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Sunday, February 02, 2014

It's been a while . . .

Perhaps part of the recovery phase of a terribly crazy October through early January, short staffed, strikes, terribly sick patients, family visits, heart-wrenching goodbyes.  Perhaps the insanity of RVA meshing (or more to the point, NOT meshing) with Kijabe and World Harvest as the new term started.  Perhaps Scott being gone two weeks for meetings in America, and connecting with his parents.  Perhaps sensing God calling for silence, meditation, grounding, thoughtfulness.  But for whatever reasons, this blog has been unusually quiet.

And the pressure of resuming with something profound to make sense of the silence is too much.  So I'll just list a few happenings and praises and flow-of-consciousness information.

Patients.  Gift, whom we all prayed for throughout the last two months, went home.  He is the third survivor ever in Kijabe and probably all of Kenya of his serious bowel malformation.  He had overwhelming bacterial infections, and once completely died but was revived.  He had a persistent heart issue that slowly healed, and in the last week we thought he might have had a second life-threatening abnormality of his liver.  But he didn't, and he got better, and he went home to the coast on Friday.  Along with Daudi, who hopped a ride on an ambulance from the opposite side of the country one terrible night when I had kids coding in ICU and nursery at the same time.  He had a massively swollen belly because no one had noticed his lack of anal opening, being distracted by his obvious cleft lip and palate.  Again, thanks to partnership with our Paeds surgeons, he went home rescued and functional, with hope for more procedures soon.  It's been a pretty good month on the NICU service, lots of surviving preemies and slow improvements, lots of moms who battled discouragement and hung on, lots of victories and a bit of heartache too.  Both Gift and Daudi were majorly helped by our Needy Children's Fund as well as other funding through the surgical arm of our hospital.  It is good to work in a place where Jesus' healing power can be extended to the least of these.

RVA.  The new term is in full swing.  Which means early Saturday mornings for Senior Store coffee.  Caring communities.  Class night preparations.  Clinics.  Games.  The flurry of activity and anticipation that occurs for Banquet, the major social event of the year for Juniors and Seniors (sort of like a prom, but no dancing, so more of a dinner theatre evening).  The girls helped Jack pull off a wonderfully romantic "ask" with lots of chocolate, roses, word-smithing and atmosphere, and each of them had fun with clues and notes and surprise askers themselves.  And Friday was a parent open house day, where I got to watch Julia in her pottery class, and think about poetry and physics and Swahili.  It is a privilege I will never take for granted after two kids boarding, to be here and to participate.  I try to remember that when every night seems to be crazy busy with something scheduled.

Women's Retreat.  And in the midst of single-parenting and new terms and homework and scholarship applications and lectures to prepare and middle-of-the-night emergencies and phone calls and dinner to make and administrative scheduling and just too much of life . . the AIM mission had a women's retreat which they opened up to all of us.  Our World Harvest contingent of Ann, Bethany, and me was joined by Pat visiting from Uganda for a wonderfully refreshing weekend.

We roomed together and had a blast.  But the worship and teaching were also solid, and just to be away and quiet was priceless.  God had been drawing our attention to Psalm 1 and the tree, so when I was able to go early to the retreat and spend a day in silence and prayer, I wandered into the nearby forest and sensed the refreshment of God's presence.

Family.  Prayers would be appreciated for my mom, who underwent MAJOR back surgery two weeks ago.  She had rods put in to help with a severe kyphosis (hunching over) that would have progressed to respiratory compromise.  The recovery has been slow and painful.  She is in a rehab facility. Today she sounded brighter, and was able to get out of bed with help and take 120 steps.  But she has a long way to go.  And Caleb will have surgery on Tuesday to remove a screw from his knee that is working its way out of the bone and irritating him where his brace rubs.  He has finally, after a year, just started to run a bit.  Luke heads into February with five interviews for medical school to be completed.  That's a lot of travel, and no small amount of stress and uncertainty.  Pray that God would prepare a place for him.

That's the news for tonight, thanks for hanging in there with us, and for your prayers.

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