Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Glimpses of God’s Goodness

Valentine’s Day

Kyle and I were able to go on a date for Valentine’s Day. There are 3 single girls serving here for a couple of months and they offered to babysit. I had pure confidence in their abilities to care for all 3 of my boys. We were so excited! We got on a matatu or what we call a taxi and headed out of town. Matatus are an adventure in themselves. Their max capacity is 14 and the average number of passengers is 30. There are people on the roof tops and hanging out the back. It is quite a sight. They make frequent, random stops. As I was sitting peacefully, enjoying not having responsibility for anyone... the driver made a stop and came back with a squawking chicken flapping it’s wings and placed it directly under my feet. I provided much entertainment as I screamed and jumped from my seat while the Kenyans laughed at such a sight. It stayed there the entire 2 hour drive. We went to Iten, which is a high altitude training center for gifted runners. We live nearby where many famous Kenyan Olympic runners train. We had a lovely meal of rice and beans. Then we went to the Keiro Valley resort to see the absolutely breathtaking view and have 2 cokes and Crepes Suzette. We made it home safely to our 3 beautiful children with a renewed love for one another. Thanks Amber, Kristen and Ariella!

David and his sling shot

Since we arrived there has been a one-eyed cat that seems to hang around our house. The other day I realized she was a mommy. I saw her 2 little kittens and felt sorry for her. I decided to give her the carcass of the chicken I had cooked the previous night. Within 1 minute (literally) there was a hawk swooping down to fight for lunch. One-eyed Willamina stayed firm and kept eating. My friend Mary came to see what was going on and before I knew it she said, “Get the children inside!” A huge bird called out and swooped down as the cat and hawk fled away. A few days later, Ben, a.k.a. David, killed this Montagious Harrier with one stone and his sling shot. Yep that’s right, David lives in my neighborhood. Apparently these birds kill small hens, cats and even poke people’s eyes out. What a sight! My boys were very impressed!

Sacrificial Giving

Lastly, before we left Oklahoma we gave many of our baby things to Matt and Lindsey King who are entering the journey of foster care. I asked Hudson if he would want to give his bike away. He began to cry, big alligator tears. He said, “I just love my bike. It is so fun and it’s the coolest bike I’ve ever seen”. My mommy heart wanted to protect him from any further sacrifice. He was already sacrificing so much by leaving all of his family and friends and many of his toys. I told him he didn’t have to. We could let Grammy keep it safe for him until we got back. He then proceeded to say thru his tears, “No, if a kid doesn’t have any bike I would like them to have mine.” We gave it to the Kings happily. So last week Shadrach, the station manager, said I have something for you. We went to a storage shed and to our great surprise it was a “BMX Cool Bike”! A young girl, Cara, who lived here before us made a similar sacrifice for Hudson. She knew he was coming and left him her bike! What a lesson in obedience. And what a lesson in the beauty of a child’s heart. I am constantly reminded of God’s goodness and care for the details of our life.

Keep praying for our work here in Kenya!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hospital Update

So a month has gone by now and I thought I might share how things have been going for me at the hospital. I want to share a few stories so you can get a glimpse of what it has been like and how you can best pray.
I have been working mostly in the Pediatric ward as well as Maternity. I also see a lot of outpatients in the afternoons. The mornings are not so bad here because the nurses aren’t normally ready for me to come for rounds until about 9:00am. So I get to start my day with devotions among the fellow missionaries here. We have been reading through the Psalms and praying together. I really appreciate the community of believers that are here, both the short-term and long-term people. Then I get to have breakfast with my family and have our family devotions. We read some in Hudson’s Children’s Bible and also through the Gospel of Matthew. I love to hear my kids pray. Next, I round with the nurses and nursing students on my inpatients. I have enjoyed praying with each one of them and sharing my testimony/the gospel with them. I am trying to learn Swahili and am in the process of working through a translation of the Evangelism Explosion track that my dad gave me before I left, just for that “divine appointment.” Thanks dad for that and for your example.
One patient you can pray for is Kiprotich. He is a 6 year old boy from a rural tribe that lives down in the valley called the Polcat. They are very traditional and resistant to change including the gospel. They have also been violent in the recent past with the other tribal groups in this area. But this boy was transferred to our hospital because of severe malaria and a very low blood count of 3, normal is around 12. We transfused him but he continued to have fevers. His belly then began getting bigger and he stopped passing urine well. As of today he was doing slightly better and we started treatment for intestinal parasites. Pray with me that he would survive his illness and that the parents would feel and know the love of Jesus from us. I would love to see more of an open door into reaching these people for Christ.
I have also been covering Maternity ward this week while our Obstetrician is away at a conference. It has been a good opportunity for me to get more comfortable with doing C-sections here and other procedures like tubal ligations and D&Cs (sorry for the medical jargon, I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.) This past Friday was probably the hardest day for me yet. I would like you to pray for two mothers who both came in with premature labor. The first lady, Gladys, came in at 28 weeks (full-term is 40 weeks) in labor, fully dilated. She soon delivered her baby and I noticed her belly was not as small as it should have been. Of course, you guessed it, she had twins. They both delivered head first, which is fortunate, and they weighed around 1kg or 2 pounds each. We spent a long time resuscitating them and they both began to breathe on their own, but very labored. Here at our hospital we don’t have a ventilator so babies have to be able to breathe on their own. Unfortunately, both babies went on to die later that night. They were just too small to survive. This is one of those instances where it is hard for me to see babies die that I know could have been saved in the States and it is even harder to see mom’s get so excited when they are surprised to give birth to twins only to lose them before they turn 1 day old. So please pray for Gladys as she seeks comfort from the Lord and trusts in His sovereignty.
Also, pray for June who is 19 and came in with preterm labor at 27 weeks. Her baby was turned in such a way that the hand actually delivered first. In this case I had to take her for a C-section and the baby survived for only a short time. Once again she was too premature for her lungs to breathe. The surgery went well and June is recovering, but it was hard to see her crying for the loss of her baby. I could see the Lord’s goodness to her and the peace He gave her as we prayed for her.
There is a lot of joy in the work I am doing at the hospital as well and I have to remind myself that God has not called me here to never have to go through hardship or struggle in my own life or sharing it with my patients. It is a privilege to be able to walk with them through their difficult times and point them to Christ, who is our ultimate comforter and healer. Thanks for your prayers. We love and miss you all.

Monday, February 1, 2010

You Know You're in Africa When...

We have been in Kenya for about 3 weeks now and we have made a few observations that we would like to share with you.

You know you’re in Africa when:

~It rains on your clean laundry hanging out to dry and you call it a second rinse

~Chickens that live next door are your “weed and feed”

~The sheep are your very own lawn mowers as well as pets tied to a post in your front yard

~You’re not sure if you’re getting a tan because you live on the equator or your bath water looks like this before you actually bathe

~This is Aquafina at it’s best: Purified water=4 hours of direct sunlight

~You get an urgent call from the OR that a woman is in on the table in need of your blood type so you rush in only to find that there is only 1 man who has a key and he is at home. So he comes 30 minutes later only to take you to a secret refrigerator that has a secret stash of blood that no one knew about.

~You wake up to this every morning:

~Everyone stops to say “Habari” or “Hello” and shake your hand

~The rooster that lives next door begins crowing at 3am, then 3:30, 4:00…

~You are greeted by these faces every time you get home:

~You don’t need a floral shop all you have to do is go to your backyard and find this:

~Electricity during the day is “optional”

~This is 10 minutes away from your home:

~When you order a couch and ask for light green this is what you get:

~You have to travel 2 hours to get your computer modem serviced (sorry it’s been a while since we've posted)

~Things are quite comical around here at times, but it keeps life interesting.

We are enjoying our adventure here.

Love and praying for you all!