Thursday, November 02, 2006
This Time a Happy Ending
Jonah is the new In-Charge Doctor for Nyahuka Health Center IV. Like Jacob he worked seven long years for this moment, through many setbacks and struggles. Today the entire staff gathered for a rather formal time of speeches acknowledging the changing of the guard. The outgoing in-charge, a senior medical assistant, graciously confirmed his gladness to hand over to a doctor, asked the staff to forgive anything he had done wrong, and affirmed his readiness to work in partnership with Jonah. His speech and attitude were amazingly positive. Scott spoke about Jonah’s history in the District and the joy of welcoming him home to address the injustice of inadequate health care for Bundibugyo, the picture of redemption in this process of the world being set right. Jonah emphasized that only the power of prayer had brought him through. He was also remarkably humble, giving God the glory, and telling the staff that his goal was to serve his people. In his moment of receiving power, he wisely pointed to God as the only source of all he had received. Many of you reading this blog are the ones who prayed. Be thankful with us today! The chairman of the management committee told a proverb: water that is not in your house cannot quench your thirst, meaning that past doctors did not want to stay in Bundibugyo but all hope that Jonah as a son of this place will be in the house and available. Interestingly, the district leadership did not attend. Though the doctor had called Scott and promised to come, today he sent a message that he lacked transportation. This is a very weak excuse, and evidence once again of the poor reception Jonah has received from those in control now. He is a threat to the system and we have not seen the last of the battle. Ward Shope, our visiting Director of Human Resources from WHM-Philadelphia, attended part of the ceremony, which was meaningful to us as the culmination of something we have also worked for for seven years. God is gracious, to bring all of that together at the right hour! Ward is counseling with each missionary as part of his ongoing care for teams in the field. We are trying to give him a flavorful sample of Bundibugyo life and ministry which will enable him to manage personnel more effectively. He attended Christ School chapel yesterday which gave him a picture of how most of the team pulls together to disciple students, and saw the staff gather to send Joy off in prayer as she returns for medical care for her back next week. In other news: the dog’s brain turned out to be positive for rabies. Most of the folks showed up for their final vaccine in the five dose series this week, but the girl I was most concerned about was absent, so we sent people to find her. We are hopeful that God will take our meager resources (vaccines procured late, no immune globulin) and like the five loaves multiply the effect to protect these people. And through searching medical literature on the internet I’m still trying to find help for Kabasunguzi Grace. She’s slightly better but I’m praying this weekend about whether to gamble on a course of steroids (prednisone) next week. Every victory is really just the beginning of the next stage of the fight. . . . So stay with us, and with Jonah.