The Screening Gate

This is the gate. Ici c’est la porte principale.

On Wednesday, several thousand people will be waiting for this gate to open. They will be watching from this exact vantage point. They will have been waiting for hours; some will have arrived the night before. For many, Mercy Ships Screening Day will be the first time they’ve ever seen a doctor.

It is such a contrast from the kind of waiting I know.

My waiting starts with a clipboard and a ballpoint pen. An armed chair, maybe a fish tank. The View is on mute. I forgot my insurance card. Quick phone call. Scribble numbers. Apologize. Return paperwork. Flip throughTime. Study finds correlation between global warming and ADHD. Good grief. A door opens. Someone calls my name. Nice to see you again.

Again, she says

Because I get to go to the doctor every year.

 Credit photo: Debra Bell: Screening day Conakry - Guinea
 We will see several thousand people Wednesday. Their waiting started years ago.

Credit photo: Debra Bell: Screening day Conakry - Guinea
Screening Day can be overwhelming. No matter how many times I see it, the magnitude of need will always be incomprehensible. When 350+ of us arrive on site before sunrise, we’ll already be outnumbered by those standing in line.

Photo By: Michelle Murrey; Screening Day Lines in Conakry

So to level the head count, I signed you up to come help us. Yes, you have an appointment on August 28th to meet me at the gate. 

Here’s how to get there:

Pray.  For those of us here, and our patients.  For our doctors and nurses, they will spend the day making heavy decisions.  For our translators, who will be delivering news that’s not always easy.  For the people Mercy Ships cannot help & for all of those we will.

Prayer is how we take care of each other when we are far apart. So thank you for continuing to take such good care of us over here. 

We can feel it, I promise.

(photos from screening in Guinea)
Thanks to Catherine for letting us share her incredible thoughts, insight, words & love.

Surely there will be more to come.