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Friday, October 05, 2007

Prayer Update

Dear Praying Friends, As usual, this plea comes with a sense of desperation, and a realization that I have failed to ask for the prayer that we know we need. Thankfully I do know that many people pray anyway! God put two verses on my heart this week: So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20) For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jer2:13) The connection is this: our God is a fountain, unpredictable, unquenchable, uncontrollable. I need to listen to Him and not use words, manipulation, anger, sheer force of will and effort to make this world work out the way I think it should, to take care of myself and my family and protect us, to fix the world into the form I prefer. This image of the water cistern is so vivid for us, because we have water tanks that are fed by a gravity flow system from a mountain stream. The Ngite is our source—powerful, sometimes destructive even, but never dry. We prefer the convenience though of a nice measurable amount of still water, horded, right by our house, under out control. But though I try to make sure I have enough, my shored up walls that are meant to contain the water sometimes leak and slowly are empty. This is a leaky time. There is a lot going on, and I want to patch the leaks and be sure the water is enough. I’ve been quick to anger over frustrating situations, and quick to tears. Please pray for us to instead turn to the Source in faith, real faith, the kind of faith that listens and trusts and does not despair. Here are some specifics: Malaria. Malaria kills more Africans than AIDS by far. The rains this year never let up. The mosquitoes are abundant. The pediatric ward’s 25 beds are full and overflowing, 38 inpatients when I left yesterday, many mats on the floor, a number with very high malaria parasite counts and severe anemia. As soon as I got home I got a call from Amina, the secretary of Christ School, to come and get her, I’ve been treating her for malaria for the last two days and she felt worse. While she was lying on my couch trying to keep some popcorn and soda down, Pat arrived with Pauline, one of the three agriculture/veterinary extension workers hired by our nutrition program, looking extremely ill, shaking with chills and fever. She also had malaria, a bad case, made worse by the fact that she grew up in a less endemic area of Uganda, and by the fact that her initial blood smear a week ago was negative so it has been building for days. Amy, Savannah, and I have all had it in the last month too, though for years our team was almost never affected. Pray for relief, for good treatment, for adequate supplies of medicine and blood. Pray for our health center staff to have patience and stamina with their hard work load. Pray for Pauline, Amina, and others to recover. Kwejuna. Just when it seemed this project was going to wrap up and be fully in the hands of the district . . . The Elizabeth Glaser Foundation asked Scott to write a new grant to expand services on the ARV Treatment side of things over the next two years. He’s spent hours and hours this week on a formulating a budget and new proposal. Meanwhile Pamela, and Pat, are helping host two major training seminars for staff this month and one next month. New families are diagnosed every week, children start on life-extending treatments, Stephanie labors to get them nutritionally boosted to improve their immunity, we facilitate support groups and people hear the gospel. Good stuff, a lot of work, we all need prayer. Christ School. The Pierces are faithfully presenting the vision of the school and the needs in America this Fall, and we have a proposal in to a potential donor for serious funding. But the school continues to run at a deficit, trying to stay affordable to the poor. As the school year draws to a close, pray for adequate funds to pay teachers and feed students. And do pray for the major exam period. O-level students (Senior 4), including Luke, sit for about twenty half-day exam papers from mid October to mid November. Then A level students (senior six) take their finals, about a dozen half-day papers, in the second half of November to early December. We have students in both groups. A CSB teacher has again been selected by the district to monitor and coordinate exams for all participating test centers. Pray for fairness, protection from corruption, and for the students to do their best. CHURCH. Rick had an invitation last week to train lay leaders in the major protestant denomination (Anglican) here, the Church of Uganda. He’s thankful for the open door, and the building trust. Please keep praying for authentic indigenous worship. SIL is sending two people next week to record Lubwisi music. A church in Bundibugyo town just launched a singing group. Pray for the Spirit to move creatively and passionately here! TEAM. Ashley and Sarah are already so much a part of team life it feels like they’ve been here a year instead of a month! Praise God that Scott Will, a Physician Assistant who interned here before, arrived this week for another two months. He’s an example of God responding in His own way to issue number 1—we need the help!! And he was a specific answer to prayer for a room mate for Scott Ickes, left alone after the departure of summer interns. Another PA named Rachel Locker will also join us for a 3 week internship in October. Meanwhile the Pierces could use prayer for resolution of nagging health issues and God’s provision for the school in order to get them back here to Uganda soon. And the biggest news of the week: the WHM board approved Sudan as a new field and the Massos as the team leaders. The Masso family is in the US for at least a few months, and will be staging their entry to Sudan after they return to Bundibugyo in 2008. We trust God the powerful fountain who has chosen to use our team to launch this new field, but I confess I’d rather hew as cistern right here and keep the Massos (and others who are pursuing joining them) close by. God’s moving here is bittersweet, and our joy in seeing Him make this happen is mixed with grief over the personal losses to our community. So prayer for us to have faith and perseverance in the midst of transition will be an ongoing theme for the next year, perhaps forever! Leadership. Would you please pray specifically for me, and for Scott, to be leaders who listen to the Lord and to our team mates, who speak slowly and with grace, who wait for God’s work to produce the “setting this world to rights” actions that we long to see. Thanks for your partnership in prayer. With gratefulness, for the whole team, Jennifer

4 comments:

Jennifer R. said...

Know that your words, needs and desires touch our hearts. Our prayers are with you. I wrote down these specific requests so that I can faithfully lay them at the feet of our faithful Father. Thank you for your honesty and your heart for others.

Lori in Ft Wayne, IN said...

I am praying for you. The requests about indiginous worship especially touched my heart. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you for steadily improving health. Your work and your leadership are so important for every part of the Bundibugyo program, and early stage recovery is a difficult period for you physically. I pray that you will take time for your own rest and be encouraged at the amount of service you provide even when you are less than 100%. I pray also for the health of little Savannah and of all of the workers at the mission who have malaria. May the Spirit of God bless and strengthen your bodies and your spiritsl Judy in HMB

Larissa said...

Thanks so much for sharing Jennifer...know that I am keeping you all in my prayers. Miss you much! Hello to everyone.