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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Evacuation Buddy

Rob P was a college student in 1997 whom God literally dropped into our life for a crucial four day period. He arrived on a MAF plane with another intern in June, just as the ADF war was spilling into our district. Four days later we ran away from an all-out pre-dawn attack, bullets flying, adrenaline-washed and dry-mouthed, joining a flood of Ugandan refugees. He "happened" to be a very fit cross- country runner from Covenant College, and we as parents were overloaded. I had a diaper bag back-pack, 8 month old Julia in a front pack, and embryo Jack as yet unannounced. Scott had Caleb on his shoulders, and another bag and a dog on a leash in his hands. And four-year-old Luke tried to walk, but the all-day panic journey which covered more than 15 km on narrow paths and passed dead bodies . . . well, let's just say we were eternally grateful for Rob's support. By the time we were helicoptered to safety, we knew we were in no position to host summer interns, and handed him over to missionaries in a more stable part of the country. Since then we've been occasionally in touch. That traumatic experience did not deter him from completing medical school and residency, and now he's a brilliant young doctor married to a lovely family nurse-practitioner with two awesomely cute kids, working in an academic hospital setting in Tanzania. Being a mere 20-some hours of ferries and road and only one country away, Liz and Rob decided to come back for a visit. So far the security situation is holding, so we hope God did not send him for another rescue. Instead we are enjoying the rare treat of reconnecting with a "student" turned colleague and friend.


Cassi said...

thanks for taking the time right when you got back to blog about your recent time away, and for posting great pictures. I am sure rob and liz told you that we faithfully read your blog and pray for you all.... Your lives are well spent for HIS glory !!
keith and gale peck
Rob's parents

Jeremy Mahlow said...

Rob might be fast but I was the tougher one (and I can carry a lot more weight than he can). I'm glad to see that the Lord continues to work though you all in Bundibugyo... I remember you in my prayers. The Pecks gave me the address for this blog. I know God has a plan for you all and for that town. Rob and I still keep up after all these years, he was a groomsman in my wedding. -Jeremy M, "the other intern," cardiology fellow, UTMC