So, a few glimpses of glory. First, Nuela, a little girl from Congo whose name refers to her being born at Christmas, though her grandfather is uncertain WHICH Christmas it was. I'm guessing she's about 4. When her father died, his relatives shunned her mother and her, and her mother ran away. Then the paternal relatives sent word to the maternal grandfather who lived in Uganda to come and collect the child who was very ill. So in a counter-cultural move (children belong to the father's family in patrilineal descent) this somewhat elderly lone widower of a grandfather carried this terribly ill girl whom he had never before lived with back to Uganda and to our hospital ward, and there they are. She is listless and swollen and scabby and miserable. But I find it remarkable that her grandfather is making this effort and pray it is a story of redemption ( ).
Second, on community, Jack was invited before the first day of school this week to visit one of his best friends, Ivan, who lives pretty much on his own in a small room in Nyahuka. Ivan had saved back some of his school money and bought eggs and cabbage, and he and Jack cooked themselves dinner on the charcoal segili, then played cards until dusk. While many friends hang around our house, it was rare for one of our kids to be invited to someone's home, alone, as a human being not as part of a missionary family, just to be a guy. He had a great time.
Third, partnership. Though I dreaded this week with several of my missionary co-workers gone. . . Ugandan colleagues have shone. Our nutrition workers Pauline and Baguma Charles have been fantastic. And I realized this morning I was rounding with three of my favorite nurses! One is about to begin maternity leave any moment, the second is a mature lady (like me!) whom we sponsored to become a nurse years ago, and the third is an energetic and capable young man whom we sent for training after seeing his faithfulness over the years, who just finished his course. And to top that off, one of the three medical students we sponsor from the Dr. Jonah fund is here for a week of his school break, a breath of competence and a hope for the future.
It strikes me that these themes: prayer, community, partnership, compassion, emerging leaders . . . are the core of what we've asked God for this year. And in a week that seems mired in evidence of evil, those payers are being answered.