Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
district, into the game reserve where we have been granted two nights
as the guests of the managers of a luxury tented safari camp. This is
about the 4th year we've done this November overnight (though the
first time to get two nights!). It is God's good provision for our
weary souls, which are about as weary as they've ever been. 2009 has
been a long and trying year, for many reasons of loss, transition,
conflict, pressure, work, change, grief . . . our margins are almost
non-existent, and our time as a couple apart from kids, team, and work
is even smaller. So . . .if you think of us over the next 48 hours,
pray for rest. For reflection. For refreshment. For hope. And pray
for Jack and Julia left behind to complete their week of end-of-year
exams, in the capable hands of Ashley, Sarah, and Anna, with
enchiladas on the menu.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Later more tears, quiet ones, not the dramatic "help me right now" wail from the first case, but the seeping of tears from a broken heart. This time we were trying to understand why the 3 month old baby in front of us was so malnourished (breastfed infants tend to thrive the first few months). The woman I took to be her mother was, it turns out, her 35-year-old grandmother. The 14-year-old mother of the baby had died last week, after a 2 month hospitalization elsewhere. The story does not hang together very well, but we were told that the 14-year-old mom had an "intestinal problem" a month after delivery, required surgery, and that her surgical wound became infected. Tragic in every way. More tragic as her mother, sitting with the malnourished grandchild, related that the dead daughter was her only child. This is what our motherless-baby program is all about: helping this grandmother save this baby.
Meanwhile the 785-gram preemie doubled in the last month to reach 1.5 kg (!). A child whose desperate parents had taken him out to a "witch- doctor" when he did not immediately improve and then come back when he became even worse, whom we prayed over in Jesus' name with only a grain of faith on Monday . . went home, cured. Three children in three consecutive beds each had 5 units of blood last week: one with sickle cell and two with unexplained hemolytic anemias. After losing two children with similar symptoms the week before, we rejoiced to reach Friday with all alive and improving. The women whose stories I told a few days ago are hanging in there, no dramatic resolutions, but at least stabilizing. Caught another mom playing a singing a game with her baby who has begun to round out on UNICEF milk.
The week ends, with some tears, and some signs of tears redeemed, of effort and prayer and struggle resulting in healing.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Scott Will, otherwise known as Superman, has been here for a month, working as a physician assistant at the health center, and reaching out to neighborhood kids. And just being an all-around voice of cheer and sanity and passion for God. He is committed to Mundri, Sudan, but in a clever deal negotiated in the smoky inner board rooms of WHM, we get him until the end of January.
Today Dan Thrush departed after a one-month rotation as a Physician Assistant student, half of that time accompanied by his wife Karen who is a marriage and family therapist and did play therapy with the kids on the ward. We are not-so-subtly praying and begging that they come back to Africa with WHM after finishing school.
Barb Ryan landed on the airstrip a few hours ago, and has a week-long agenda of love. She has come in a pastoral care capacity to listen and counsel and re-connect with us, after spending a month here last year with her husband Skip.
The Massos landed for an interlude from Sudan . . . Karen and kids now, Michael to join soon. This is an opportunity for some closure before the Pierces move on next year, and gives time for organizing their old house for the Johnsons to move in (we hope by January). But mostly it's just great to see their familiar faces and bask in their friendship.