What a day. My day was challenging...Valerie's and the clinic staff's was down right dangerous, scary, and frustrating to the point of overwhelming.
We went off with the group trying to get to the hospital. Traffic was horrible. Come to find out...a taxi strike was responsible for most of the mess, and an accident the other little part. An hour and plenty later, we arrived, and went to the children at the hospital there. So much suffering, from so far away, sometimes for so long (several patients I saw last month when we went), it is hard to see, but necessary and needed for them, and their parents. Many tears were shed, and not all just by us. Especially hard was the last boy we saw...he had hydrocephalus as an infant, and did not get the immediate valve he needed to fix that Long story short he was abandoned in the hospital, was now getting care from a caregiver from the orphanage where he lives, and because of not getting proper treatment at birth, has the mental age of a three month old, was currently in the hospital for respitory crisis, and we were somewhat surprised to see him still alive at six years old.
The clinic...was robbed yet again. Three men (different ones...at least one was a dental patient from a week or so ago) with weapons, and everyone but Valerie was threatened, but no bodily harm occured. Valerie was giving an exam and for some reason they did not attempt to go into her room...or go up the stairs and see the kids or Dora's daughter Noli watching them.
Again they got quite a bit of money and cell phones....but even worse they pushed the staff over the edge of what they can handle in terms of their safety being threatened and looking around corners, etc. Nery was the first...she was in the waiting room, and with the door closed, but they pointed the gun at her from outside and said if she did not open it, they would kill her.
The clinic is closed tomorrow while we try to figure out a solution to this problem. The staff does not want to return until we can do something to address the situation (this also being the position of clinic director Valerie)
Although we do not have the funds to do so, we are going to either look into a security firm providing someone during normal business hours, or working out something with the police to provide added protection as well. It is either that, or close the clinic and wait until we could be sure of being able to take care of a security guard...not really an option at this point I would care to explore. We have no firm estimate until tomorrow, but I am guessing it will cost us close to $500 per month to do this.
So, pray for the staff...obviously this is a situation no one would care to repeat, let alone twice in two weeks, and for God's continued protection over the lives there, as well as what we should do short and long term to address this problem in terms of security guards. Hopefully some sort of at least temporary solution can be found out tomorrow so we can share that with the staff on Friday and provide some sort of relaxing activity for them to try to take their minds off what happened. How long we will be able to maintain a guard is up in the air, although we trust in God that what He wants will come through.
The security camera angle is in the works, but will probably not be in place until August. Even with the cameras though...today the men just came straight in and split up to control the clinic while they went about their "business." Also pray for them and the other robbers...that God would touch their hearts and drive them to repentance for what they have done, and that they would become followers of Christ. Their salvation is more important than the money and stuff they took.