In a few hours we need to be prepared to pull out of here, to begin our trek to the US. 8 hours on the road trip, then two 9-10 ish hour flights, all back to back to arrive 3 pm EST Thursday, (which is actually 8 hours longer than it looks . . ). Meanwhile these are full days, with Scott working very hard to tie up all project loose ends (including tedious reports which require him to sift through obscure hospital records) and me trying to settle patients and students and friends and visitors and team. By God’s grace we have had a great visit with one of the WHM Board members Dr. Randy Bond and his son Ian. Both yesterday and today he accompanied me to chaotic rounds at the hospital where one patient died as we were there and a second may not survive meningitis . . Then hours of hiking up to an isolated village to weigh and measure children with Stephanie Jillcott and Scott Ickes as part of a 900 kid nutrition survey, then back to another larger settlement (former IDP camp) where Stephanie had arranged a drama troupe to dance and act out a lively soap-opera like drama that did an excellent job of nutrition education. Today Karen brought together the 40 -some motherless infants whom we help support with milk, then there was seeing more patients, and Dr. Randy taught a half-day seminar for the health center staff. In short, not the kind of schedule that is conducive to thoughtful packing or house-cleaning. The Bible has a lot to say about being pilgrims and strangers on the earth. As much as I like to be on the move, I struggle with the disorienting effects of packing and goodbyes. Please take a moment if you can to pray for us to be gracious and full of faith, to leave lovingly and enter the US ready to minister to our families and to you all. Pray that in all the chaos we would be in touch with the Spirit.
On Saturday we will have the great joy of witnessing the marriage of Heather Pike, who taught our kids here ten years ago. Many reunions await us with my mom, Scott’s parents, my sister and niece, other friends in the next week. So in that way traveling is a little like death—some pain and stress here in order to leave, but loved ones and good times promised on the other side. Next post from America!