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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Some sad follow-ups

Ndyezika did not pass.  I found myself crying at the news, crying for the blow to his confidence, crying for the injustice of this world where he has to struggle academically, crying to God “why this?”  Ndyezika is subdued, but later in the evening he sent me a note saying that he knows that God loves him.  So perhaps that is the answer to your prayers.  And just as we got the news God sent a dear friend who was a church leader to comfort me and pray with both of us.  Please do pray that he would not turn to things which can not satisfy to assuage his sense of failure.  And for wisdom.  The blow was somewhat muted by the fact that I had a long conversation with the lab school administrator who said only 20 of the 86 students did pass the exam, that the format and grading changed drastically this year and students nation-wide had difficulty.  He encouraged us to send him back to school to repeat the second year and take the exam again.

Yesterday was a day of attack on many fronts.  It came to light that the possibly rabid dog had bitten 8 not 4 people; the other 4 had gone to the district hospital and received no immunization, so yesterday they came to us.  We had a total of 7 doses of vaccine from Fort Portal, but the full course for 8 people would be 40 doses.  It sounds like an ethics class, but this was real.  Who gets the vaccine?  We opted for the two children to get the immediate dose, since the bite to the face was the most risky.  Scott was meanwhile scrambling to obtain more doses in Kampala which should reach here tonight.  As all this was happening I was getting desperate phone calls from Kabasunguzi Grace’s mother.  She’s been languishing in the hospital (her picture is on our site) for more than 6 weeks now getting almost no care in the notoriously abysmal public hospital and wanted to come home.  So Scott will bring her today, which feels like another defeat.  As Scott was trying to get medicine and supplies in Kampala he was severely hampered by slow and incompetent work on our truck (which was fixed at the last minute yesterday by a different mechanic than the one that caused the problems) and record-breaking traffic in conjunction with Makerere University Graduation!  And I was finding out that of my three sickest patients on the ward, two ran away to seek witch doctor advice because their parents feared that the cause was spiritual and their recovery too slow, and the third one died in the night.  All were on our nutrition program.  Of the two who ran away, one was a twin with severe dehydration that the staff and I had labored on for a long time that day to revive, and the other was a motherless baby with cerebral malaria getting good treatment but will also now probably die.  Several team members are also sick, or discouraged by betrayals and thefts, or dealing with the stresses of life in the bush, and our hearts ache for them too.

So in short yesterday was a bad day.  Last night the verses that came to mind were from 2 Corinthians 4:8-10  “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”  I know our problems do not compare to those Paul is writing about.  Still the truth somehow applies:  in our struggle and weakness and disappointment and failure the life of Jesus can be seen tangibly.  I would prefer to manifest glory by being right, wise, strong and victorious, but that does not seem to be God’s calling for us, not this week for sure.  Today, a clinging to the hope, that suffering will be redeemed.

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