As we were looking at the "menu" of vaccinations I started to think about how blessed we are in the United States. Kevin and I are going into a country, where in order to be safe for (mostly) the first times in our lives, we are having to be vaccinated, or medicated to prevent:
- Polio (endemic in Ethiopia)
- Yellow Fever (welcome to mosquitos in Africa)
- Malaria (welcome to the Malaria season.)
- Measles (outbreak in Ethiopia this week)
- Tetanus (my plan had been to wait until I stepped on a rusty nail to get this one)
- Meningitis (welcome to dorm/orphanage living)
- Typhoid (welcome to Typhoid)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- and more (various stomach bugs that we will take preventative antibiotics for).
With my fear of needles, this took a little more bravery than for most people, but other than weird after occurrences (loss of feeling in hands, sore arms, nauseousness, metallic taste and exhaustion), it wasn't as bad as I expected.
About 120 children recently have died in Ethiopia because of the measles, and here in the United States we have a vaccine that will prevent it. I have avoided shots at all costs since the extensive dental I had done as a child. Now I am seeing them as a blessing; albeit painful.
My first reaction to the news of the outbreak was anxiety for Isaac, but then I started thinking about the others who aren't lucky enough to be in an orphanage. All of the child-led-households without parents and started to remember how blessed we are. We believe God has blessed us in order to be a blessing to others, and we pray that God will use us while we are there to do this. We have recently learned of a few options we might have to serve while we are there, and we pray God will open the doors, make these options safe and allow us to have flexibility to see Isaac as much as possible, make our court date, as well as serve.
We found out our tickets included two checked luggage and two carry-ons each, which is way more than sufficient, so we are working to get medical supplies, formula, and a few other items to people who can use them over there. If you happen to have some unopened formula canisters that you will not be using and have expiration dates of 08/2012 or later, we would be happy to take them with us. They will be appreciated! As we confirm the list of items needed, we will post them.
So please be praying for us as we enter this few weeks of craziness, that Isaac stays healthy, that we stay healthy, and that God uses us to be a blessing to others.