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Sunday, September 13, 2009


We had a chance to experience thankfulness from two sides this weekend.  First, as the thank-ers.  Team mate John came over about dinner time on Saturday night very distressed.  A few weeks ago he accidentally injured the cornea of his left eye when a metal shaving became embedded there after he was sharpening lawn-mower blades (a little recognized essential missionary task for remote stations with grass airstrips).  We were in Kenya then, and he ended up driving to Kampala where he received good but delayed care at Mengo Hospital.  The nature of the injury left him with a spot of blurred vision after the tiny fragment was removed, that may or may not improve.  So when he felt a similar irritating foreign-body sensation in his RIGHT eye last night, he was understandably upset, thinking it could be glass from a broken pitcher earlier in the day.  We could see an area of swelling of the conjunctiva, but no piece of glass.  Over the next hour or two with nurse Heidi and most of the team we (read Scott, I just held the flashlight) flushed with high pressure using a half litre of saline, took high-resolution photographs to blow up on the computer and see if we were missing something, PRAYED, anesthetized the eye surface and gently swabbed with a sterile q-tip, and flushed some more.  By this time it was pretty late, and we were all projecting worst-case scenarios of emergency MAF flights the next morning.  But even that looked bleak since the eye care in Kampala is at a hospital right smack in the middle of last week's violence and may not have been accessible.  These are the moments we realize we are hanging by a thread.  We have talked this week about God's strength in our weakness, and we were weak last night.  We could not see the piece of glass John felt, we did not have the proper equipment or experience, and even the means of connecting him to better care looked tenuous.  We sent John home to sleep hoping that God had miraculously removed the problem through our feeble efforts.  After he left we gathered and prayed again.  

So when he woke up feeling healed this morning, and looking almost normal on exam, we all rejoiced.  John's relief was giddy.  And after church a group of us gathered and prayed prayers of thanks--we are so quick to pray the desperation prayers, but forget to pray the thanksgiving when our worst fears are not realized.

We also had the rare privilege of being on the other side of the thankfulness relationship.  Among the many people who come and ask us for help with this or that problem, there was one who was a bit different--a man our age, a good friend, whom we respect highly, who has stood by us in some hard times ourselves.  He did not ask for a handout, but was in a desperate state for tuition for one son, and wanted to sell us his land.  Scott and I talked about it, and really felt led that this was not a time to draw the line, but rather a time to stand with someone as a friend.  We can not solve all his problems, but we could take on the university fees for two years for this one boy.  Scott told him carefully what we would commit to do, as a gift and not a land purchase that would impair his ability to survive,  and said it was not because we particularly believe in this kid, but because we appreciate his father's friendship with us.  I don't think Scott has ever quite experienced a similar reaction:  the man burst into tears and hugged and kissed him.  I think it was a measure of the anxiety and pressure men feel to provide for their children, and the unexpected nature of the gift.

I suppose the combination of events reminds us that we who have been forgiven much, given much, are called to generosity of spirit and of life.  When we live in a sea of need and demand, that is a difficult posture to maintain.  A daily discipline of thankfulness to God would probably help.  Pray for us to pursue that.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer and family,
Even though I have not been writing, I have been praying for Christ School and all of you who serve with so much valor in Bundibugyo. I am thankful with you that you were able to fix John's eye, and I pray that the violence and despair in Uganda will pass quickly and without involving any of you. May the Lord bless you and keep you and continue to let his face shine upon you and give you peace.
Judy in HMB

karen fenton said...

Dear Myhre Family,

Even though we have never met, I am inspired by your blog. I don't really remember how I stumbled upon it, but I am praying for you and your family.

As a mother of two sons, I can relate to the bitter sweet experience of watching our children grow up, realizing how quickly the time goes by.

The days are evil, but you and your family are making the best of them with your service in the Name of the Lord. I cannot help but believe your rewards will be great.

I am praying for you: For courage, endurance and the strength that comes with the joy of the Lord.

Pamela said...

So, so grateful for your generous hearts to step in and make it possible for B's son to go to university. I am moved by his deep gratitude and by how God has made a way for him out of what seemed like no way. Wow! What a mighty God we serve.

Also grateful for the healing of John's eye. -Pamela