Sunday, July 27, 2014

Preparation


July 27, 2014
 Prayer

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7.

A Baby Bedroom

Some of your have been interested in seeing our developing nursery.  So here you go...



It is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house.  We are so thankful for the many generous gifts of friends and family and for finding nice things on Craigs List.  This little one will be well provided for.  Two years ago, we packed many baby items to bring with to Congo-hoping for a baby in the near future.  We are amazed at how everything goes to good use out here.  The locally made mahogany rocking chair and cradle are our unique additions.



Our baby homecoming outfit will be made with this.
Love the vibrant colors



Nyankunde Sports Camp
We have been pleased to get to know three amazing young people from California these past 3 weeks: Sarah, Mec, and Troy.  These young people came to conduct the third annual Nyankunde Youth Sports Camp and to encourage the young people in their walks with God through the study of the teachings of Jesus in the book of Matthew.  They are a delightful bunch and so encouraging to the Congolese youth, each with a witness of how God is working in their lives.  It is amazing how they have formed strong friendships cross-culturally.

Many Congolese students from previous years’ camps have had their university studies funded with the promise of returning to Nyankunde after graduation to give back and be part of the re-building process.  It has been very encouraging to meet many of these Congolese youth.  Pray for the missions team as they return tomorrow.



Thanks for your love and support in our lives.  Stay tuned as we wait in expectation...

Lindsey and Warren
Banana bread and passionfruit juice on a Sunday afternoon

Troy, Mec, and Sarah

Youth concert at the conclusion of sports camp
(new youth center pictured in back)

Monday, July 14, 2014

July: Rhythm of Rest


July 14, 2014

Rhythm of Rest
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”  Exodus 20:9-10

As an American I value being busy and getting things accomplished.  I like to look at a list at the end of
On an evening walk on the MAF airstrip
the day and feel a sense of fulfillment from what I have done.  It is much harder for me to feel that I have accomplished something by resting….Early on during our time here on the field I began to feel tired.  I felt that I had to see my patients everyday, including Sunday.  It was hard for me to consider that something bad might happen if I was not there.  It is easy to think that everything depends on you, but it is not true.  I realized on our first vacation that I couldn’t/shouldn’t keep this up.  For the last year or so we have been diligent about keeping a Sabbath day of rest every week.  This might mean taking on a different project, going for hikes, reading/catching up on correspondence, sleeping.  At first this was not natural, but now it is my favorite day of the week.  I have even tried to move my cooking to Saturday in order to not have this obligation on the Sabbath.

During this pregnancy I also have tried to be more diligent about rest.  I really feel that I am in the process of waiting, waiting for this little one to come into the world.  As the baby kicks me I am reminded of the one I will meet soon.  It is fun to wonder about what this little one will be like and to pray for the future.  I think God knew what He was doing when he made human
gestation to be 9months, during which time we are forced to slow down.  The change to parenthood is a big one and He must know that this time is needed to adjust and make me more attentive.

God seems to value rest alongside work, as He demonstrates in the Creation.  It says, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”  Genesis 2:2-3  It doesn’t really say what God did on this day, except that he rested and it was distinctly different from work.  I can imagine that God sat back and enjoyed His creation, all things that have the breath of life.  He enjoyed what He had created.  It is my prayer that we learn to live in the enjoyment of what God is doing in our lives.

On Language
Learning a foreign language is a humbling, but fun process.  I use Swahili on a daily basis in talking with parents and children.  People are so happy that you try to speak with them, even if your pronunciation or word order isn’t quite right.  Many words that used to sound alike to me, I can now differentiate.   “Kukohoa (cough),” “kukoja (urinate),” “kukononia (breastfeed)” used to sound the same to me, but now I can hear the sounds.  The verb for breathing and passing air are the same “kupumzi.”  That makes sense if the meaning of the word is the passage of air.  Other expressions are just fun…like taking a flight somewhere is “safari ndege (bird safari)”!  There are lots of examples of this.  Often a word can be used in many different ways and just needs to be modified in context.  I can usually understand the context of what people are saying even if I don’t understand every word.  Maybe I will be semi-fluent in another year?  Half of learning a language is intentionality and simply wanting to learn and not being afraid to make mistakes.  I think God gave Africans a special facility with languages, as most people here speak a minimum of at least 3-4 languages.

One of my little patients in the malnutrition program is only 18months old or so and understands Wabira, the language of the local tribe the Bira.  He used to cry all the time and barely be able to open his eyes due to tissue edema.  He has lost his edema and is a happy little boy once again in only 4 weeks.  I have learned how to greet him in Bira, which is “Nebo.”  He seems to understand and accept me now.  Language really is paramount in relating to people, even toddlers!

A Trip to Beni
We just returned from a weekend trip to Beni, about a 3.5hour trip into the forest.  This is our probably

our last road trip before the baby is born.  The original purpose was to shop for a rocking chair at a local woodshop.  It was also an opportunity to transport a team of people to visit students from Nyankunde who have received scholarships to study in Beni.  In the US you would probably go to a nice furniture store and try out multiple chairs or special order something.  In Congo rocking chairs are
hard to come by.  We remembered one we saw a few months ago.  So now we have a beautiful mahogany cradle and rocking chair, made locally!  The cradle has even withstood the weight of Warren curling up in it.

It was inspiring to see the students who have received scholarships to study at local Christian universities with the goal of returning to Nyankunde to serve for a set period of time.  We listened to them singing and praying for one another in English and French today, and complete some interviews on their experiences.  It is true that they are the future of this village as they give back and lead.
 
The cradle appears to be solid

Machine (the woodworker) and me

Scholarship recipients studying in Beni and Butembo

Medicine
I continue to improve my clinical skills to work in this setting.  I saw an interesting case last week of a girl with chronic abdominal colic of several years duration.  Common things are common, but her story and the re-enactment of her pain suggested a more complicated etiology.  Her abdominal ultrasound
Making ultrasound gel.  Notice my funnel is a resuscitation mask.
demonstrated a pancreatic pseudocyst and stones in the pancreatic duct.  Warren operated on her this week to allow internal drainage of this cyst which should help with her pain.  I have seen similar cases in the past, but never been part of the diagnostic work-up.  In the US we would send such a patient for an abdominal CT scan and here, well, your diagnosis depends on your clinical suspicion and ultrasound skills.  It is challenging, but even fun.  It is great to work with people who can help me learn these skills.

Thank you for your financial support
We want to send a public thank you to all of our supporters, many of whom remain anonymous.  We appreciate your partnership and interest in our ministry.  These last few months we have been able to make continued contributions to the malnutrition/indigent patient fund, travel to and from Greece for continued medical education, update our nursery with some needed furniture, and do some necessary home repairs.  We have even had a new beehive built in hopes of starting a new bee colony!  A milking cow might be next!  If I were only kidding...We really would not be able to do these things without
Outdoor bathtub renovations

you.


With love and blessings,

Lindsey and Warren