Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
So it is with more than the usual rejoicing that we received the news on Saturday of their engagement. Sarah and Nathan will be married this summer! I believe this is the fifth American wedding to come from Bundibugyo, two other couples who met there (Rick and Wendy, Eric and Joy) and two who met at MTI (Natalee and Wes, Rachel and Craig) . . . am I forgetting someone?? Bundibugyo is a place where marriage has fallen far from God's creative and beautiful plan in Genesis. Unions are temporary, sequential, financial, and too often end in violence or abandonment for women. It is NO SMALL THING when a marriage actually grows from this soil. It is the kind of amazing, upside-down, Kingdom-only work that God does to surprise us.
Nathan and Sarah remind me that we serve a God who is making all things new. Who prepares a celebration so wonderful, that a marriage supper is a weak analogy to help us anticipate the glorious reality. We rejoice with them, and pray for faith as they move forward in their life together, becoming a redemptive blessing to this world.
Congratulations to our dear friends!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Scott and I have been asked to be the first-line contact for the student health as school physicians starting in March, a sideline to our regular jobs in the hospital. We've pitched in a little this week due to crisis, not only the crisis of the young woman with cerebral malaria, but also the epidemic of 72 other students (15% of the school) out with flu and gastroenteritis. So we've felt deeply, both as parents and as doctors, the gravity of this case and the nearness of disaster. Please pray for us to have insight and caution and care with the precious burden of other peoples' children. If there is any group of kids that would be under attack, it is this one, as they represent the easiest way to remove a thousand missionaries from service.
So another small redemption occurred in student health, in the midst of the sea of flu a young man who had persistently been febrile and occasionally sprouted an impressive urticarial rash, which the excellent nurses had the foresight to photograph in case it was gone by the time we saw him (it was). Turned out he had gone rafting on the Nile and boating in Lake Victoria a few weeks ago. And we remembered the time Julia and Caleb BOTH had classic Katayama Fever, the relatively uncommon phase of acute schistosomiasis; it took us a week to figure it out a decade ago but this time we realized immediately what was going on. A little piece of suffering redeemed for someone else's good.
There is much relief and joy on campus today for the daughter that was almost lost and now is found.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
. . the school sends an email to all the parents warning us that a hyena was spotted (no pun intended) on one of the football fields at 4 pm yesterday. I am not making this up. We are instructed to warn our children. To do what, I'm not sure. I reminded mine of "The God's Must Be Crazy" and suggested holding a tree limb over their heads to make them look more intimidating. Seriously though, it is a bit frightening to think of a hyena prowling out there in the dark and windy night as my kids walk back and forth to evening programs at school . .
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Friday, January 07, 2011
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Meanwhile our day consisted of Swahili study, laundry (a washing machine! and a dry high-altitude climate means the clothes dry on the line by noon!), cleaning, baking, Scott catching up on several issues as a FD, emails, searching on line for used cars, phone calls . . . and in the late afternoon, finally, the key became available to peek in the house we've been assigned. Like everything here it's old, and worn, cinderblock construction with "hospital-yellow" decade-old painted plaster inside, no furniture, no appliances, bare bones. It's not one of the larger or nicer houses here, but it IS one of the best locations for kids going back and forth to RVA activities. And we're all pretty excited about it, having our "own" place this soon in our stay is a huge gift. It will take a few weeks for some basic repairs and a repaint, but we're praying the hospital work crew is motivated, because after almost a year of slowly packing up, saying goodbyes, moving out of our home of 17 years, being in limbo, about six months now of suitcases and temporary stays . . the idea of moving INTO a house where we can stay for a few years is tantalizingly appealing.
To end the day well: notes for Jack and Julia from some of their beloved former teachers, bookends of their entire Uganda school experience, Miss Becky and Aunt JD and MIss Ashley and Miss Anna. Thanks for remembering their big transition today.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
But back to wind. The words for "wind" and "spirit" I think are the same in Hebrew. Certainly Jesus compares the Spirit to the wind in John 3. And the Holy Spirit's entrance at Pentecost is described with a sound like a rushing wind. But I always thought of those comparisons in terms of subtlety. The wind, unseen, moving, coming, entering. Two days at Kijabe and I see a whole new side to the Spirit as wind: powerful, a force that can not be stopped, cleansing, blowing away clouds of doubt, clearing the atmosphere for the penetration of the sun's warmth, wild, uncontrollable, inescapable. Sometimes harsh, sometimes overwhelming, sometimes destroying, making ready for the new creation. This is our place, for the next few years. Kijabe, the place of the winds. Praying the Spirit blows through us here.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
First impressions: the quality of the sunlight. Coming from the winter solstice in North America, with its thin cool slanted rays of horizon-hugging sun, to the equator where the brightness is once again a wholesome and welcome surprise, full and intense light. Nairobi is uncharacteristically orderly for the holidays, little traffic. We dragged ourselves out at 10 am to Java House, and met no less than four different RVA/Kijabe-associated families doing the same thing. Nice. Though this does not feel like home the way Uganda does, there is hope. We ordered water with our breakfast, and the waitress asked, do you want that cold? Yes. (Though we would have liked a touch of warmth in our freezing almost-midnight showers last night.) Ahh, we are back in Africa.
Leaving America with a child still there is an excruciating experience, for sure. Strangers and aliens, felt more acutely than ever, in a sun-drenched land with the fragrance of cooking fires and the brilliance of bougainvillea. Heading out now to Kijabe, not sure of our next internet opportunity, but thankful for prayers that have carried us this far.