Saturday, February 21, 2015

Back Home in DRC

February 21, 2015

Blessings from our home to yours!  We made it back to Nyankunde at long last.  We were able to spend a week with Warren’s folks in Basel, Switzerland, on our return to the US.  A wonderful time was had by all!  Emmanuel loved finally meeting his grandparents.  Our little boy has been so loved by everyone he meets!  We experienced the European life of riding train and trams.  It was a challenge carrying all our luggage and Emmanuel in a backpack but somehow we did it.   We are really blessed with a baby that travels well and loves meeting new people.  It was great to visit Basel Christian Fellowship where we have several friends and supporters. We are blessed by their prayers and interest in our lives.

Love those Swiss fairytales

We spent a day in Istanbul, Turkey, on the way back to Congo.  We toured some of the historical sites such as the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, and the Hippodrome.  This is a very interesting historical place because of its’ location between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean-at the junction between Europe and Asia.  Istanbul was the capital of two major empires-both the Ottoman and Roman empires.  We enjoyed wandering around the city a bit and eating shwarmas.  Emmanuel charmed all the airplane stewards on Turkish Airlines and even got a free teddy bear.  Sometimes it felt like we were invisible while was as if we didn't exist at airport counters when people just wanted pinch the cheeks of our little boy or take his picture.  I guess he is pretty cute.
Always looking up

We are adjusting to life again here.  I have been teasing Warren that the last two months have been like a paternity leave. He comes back to long lines of patients for consultation each day and a full surgical load.  Emmanuel loves the warmth, bathing outside, and taking a nap in his diaper.  He also loves playing with his new puppy Cocoa, a 9-week old boerboel.  Cocoa has a very sweet demeanor and is getting plenty of exposure to children.  I have been working with a Congolese nanny who will be caring for Emmanuel in the mornings when I go back to work next week.  Living the rural life is more involved and requires making your own baby food, cooking from scratch, gardening, and getting some goods into the country.  I am looking forward to returning to the hospital part-time.  It has been a wonderful 6-month maternity leave.  I have been so fortunate to have spent this time with our son.  I am thankful that I can work part-time and still spend a lot of the day with him.

Rainy season is approaching which everyone looks forward to with anticipation.    This means it is time to plant for the next season.  In our recent newsletter we reflected on the hidden action of God, being like planting a seed in the ground.  These analogies make so much more sense now because we try to grow our own food. 

Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground.  Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens.  The earth produces crops on his own.  First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.  And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”  Mark 4: 26-29. 

The plants that become our food start out as tiny seeds and grow into seedlings. Growth requires
many factors such as good soil, water, protection and sunlight.  It also requires time. Gardening is difficult for the impatient person. We have planted corn, beans, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, greens, melons, carrots, peanuts, etc.  We love to see those little shoots push up out of the ground, but it takes SOOOO LONG before you actually have something you can eat. For trees, it's even worse!  We have planted coffee, oranges, lemons, papaya, bananas and even pomegranate trees.  We look forward to the day when we will enjoy these fruits, but it won't be any time soon.  It takes patience.  You need to forget about things a bit and trust the process. Thomas Merton put it this way. "How does an apple ripen?  It just sits in the sun.  A small green apple can't ripen in one night...We must wait for God, we must be awake, we must trust in his hidden action within us."

This is our prayer for all of you, that you would be like an apple in the sun, waiting on God and His purposes for your life.  May you recognize His blessings all around you and recognize that He has done great things.

Prayer Requests:
-For Lindsey as she resumes hospital work in the pediatric wards and for Emmanuel to enjoy his new nanny.
-For us to treasure each day God gives us and find joy in our medical work.
-For the outpatient malnutrition program and a source of supplemental food for the children.
-For spiritual vision at Nyankunde Hospital and for our patients to hear the Gospel clearly with open hearts.

Blessings and love,

Lindsey (for all of us)
Airline entertainment

Meeting Puppy Cocoa

Flying with MAF to Nyankunde

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