Or he did, anyway.  He has worked with wells, pumps, building soccer fields, teaching sanitation and hygiene, building biosand water filters, and teaching programming.  His skill set is unique here in this developing country, but he needed reassurance.  We all do, as far as that goes.  We do trust in God, but we do like to see some direction and guidance from time to time.  The other day, John got just that.
               Dr. Chris came over to check on Karen and I and to bring us both the medication we needed for our aches and pains du jour.  While he was here, he and John wandered back into John’s room replete with computers and video games.  They were in John’s room for quite a while, and, when they emerged, they were both happy and excited.  It seems Dr. Chris needed some help putting together a computer network for his new clinic endorsed by our new government.  Our new President recently fired over 10,000 doctors and nurses because they were illegally qualified (non-qualified, actually).  It seems that if one had a certificate, they would have four or five others using the same piece of paper to get their jobs.  You’d think firing that many doctors and nurses would have a negative effect, but it was actually a good thing.  Dr. Chris trained in Europe and is highly (and legally) qualified and just signed a new five-year contract with the government to oversee not just his clinic but almost forty others as well.  John was able to show him how he could use inexpensive computers, immune from malware, to register patients, prescribe and record medication, and assist the doctor with instant patient information.  John would have one computer for registration (he will write the program), one for the pharmacy, and one for the examining room with just one server.  John can make it easy and effective for doctors with little computer training.  With John’s programs, using just a web browser they will be able to:  1) register a patient including name, age, weight, height, blood pressure, temperature, etc., 2) manage pharmacy inventory, check patient history for potential allergies and current medication, and list prices.  As it turns out, Dr. Chris knows Rais Magufuli (our current President, Rais means President) and wants to set up a meeting between John and the President to see about making this the standard for every hospital and dispensary and to create a centralized server so all patients no matter where they are in the country will have patient history available.  Every doctor will also be able to send scanned photos, x-rays, ultra-sound, and lab results to anywhere no matter how rural.
                   Maybe God wanted John to know that John’s important and will be wanted to help care for God’s children here.  Don’t think John needs to worry anymore.  I suspect the government will want him here, pay him, and help him continue with mission projects like wells, pumps, and rural solar power.  I guess all parents want their children to make a difference in their world and to leave the world a better place because they were in it.  That covers all three of mine and makes for one happy father.  Guess that’s true of God and His children as well.  Way to go, John.  Way to go, God.
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