Our journey started years ago with Dr Gavin who first went to Roque in 2007, over the past 10 years we have sent 5 teams from Bethesda to Roque with the last one being over 2 years ago. Pastor Christianne (the pastor of Roque) and Dr Rodney have both been praying for an opportunity to go to Roque as the people there are really in need of healthcare.
In January Dr Rodney visited a church in Ada, Oklahoma and suggested to them on their April mission trip we could take a team to Roque. The team agreed and provided the funds for all the medicine (which is one of the reasons we haven't been able to go) so Dr Rodney started planning.
We arrived at a village called Marianne and there we got out and unloaded our supplies. Some of the men from the village came down the mountain with their horses to transport our stuff and we started walking.
Our first hurdle was the river, which is usually pretty shallow. Not that day, it must have been raining before we came, the river was above our knees in parts and because it was flowing so fast we could not see where we were stepping! Thankfully no one fell in!!
The hike started off pretty easy but after crossing another river we started the steep ascent. Thankfully it wasn't too hot!As we got closer to the top people kept stopping to take photo's but as we got higher and higher the view just got better and better.
|Photobombed by a donkey!|
Once we finished the uphill part, it was about a 30 minute walk on the flat to the village. As we walked along the path we passed a few houses, most of which are made of mud and sticks. On the way up I said hi to someone and they responded ' Bonjou Julie!' I was so surprised as it's has been 7 years since I had been there.
After 2 1/2 hours we arrived at the church in Roque. The last time I was there the church was simply a tin roof with no walls. They had started to build with blocks but it was really just the very beginnings. The school was also a tin roof with stick walls, now the whole building is built from blocks and has 6 separate classrooms and a dining room. The church even has a solar panel which provides light for them in the evening and runs their sound system on Sunday mornings.
We had a quick drink and a snack and got set up for the day. We had 4 people consulting, Dr Rodney, Dr Phil, Ms Admatha (Dr Rodney's mum) and Dr Sincere, a doctor doing her social service year at BMC. Dr Rodney spoke to the patients before we started, greeted them and explained how the day was going to run.
First was registration and dossier
then vital signs
We finished up about 5.30pm and saw around 120 patients that Friday afternoon. Out of all the patients we saw only a couple were not Christians. It was a real testimony to Pastor Christianne who has worked hard to share and live the gospel with the people of Roque. After we had a rest, changed our clothes, got showered ( from a bucket!) it was time for some dinner and a time of reflecting and sharing.
Finally around 10pm we headed to bed. Most of us where sleeping in the classrooms in the school. Many of the people in the local community had given up their beds for the weekend for us to sleep on. We were humbled and thankful for their generosity and it really was a privilege to be able to help them in a small way.