Kudvumisa Clinic – Day 3 Eswatini


We were in the Kudvumisa Clinic today which is lovely and very practical.

We ended up having a very busy day with a lot of different illnesses. We also were able to see some kids from a children’s home for orphans.

It was started several years back and have raised 8 children. They came in a little scared about a visit to the doctor but by the end were laughing and smiling. There lovely smiles are a testament to what people stepping in the gap to help can do. They picked up the gauntlet after parents were no longer there to carry it.

Now we have these fresh faces ready to take on the world and love Jesus.

Read more from prior days.

– Dr. Lara Yoblonski

Eswatini Day 2

Today was another good day. We saw about 180 patients.

What I learned today

I learned 2 people on the team know sign language.  I learned this because we had a wonderful patient with a great smile. She had 4 children her husband had died and she has HIV and TB. And to top it off one of the medications she was on for the TB had made her deaf. She was telling us about her current medical issues and kept smiling. Turns out someone in clinic had prayed for her and talked about Jesus and that had made her day.

It was a great reminder for me to keep the focus in the right place.

– Dr. Lara Yoblonski

We Are Seeing Gods Work – Day 1 Eswatini


We are here in Swazi and doing well.

First Day

First day of clinic was busy with most of the team being new to our clinic system. The day went smoothly except for me misreading the time and being an hour ahead all day?!

What Stands Out

The story the struck me was from pharmacy. I was walking by Ana heard Teresa our host say “the 11 year old is taking care of all of them?” Upon further investigation there were 4 children 11 years old and younger that were there alone because their mother is reportedly paralyzed. Needless to say we were all moved.

Looking Forward

We have set up a home visit for Tues to assess the situation. I will update the story later in the week. We are seeing God work. Please keep praying for His will and protection.


– Dr. Lara Yoblonski

Kenya 2019 – Travel to Kenya

Our team arrived after nearly 30 hours of travel to the same hospitality we’ve come to know from our Kenyan hosts. After collecting our luggage – and we cannot overstate the importance of this: all our luggage arrived with us – we were taken to our accommodations for the night.

It was 12:30 AM when we arrived but our lodge had a delicious meal prepared for us so we could all go to bed with a full stomach and try to get some sleep. Despite a 12 hour time difference almost all of the team got a good, if short, nights sleep.

Sunday morning we traveled to our host ministry’s church for a true African church service. That means lots of exuberant worship, imagine Zumba with a stirring message delivered from the heart.

We’ve now made the two hour drive to our base of operations for the coming week.  Clinics began Monday morning so please be in prayer for the team as we work to meet the many needs. More to come… Until then we give thanks.

Written by Dr.  Lara Yoblonski as she shares her stories from Kenya.



First Day of Swazi Clinic

Dr. Lara Yoblonski shares her stories.

Day 1 – Swaziland Clinic.

We were all nervous and anticipating what we would encounter. We saw many lovely patients but one especially hit me.

A young first time mother with an 8 month old baby that had multiple medical issues after being born premature, one of which was uncontrolled seizures. She was having up to 10 a day. They were trying some new medications but the mother was not able to afford them. The baby was developmentally delayed and needed physical therapy but again there were no funds. The mother was worried,  even scared for her child. She wanted the best for her child but life was stopping her.

We arranged some things to temporarily help with medications and taught mom some physical therapy exercises. Mostly we were able to let her know we care and to pray for her to have hope and perseverance in doing the best for her baby. Hopefully this provided some comfort and decreased the stress for this sweet young mother.

Please pray for her if she crosses your mind.

Onward to the next clinic and who and what God has for us.

Dr. helping child

It’s not what we expected

One would think that we have all the answers and that we can anticipate what life will have in store for us. Well, think again. Today was an eye opener for many, and what I am about to share with you, are the stories and experiences of those who cared for those who came to clinic.

3 Stories

An eighty something year old woman complained of her back and shoulders hurting. When her dress was lifted to examine her legs, two very swollen and bulbous legs and feet were seen, with skin so tight that it was transparent. When asked if her legs were bothering her, she said no, just her back and shoulders.

A thirty something man presented with amputated toes on one foot, half of the other foot was gone, large sores and unable to walk. He had been like this for fifteen years. Half of his life. When asked how this had happened, he said the doctors didn’t know.

A middle aged women presented with a large amount of fluid in her abdomen with a diagnosis of hepatitis B. She was going to live maybe another year.

What to Say

So how do you tell them that there is nothing that we could do, or how to tell that middle aged woman that she was going to die soon through an interpreter and not knowing the ins and outs of their culture – what to say and what not to? You stumble, you grasp for words, and hope for the best.

Life is cruel sometimes. I for one am not always the true and valiant humanitarian, nor the consistent family man. And I wonder how I would fare if I was that eighty year old woman, that thirty something man or that woman who will die in a year. My life has not been all roses and peaches, as many of yours haven’t I would bet. It’s not what we expect of life. For those three patients, it’s not what they expected of life either.

Closing out the trip

We have a very short 3 hours of clinic tomorrow as we wrap up this medical mission trip so I’ll close out this blog for this trip. We came expecting to see a lot of children, and found ourselves surrounded by elderly adults who had ailments and more. It wasn’t what we expected. But then again, neither is what we face in life. I’m not so sure I understand it all. Let me know if you do.


Until next time, in all things give thanks.



More from David

Patti, Clinic

God’s Grace

Far outside our comfort zone

Dust billowing behind the LandRover, obscured the two other LandRovers behind it. We have been driving for over an hour through the bush, not on a road, and by dead reckoning. The pastor who was hosting us, had been living in this area for over ten years, building small churches in the remote villages that were far from each other, but open for some semblance of a God. We were going to one of these small villages, bringing with us medical supplies and God’s grace. Pastor was excited. We were nervous.

Sometimes we are put in positions that are far outside our comfort zone. We shy away from the challenge and retreat back into our circle of protection from the outside world. It’s safer there. No need to worry about the unexpected, the intrusion, nor the fact that we may not be able to handle what is given us. I find myself there often as well. Safe, protected and sure of what is. However, this time, on this dusty road to who knows where, I didn’t feel safe, protected, and I did not know what “is” was. So, I gave it all up and asked for protection from the One who has the greatest security force in the world: trust in Him. I felt better, but ashamed just a little bit, that I had some doubt as to His protection. Shame on me.

A familiar place

We arrived to a small gathering of villagers, mostly women and children, all singing welcome songs, dancing and greeting us with outstretched arms and hugs. We were dirty from the drive, sweaty and dusty, and when partnered with the hygiene of the villagers, even a HAZMAT cleansing would not have been enough. We set up the clinic and began. Hot, dirty and happy now that we knew what we needed to do and where. Fear of the unknown is often that which paralyzes us. We were good now. We were in our comfort zone, practicing medicine, praying with patients and doing His work. Until it happened.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the child fall to the ground. Her mother quickly picked her up and began running towards us. We have contingency plans for emergencies and went into an emergency mode, the identified emergency team members quickly surrounding the child, emergency medications brought and we began the resuscitation. The child had had a very complex seizure, wasn’t breathing all that well and was quickly fading. We breathed for her, gave her medication to stop her seizure, placed an IV and gave her fluids. After a few minutes she stopped seizing, began breathing on her own and was stable.

But she didn’t wake up. Her mother was continually crying, pleading, villagers also, and the scene was getting tense. Our interpreter said that the villagers believed that we brought a curse into their village and that that the child was evidence. Not a good thing to hear and a place to be in. The pastor who spoke their language tried to reassure them, but to no avail. I stood and asked the pastor to translate for me.

Seeking trust

“This little girl has had a convulsion. She is stable now and it will be awhile before she wakes. I don’t know what caused her convulsion, but I will do my best to find out. It is not a curse. If it was, why did it only affect her? I ask you to trust us, to help us and to give us time.”

The villagers were skeptical, some afraid of the “curse”, others afraid of us. The medical team gathered around the little girl, placed our hands on her, and we prayed. And, in a few minutes, she opened her eyes and looked around. The villagers were silent. They did not understand what had happened. But we did.

God’s Hands, God’s Grace

We are simply God’s hands and serve those who come to us for help. It is He who decides the outcome. We are expected as medical professionals to do our very best, to use our experience, our training our gifts and talents to diagnosis and treat illnesses that are presented to us. Above all we are asked to be present when present. To be there for our patients, assured of our intent to serve and comforted by God’s hand.

The little girl over the day, recovered, and we found that she had malaria and her fever is what caused the seizure. We treated her malaria and fever and gave her mother additional medication for seizures if more occurred and instructed her on how to use it. As we were leaving, there was again singing and dancing, embraces and promises. Promises of prayer for each other. We gathered around the little girl one more time, the medical team and the villagers, hands raised high above her, and we prayed, each in their own way and ours. It was not what we brought, but what we left behind. God’s grace was all around us.

In all things give thanks,


Fear of the unknown is often that which paralyzes us.

Fear of the unknown is often that which paralyzes us.

The Things That We See

The things we see sometimes don’t make sense. She was about 4 years old, significantly malnourished and dressed in a white dress as if she was ready to go to church. A white dress. For a significantly malnourished little girl, living in the bush and the daughter of a Turkana warrior. How so you ask? I don’t know. But what I do know is that she was hungry and thirsty. Children need what they need and they need it when they need it. We sent a guard to the local “shop” to buy some milk. He came back with a few boxes and a sippy cup. I poured her some, she took it, drank it without stopping, and then reached out for more. The fly on her cheek never moved. I gave her some more and she drank. I gave her mother several of the boxes of milk and sent her on her way, knowing that those few boxes may be the only ones she’d have for a very long time. But truth be told, it may or may not be a very long time. I trust those on the ground, the local caregivers, to continue the nutritional rescue by getting her milk.


Did I do her justice or did I do her wrong? Did I tempt her, give her false hope, a taste of something that she may not ever have again? Or did I give her a small chance of gaining an ounce or two of weight with the small amount of milk I gave her to drink if for but a day? The hard taskmaster is to balance the false hope of a better life and the reality of a simple gesture of grace and kindness. I chose the latter. I’ve been wrong before, so no kudos for me.


What Covenant Medicine Outreach is all about, is simply that. Being present when present, with grace and kindness. As we move forward with this new medical ministry, we’ll focus on not what we bring, but what we leave behind. Like for that little girl. A moment of caring that she’ll remember as she drinks her milk.

little girl

(photo credit: Brandon Cunningham)


Covenant Medicine Outreach

One never knows what the next day brings. We open our eyes as the sun rises, yawn and wait for the day to begin. Whether we like it or not. And that is just what is going to happen come January 1st, 2017. Covenant Medicine Outreach will be born, transitioning from Medical Mercy, to a new medical ministry.

A long way back in years, I sat with an elderly Cambodian woman who I had seen on a previous visit. She was telling me how she remembered how I held her hand and offered her comfort and prayer as I told her about her about the lump on her throat. It had felt like a goiter and I assured her that it was not serious and that with medication it would resolve over time. It was now a year later and the lump was bigger, firmer and causing her to have difficulty breathing. This was not a goiter. It was thyroid cancer. She smiled at me, happy to see me again. I smiled back, thoughts racing through my mind as to how I was going to tell her that this “goiter” was now cancer, and that I had been far off the mark when I diagnosed her a year ago. But really I wasn’t. There is no way to know if a goiter will transition into cancer. I held her hand and began the hard conversation that I have had with patients many times. She listened but didn’t hear. She just simply smiled. I referred her to a local hospital with a note asking for some tests and that I would pay for them, hoping that I would get the reports back and decide what to do next. She went, I got the reports, communicated with the doctor, surgery was done, full recovery and she smiled.

What does this have to do with this new medical ministry? Medical Mercy has come to an end. But I did not want to let the opportunity of being able to be present when present with those who are less fortunate than ourselves and who come to us for help. I wanted them to smile. I needed to continue the journey. I often hear God whispering in my ear telling me to “wait for it.” I heard Him again a while back when I was sitting on my porch thinking about what I was going to do when Medical Mercy was gone. He said, “wait for it.” And then it came. After my book Covenant Medicine was published, it was met with great reviews. I wrote about the therapeutic relationship between physician and a patient, in fact the therapeutic relationship of all healthcare professionals and patients. A relationship based on trust and faith. Of being accountable, responsible and there for the patient always. I listened to Him, and it was clear that Covenant Medicine Outreach was where He wanted me to go: to take that philosophy of being present when present and bringing healthcare and faith to those who have nothing in underprivileged countries.

I still listen for His whisper. He tells me what to do next and I’ll do it. Maybe you too will hear His whisper, “wait for it.” He may even whisper, “go be present when present.” I’d be privileged and blessed to have you join me.