Answer to Laura: YES, we are returning to Africa, still with World Harvest Mission, but for the next few years we'll be working from a mission hospital in Kenya called Kijabe. Scott is now the East Africa Field Director for our mission, allowing us to still support and love and pull along with our teams in Uganda, Sudan, and Kenya. We are looking forward to working in this larger hospital, learning from other doctors instead of being alone, supervising Kenyan interns and residents, and MOST OF ALL living WITH three of our children instead of sending them 23 hours away to boarding school (the school, Rift Valley Academy, is adjacent to the hospital we'll serve).
Jeans: wore today the first pair I've bought in probably almost 20 years and realized how COMFORTABLE they are. I've so appreciated hand-me-downs, but it now occurs to me that the several pairs I've inherited in the last decade or two have been from rather small people. Old Navy Outlet, highly recommended.
Rain: came in torrents today, pulling down leaves. In the car Jack and Julia spy out the best, most colorful trees. It is Fall. Chilly. Damp. Hot tea weather.
Emotions: close to the surface. Watched the Chilean miners being rescued last night. Beautiful.
Reality: Took the frightening step of beginning on-line medical exams to keep up our certification. Corresponding with our teams, praying for them. Teaching geometry to Jack and Julia (who usually get it faster than I do), and helping them journal and read and play music and soccer, and cooking for them, and glad that I can pour in a little more than I usually manage in our distracted and demanding lives. Jack will, on Saturday weather permitting, play in his FIRST ever organized uniform-wearing official-team soccer game. Pretty amazing for a kid who breathes soccer. Julia was already named to the Under-14 Girls Sterling Youth Soccer League All-Star team. She also has yet to play in a game due to our travel, but works really hard in practice . . thanks Miss Ashley!!
Boys-Far-Away: This week is called "Spiritual Emphasis Week" at RVA, so we are in prayer for the school, sort of a revival, with special speakers and music and emphasis on spiritual growth for the kids. Join us in prayer. Luke called me yesterday. Sounds calm, confident, busy, grown up, thinking about what really matters, asking hard questions, having some fun with soccer. Nice. Makes me realize I should call my Mom more. When we're not living with her, that is.
More Reality: our supporters are hard hit by the economy. Our previously largest single donor has been unemployed now for two years. And he's not the only one. In all our 17 years in Uganda God has provided, abundantly and miraculously. Since we took this HMA leave, our account with World Harvest has been in deficit for the first time ever. Faith required. Feels like we took a wrong turn in some ways, we came to America for a few months and our support stopped flowing. But trusting that God wants us to go back to Kenya at the end of December, and He'll make it possible. Meanwhile we're working hard to be in contact with our supporters, to be thankful, to be expectant and faithful. Thankful that we are living with my Mom for free, that Luke's college expenses are nearly fully covered, that we have a car to borrow for free.
Quest: still mulling over Scott's post a few down. The never-settled, always-outsider feeling, is real. And I suppose always will be. It's too late to go back. Counting the cost, and holding on.
And lastly, the Godfrey saga: Multiple attempts to fax the US Ambassador in Uganda have failed, the fax number posted on their web site and with the US State Department actually does not accept faxes. And the only email address I can access has once again failed to elicit a response. So far we've been told via email from the embassy to the TN congress-person that it is Godfrey's fault that he failed to convince the interviewer of his need, that he could read print on the rejection letter so he wasn't really going blind (which is medically completely erroneous, since glaucoma gradually knocks out the optic nerve from the periphery to the center until one day the person can see NOTHING), and that he should just pay all the fees and reapply with new documentation (never mind the fact that no one read the documentation the first time). In spite of all that, God HAS intervened, in that his eye exam has held steady in spite of the delay. Keep praying for a miracle of healing within Ugandan resources, or for a miracle of the US Embassy reversing their decision.