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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

American Blessings

We have been negligent in blogging . . . But full of thanks for many things in our month of travel.  Here are a few:
  • Our main supporting church full of faithful people who love us and pray for us and have stepped behind us and our team in major and sacrificial ways.
  • Our families who bent over backwards to see us and care for us, my mom even driving with us for over a thousand miles and many hours, taking care of our kids while we were in meetings.
  • My niece Emma’s surgery which God in His goodness to us arranged in the exact window of time that allowed me to sit at the hospital with my sister and brother-in-law through the procedure, and be with them in the post-operative period.  Her Marfan syndrome has led to severe scoliosis and back pain necessitating the placement of two long metal rods (and 24 screws) from her shoulder blades to her pelvis, a 6-hour surgery in which she lost a liter of blood.  She will have a long recovery period, but had excellent care and her post-operative xrays look ramrod straight.  
  • Caleb broke his left arm (both bones) when, as he says, the scooter he was riding stopped but he didn’t.  This happened in Charlotte NC, requiring an immediate emergency room visit for a splint and reduction (painful) of the fractured bones back into a straight line, then a cast two days later in Orlando Florida where we went for meetings.  The gracious hosts of the conference hooked us up with an excellent orthopedic surgeon, and Caleb’s arm should be fine after six weeks in the cast.  We’re thankful we could so easily access good care.
  • Scott recovered fully from Dengue Fever, which has an ominous name and rarely a severe or fatal outcome, but in this case was more like a case of mono with a painful rash and several weeks of fatigue.  Our visiting board member Randy Bond suggested the diagnosis which was confirmed by blood tests in the US.  This is useful information to us as we were not previously aware that this infection existed in Bundibugyo.
  • Praying and weeping and singing and laughing with the World Harvest Mission Team Leaders, laboring over goals for our mission, sharing our stories with each other.  
  • Sitting under the teaching of Steve Childers, John Smed, Randy Nabors, Stu and Ruth Ann Batstone,  and others at the Global Church Advancement conference with WHM and a few hundred pastors and church leaders from across America.  Some of the conference did not apply much to missions in Uganda, but much did, and we drank thirstily from the wealth of spiritual input.  
  • A candlelight dinner for two in Orlando’s “most romantic restaurant” one night after the conference sessions were over, a much appreciated time to reconnect in marriage away from the pressures of Bundibugyo.
  • Lots of fresh salads and Java Chip ice cream and crunchy tortilla chips and easy-to-access food!
  • Celebrating Luke’s 14th birthday repeatedly—with my family (they went to a climbing wall, great fun) and with our WHM family.

Well, the list could go on and on.  We are thankful for the month’s travel and ready to settle back into Uganda.  Thanks to many of you who read this blog and were interested and informed and encouraging.  We value the times we could spend face to face and wish those times were longer.  One aspect of Heaven to look forward to. . . . There is a way in which we are made for the fellowship of community, and uprooting causes small deaths, traveling reminds us of those we miss.

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