Author George M. Adams is quoted as saying, "Encouragement is oxygen to the soul."
Encouragement doesn't only make us feel good for a moment; it's actually required to maintain life and focus and the pursuit of the greatness we have all been called to achieve.
Yesterday our little team of educators stopped at Moramanga District Hospital, about 2.5 hours east of Antananarivo, to offer them Lifebox pulse oximeter training. The Madagascar Assessment team visited this hospital before ship arrival; we found an extremely welcoming group of physicians and nurses who were committed to the wellbeing of their patients even through a profound lack of working equipment and medical supplies. I told them then that we hoped to return; yesterday I made good on that statement, and the training went extremely well. They were eager to learn and very grateful to receive the pulse oximeters we offered; however that is not what they were most grateful for.
"The fact that you came back; that you came to visit us, the encouragement you offer and that you care about us and our patients, that is what we are so grateful for." The chief physician expressed to us that this visit, as well as the hope that we will return again in the coming months, will get them through for a long time... more so than any physical supplies or materials we could offer.
Never underestimate the power of encouragement!