In November of 2016, Loom took our first Woven trip of friends to meet with partners on the field in Tanzania. It was there that Ike Kim, who is now a member of the Loom staff, had a vision of partnership through the many medical needs he saw there.
Sixteen months later, the first Woven Medical Team returned from Tanzania with many stories from their ten days in Africa. In total the doctors served 650 patients at three clinics–one of which was the first clinic to serve the community in over six years. Each of these clinics is connected with a long-term ministry run by Local Experts, who often lack the resources to hold clinics as often as there is the need.
Thanks to Dr. Paul’s ultrasound machine, they had the joyful opportunity to announce three pregnancies, and also the important job of diagnosing several more serious conditions. These life-threatening conditions needed to be treated by surgery at a local hospital, a cost these patients could not afford. Together the team was able to raise enough money to cover their hospital costs, and we have already received several positive reports of their recovery since returning. Dr. Lance handed out several hundred pairs of sunglasses and spent much of his time educating patients about damage caused by the constant direct sun, as well as giving some patients the gift of sight again with reading glasses.
Doctors also toured the district hospital in Kilimanjaro and met with leaders from a local medical school in Dar Es Salaam. They saw rooms full of ultrasound or x-ray equipment with no one trained to use them; an eye doctor examining patients with nothing but a small flashlight; the heartbreaking reality of a hospital with no emergency room or ambulance available. Yet they also saw people’s extreme compassion and ingenuity in the hydrocephalus and spina bifida clinics run by Local Experts in Dar Es Salaam, and the physical therapy tools that are lovingly handcrafted in a nearby workshop.
It was an honor to work alongside our friends here in Tanzania and hear their stories. Our hope and prayer was that this short-term trip would lead to lasting partnerships with Local Experts and the most vulnerable in Tanzania. It was exciting to see the the doctors’ growing desire to continue working with local Tanzanians to train and equip clinics to benefit the most vulnerable. This first Woven Medical Trip is only the beginning of what God is doing here! And all because God gave the vision to one man who had the perseverance to follow it through.
“It was my honor and privilege to work with the team as a Loomer,” said Ike. “I give all the glory and gratitude to my God. Always God is good to complete His work for Kingdom purpose.
“It is just begun, I truly put my trust in Him who will continue to do a good thing for all nations, enable us to add more countries and people group to bring sustainable changes together. Yes, the formula of the Loom International (YOU + LOOM + Local Experts = Change), it works! Together, change is possible.”