A short update on my goings and comings and stayings..
I have been doing a lot of researching and reading and of course, post service reflection. I have had good restful time off to recuperate since leaving the ship 3 months ago but it has also been a stretching and difficult time not knowing what my next steps were going to be. It took me 3 months of travel, part time work back at my old job and a lot of obscure conversations with well-meaning people to figure out where my heart lies.
And so, I am visiting at a state run clinic treating clubfoot babies here in Joburg and hopefully that develops into some volunteer work. I am really excited and looking forward to getting involved as much as possible to continue learning and building my skills in Ponseti treatment. I am also doing a 4 week online course in November on the Ponseti Method to supplement the great hands-on training I got with Nick Veltjens on board the Africa Mercy over the past 2 field services. I have made contact with other NPOs working with clubfoot both in South Africa and internationally to network and scout for further opportunities to get involved.
In South Africa Orthopaedic surgeons are doing a great job with treating clubfoot using the Ponseti Method and it is a vision of a few determined Ponseti advocates to see more collaboration and further training for allied health professionals to increase the impact of care. My hope is that in the future physios and surgeons can work together to run more decentralized clinics to increase the accessibility of care to those in rural areas while keeping clubfoot care at a high standard.
In the future I hope to return to work with Mercy Ships and their Ponseti Mentoring Program. It is unique in that it is the only organization that partners with local health professions, the government and other NPOs on a longer term basis. This 10 month commitment allows deeper relationship building, high quality training and the ability to build sustainable programs. This is the work I want to be involved in. This is where the impact is. In addition the community on board the ship is a beautiful phenomenon that one is privileged to be a part of.
So although the path is not clearly marked and signposted I continue to press forward with the assurance of Proverbs 13:3 “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Please continue to pray into this as you are lead, your prayers are powerful and make a difference.
Until next time…