Sunday, February 22, 2009

No Small Thing...

I can hardly describe to you the extent to which one wakes up with excitement-to-overflowing on a day that we are to receive a plane in Doro. When you live day in and day out with the same group of faces, doing much the same (all be it rewarding) tasks, with little awareness of the outside world, knowing that a plane is on it's way and will arrive around lunchtime makes me giddy enough that it feels like Christmas. I'm sure this isn't something you'll be able to understand from where you sit reading this entry, but, I do declare it to be true :)

Over a week ago, we were expecting a plane that was coming to pick up a two short term guys who'd been here for a few weeks. Now, by this time I'd learned not to "hope" that my missing box or order of eggs or other goods from Loki would arrive... the disappointment can feel devastating, so best to try and forget about the possibility... However, this particular day all my things did arrive! My last box that I'd waited 2 weeks for - containing laundry soap, my cell phone chord for charging, toothpaste (which I was quickly running low on), a quick-dry bath towel, and a bunch of goodies that I'd been given for my birthday (dried fruit, and a package of Peanutbutter/Choc Oreos - woah nelly!). When I opened my box I could hardly contain myself as I found in it more items I'd forgotten that I had packed in there, last minute... like 5 shiny green granny smith apples... :D Heavenly days! And not only that, Leah (our logistics gal in Loki) had sent me 2 FLATS of eggs (when I'd ordered 2 doz.), AND Leah had also sent our Doro team POTATOES and CARROTS. We were all fit to be tied :) !!

As much as life here in Doro is good, it isn't always easy. But, I have been blessed by the realization that I am feeling, possibly for the very first time, true and genuine appreciation for the little things in life... well, here they are big things. May God give us the Grace and Gratitude to truly appreciate these things no matter what our circumstances.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Update on Rahil

Hi Everyone, thanks so much for your prayers for this little girl, Rahil, and her family. I wish this update was going to contain wonderful news of a miracle... it's not. The short version of her story is this... After 36 hours of IV malaria treatment, our dear little Rahil started to improve, for which we praise the Lord. On about day 3 our clinic people went up there in the morning to find her IV had come out. Even with the IV treatment she'd been receiving, she was still dehydrated, and they were not able to get another IV in. That left oral treatments as the only option. From this point on, her condition started to deteriorate once more. On Day 4 she was looking quite bad, and Sarah, our Physician's Assistant said, "there's just no life behind those eyes..." The next morning, at about 5 am the parents took Rahil home to die. Here in Sudan, our team is noticing that it is really important for people to die (at least the children) at their home. I can't say I'm sad to report that Rahil is now in the loving arms of Jesus :) But, I wish, for the parents benefit, a miracle had occurred. Our God He is Mighty and His Will prevails, even when we don't understand, or get our way. I do know, that in all things He get's the Glory, one way or another. The story of this family isn't over... He is still at work in them. Perhaps, as I move to Gasmala (where they are from) you'll hear more of this family and what the Lord is up too in their lives... let's keep praying for them. (again, this picture is not the child I'm referring too)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Prayer Needed

It's hard to sit here before my computer and figure out what to say about this situation. There is so much I wish I could relay to you, but the English language and this computer separating us makes that difficult. We have a child at the clinic, this every moment, who needs a major miracle to survive. Yesterday, when I was out in Gasmala (the village I will move to, to learn Mabaan), Vicky and I were asked to see a child who was very lethargic and ill. Vicky, with better eyes for this sort of thing, saw the severity of the situation and told the mother to get to our clinic in Doro first thing the next morning (it was all ready well into the afternoon and would have taken her 1-2 hours in the hottest part of the day to get to the clinic that day). Today, this mom did come (along with the Gramma and another woman) to bring the child. However, by the time they arrived, the child was comatose and seizing. Diagnosis? Cerebral Malaria. All day the child has been receiving treatments for this, as well as fluid for rehydration. I wasn't at the clinic today (technically I'm not supposed to be until I'm well on my way with Mabaan, so I don't get side tracked into the needs there), but I did go up in the evening just to see that child and the family, since I'd met them yesterday. What was intended as a quick trip to the clinic turned into a 2+ hour visit involving big discussions with the father who wanted to take the child home. Oh man. Through the translator, myself and a visiting short term doctor tried to answer the family's concerns and encourage the father to NOT take the child back to Gasmala, where she could surely die. The dad was concerned that the child wasn't breastfeeding, and all we were giving her was water (the IV fluid). How to you explain to someone that even though this liquid is clear, it still contains nutrients and is helping to keep the baby alive - even it if doesn't 'look like' milk. We tried a few different approaches, it would help for a few minutes, and then he could circle back and insist on taking the child home. The women on the other hand all wanted the child (who is raging with fever and gasping for breath) to stay and get the full treatment. So much prayer required. I was asking for wisdom from on High continually, and eventually, was able to pray for the family, that sweet little girl who is only 7 months old, and for the dad... I prayed that the Lord would give him wisdom to make the best choice for his child. Eventually, with the help of Dr. Angelina who came to our rescue (she is Sudanese, not Mabaan, but could speak in Arabic with the father) and convinced him she needed to say with us so we could do our work. Our prayers are answered... for now, they will stay. But, I am not so naive to think that he won't put up the same fight again tomorrow. Please be praying along with us, that the Lord would use this situation to make HIMSELF known to this man. I believe (only through observation of the 'traditional medicine talisman' around his neck) that this man is not a Believer in Jesus. I do pray that he would see the Lord's Healing Power in the life of his child...Pray with me that we could have opportunity to really share Christ with him, and with the women who brought this litte one. Please also pray for this baby. She really is SO sick, and is, at this point, showing many of the signs of "poor prognosis"... especially for one so little. It really, really will take a miracle of the Lord to bring her though this. BUT OUR GOD... HE IS ABLE. But even if He chooses to not heal, though He is able, May He receive the Glory - no matter the outcome. Let's be praying :) (picture is not this child)

Monday, February 02, 2009

For Julia

My dear Jules requested a post on the drama of my hand injury... So here it is! :) I'm afraid that the picture doesn't look like much, but anyway, it was! The story goes like this: I had borrowed a broom from Sarah, one of the girls here, so that I could kill a spider on the wall of my Tukul - this is no surprise to anyone - I have spider issues... So, in the vim and vigor I was using to kill the sucker, I didn't notice that the end of the broom handle was exposed metal, and not a plastic covering... Needless to say, the metal gouged into the palm of my hand giving me quite a deep cut that went beyond the skin layers into the subcut tissue and really, was worthy of a stitch. Amazing enough it hardly hurt, but bled like a bugger. Sarah (our Physician Assistant) didn't think putting a stitch would be worth it, as it was smack in the middle of my right palm and, with me using it so much, she didn't think it would stay. So! A long story short, I've been doing my best to keep in clean by covering it with a tensor (*important to note that it's the R hand that is used for all greetings and so you can imagine how quickly germies could enter if it wasn't cared for!). It's looking pretty good, a good 1/2 of it is all closed off, and the other 1/2 is giving a bit of trouble - not infected, but not exactly closing up completely.... wish I had some skin glue :) So my love, Jules - that's the story :) Hope you enjoy the picture!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Here and Loving it :)

Greetings from Sudan everyone! Praise the Lord we arrived safely on Wednesday afternoon, about 2:30, Sudan time. The flight here was long and in a small plane! We were about 3 hours from Nairobi to Loki (north Kenya) on an MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) plane, then after a short break in Loki for customs and potty break, we flew for another 3 hours to arrive in Doro! The flight was... interesting! I must admit that I find flying in such planes hard on my head... by that I mean that I think too much about just how small the plane is, and just how high we are flying... the mathematics of it in my heads seems to equal out with us plummeting to the earth below! Thank the Lord that His mathematics come out to a different end sum! :) I did however, take that 6 hours as a BIG opportunity for the Lord to teach me about my fear and HIS PEACE... We had come very good conversations, and I spend lots of time worshiping, along with my MP3 player, among clouds that would make ANYONE sing!!

Upon arrival in Doro, these were our Greeters - a lovely sight is it not?? :) I got busy moving my self into my tukul (my hut), and getting the tour of the hospital and nutrition village and everything. More photos of all this to follow eventually - I'm in no rush to snap shots, as I'll be here for a good long time :) Hope you are patient! :) I am growing a great fondness for showering outdoors at sunset, and for the sounds the lizards make at night in my roof!

I'm really just posting to let you know that I'm here safe and sound, and that I really am just loving it :) I am right where the Lord would have me be, and the contentment in my heart reaffirms that for me daily. Thank you for caring and following along, and even more so for your prayers that got me here - and your prayers that will keep me here :).