Timing Is Everything

“God’s has perfect timing; never early, never late. It takes a little patience and a whole lot of faith… but it’s worth the wait.” *

This week God has really been working me over on waiting for Him, waiting on His timing. No matter how hard it gets, how impatient I get, and no matter what other’s think. I could have done some things differently this week – the way “I” thought they should be done, but I would never know if the outcome was the one God had planned.

Our former day guard, now our groundskeeper/Raelee wrangler/torturer/best friend – Kimuli, his dad has been sick. Very sick. We were asked for transport to a clinic, but we told them that we would, but it would have to be to Dr. Nelson or we wouldn’t pay for it. The dad wanted to go to a muslim hospital so we did give them transport. We kept getting told that he was sick, didn’t know if he was going to live but we never could find out where he was or what exactly was wrong. What we did know was it was something to do with his leg and it was swollen with skin peeling. After three days, Kimuli came to us with 3 pages of prescriptions costing 100,000 shillings. The only thing we could make out in those three pages was cellulitis. We told him we would give it to him this time but we needed a receipt. We haven’t gotten one. The very next day his dad was transferred to the main hospital ran by the government and we were told after he had been there three hours he has cancer in his leg and needs to have it amputated – for a million shillings. That is A LOT of money here. It’s around $300 USD but here, most people won’t even see 100,000 in their life. Kimuli didn’t come to us, and we weren’t asked to give the money. If they didn’t pay all the money up front, the hospital would just let him die. Christian wanted to give them the money, I didn’t. Not that I am cold-hearted or bitter, but for one they didn’t want our help until it came to money. Two, we didn’t know what was really going on with him so I couldn’t just blindly give out that much money and how would we do it? Would we have even more people coming to us? We did the only thing we knew to do, pray. Then we went to Dr. Nelson for advice. He told us that there is no way in three hours that they could determine cancer and decide to amputate. And if it was cellulitis all those prescriptions were for nothing, (and that clinic knew it) and it is possible that it might be treated. He also told us that the reason we didn’t get a receipt and won’t get one from this hospital IF we paid was that the government clinics and hospitals are supposed to be free care. He went with us to the hospital to see the man. (Which to us was a Godsend and over and above.) It is cellulitis, but the man had sat for months in pain not going for care and now from his toes up to his knees is rotted. I couldn’t even get close to his bed because of the smell. It was heartbreaking, frustrating, and so very sad all at the same time. Dr. Nelson said it could have been easily treated in the early stages when the swelling and pain started, but now he will have to have it amputated or he will die. So the hospital knows this is life or death, and obviously these people have no money. The man’s other leg is crippled so he will never walk or work again.

We came home and cried and argued over what to do. I still said no to putting out the money no questions asked. We’ve already seen the hospital is corrupt, what’s to say we give it and they demand more? Who do we give it to? And how do we know that is really the cost. We were told that they were trying to sell some land to come up with the money. This is where it gets so confusing here. I think chickens, livestock and any amount of land is like a savings account. They barely get by day-to-day but they will not get rid of any of it. Christian didn’t want them to lose their land. How do we know they don’t have twenty acres and might only have to sell two? How do we know if giving money is the right answer? I said we wait a day or two. He waited all this time, and he isn’t going to be much worse off in a couple of days. So we prayed. Yesterday we heard nothing – from God or anyone else. All night last night I lay awake and prayed. I thought about the three people we did send to the Dr. yesterday and how that would look to this man’s family. I thought about the building we are making into a home for ourselves and how that is looked at. I thought about all the advantages and blessings I have and how could I deny this family a chance?  This morning we talked to our farm manager who says they still don’t have the money. Christian had many of the same thoughts I had, and we decided we would pay it. We tried to figure out how we could do it anonymously but then realized maybe that wouldn’t be the right way to witness. So we went back to Dr. Nelson to get his advice again. He has been having a rough week himself, he says too many very sick children have come to the hospital – two from our worker that have very advanced malaria and infection. But he took the time to talk with us and found out who the Dr that would be operating was so that we could go to him because he was actually the one wanting the money. Dr. Nelson was concerned (as were we) that if we gave it to the wrong person it would disappear. We thanked him for all he does for us and he called us his friends, which means more than he will ever know to us.

We went directly to the hospital and ran into one of our workers. We were trying to figure out where to go, and were told they were trying to find transport to take Kimuli’s dad to another hospital for the surgery. They couldn’t get a taxi van or car because by this time the smell was so overwhelming no one would let him into their vehicle. They were looking for a truck. We have a truck! So we transported him and 6 others about an hour away to a catholic hospital. Christian helped the men get him checked in and settled. They immediately bathed him. The surgery will be tomorrow, and from what little we have gathered it is not going to cost as much. It seems that a man with the group – who has lost his leg – is giving them some money. Christian paid for antibiotics he will have to take for the next 4 days. We don’t believe in coincidence and it was perfect timing with our arrival at the hospital. While I was waiting with Raelee  I thought of some things…

We get to where we think we know what the best thing is for somebody else. If this man is already struggling over losing his livelihood, and part of his body – what would it do to him to have to accept the money from people he doesn’t even like? How do we know that what we did today didn’t have more of an impact on him? It all comes down to faith – the faith that God is there, listening, and will answer in His own time and according to HIS plans. If we were supposed to have done something yesterday, I know He would have let us know.

Some weeks it seems everyday is a battle and some weeks we just get plain tired of it all and instead of turning to the One Who can make the burden lighter, we tune everything out and it only compounds and makes the little things bigger. I don’t want to get jaded or bitter. I want to love and there is only one way to do that – Jesus. Focusing on Him instead of the problems. Looking at people through His eyes. And remembering that He brought us here for His purposes and He will bring us through it all. Pray for us, that the struggles won’t become the thing we focus on and lose sight of the blessings and the love.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9

  • taken from wordinspiration.wordpress.com

You Learn Something New Everyday

Our ceiling is finished, just has to finish drying. We learned something else about Uganda today. When you hire someone for a job, clean up is not included. If we had known what our building was going to look like when they got done we would have never done it, or at least talked about that part beforehand. We had no idea the mess there would be or that they would not clean up. I have had a good cry and decided that the devil is just trying to get at me after having such an encouraging day yesterday. I’ve had a few people offer to help me, for a fee. I think for the rest of it I will probably do myself.

Happy Resurrection Day!

“I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

I hope and pray everyone has had a good day. We had a wonderful day with the Church – the kids way outnumbered the adults, but there were a few adults that don’t normally come. There was singing and then the Jesus movie. I got to hold many babies today and had one little girl that would not let go of my hand. The children are taught that they are not to sit in the chairs, but because she was glued to my side an exception was made. I sat for a long time with a tiny sleeping baby in my lap and the little girl in the chair beside me that went to sleep and drooled all over my arm! When the baby woke up she promptly threw up on me. Oh well, it all wipes up and was well worth the chance to love on these little babies. Raelee had her share of baby holding, much to her delight!

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

After the movie, Christian gave a message to the people inside the church and part of the children came outside with Raelee and I. There were two other ladies that I am forever grateful for helping with the children! I also had a great interpreter, it is important to have someone who understands what we are talking about. It’s not enough that they can just interpret the words, but to know the context and be able to present it in a way for everyone to understand. I gave my testimony, and then while I used The Wordless Book, Raelee showed the matching color on the dolls necklaces. The wordless book has on one side just the color and the other tells what each color represents . I want to give a special thank you to the great, indispensable Donny Lee, our friend, organizer and magic man, for The Wordless Book. Also a big thank you to all the ladies at Good Hope Baptist Church in Anacoco, LA for their hard work and laughter and love in making 100 dolls for us. I know you have been waiting to see the smiles on children’s faces when they received them and I have been praying for the best opportunity to give them out. Today was the day! We gave 95 dolls out, and it was pandemonium even with the ladies helping us. These kids don’t know what “make a line’ means! And they were all so afraid they wouldn’t get one. The trick was trying to keep track of the ones coming back trying to get more! We got down to the last 5 dolls and Prosy said that’s it. I told her we may as well give them all out but there were kids coming from across the road when they saw that something was being given away so she said no more! But then with such humility she asked me if she could have 5 dolls for her children and I told her of course. She had spent the entire church service wrangling kids. You can see in the pictures there were many many there! Almost 100 little ones and the building is pretty large but it was full! Then I noticed she was pointing at the tub we had the dolls in and I told her she could have that. She cried and hugged me. She hugs me often, and usually it last about 2 minutes too long! But I am grateful for her!

Finally, at 2:00 we parted ways, me exhausted, Raelee ready for a nap and many, many very happy kids. I am thankful for the 9 that came forward to receive Jesus as their Savior and I plan on doing my part in keeping up with them and teaching them. We are getting a slide and catwalk for Raelee this week, and building a bench for the kids to sit on outside so that next week we will start doing the felt board Bible stories that an a generous man bought for us. There are hundreds of pieces that have had to be cut out. I believe it is going to be such a great tool for the kids and adults alike.

I pray everyone had as happy a day as we did, and took a moment to remember and be thankful for the love of a Savior Who loves us so much He gave His life so that we could know Him and have relationship with Him. Raelee gets so excited about the crucifixion of Jesus – that he died but 3 days later He came back! I pray that today around the world there are many people who now have that same excitement and awe!

“The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name.” (Luke 24:46-47)

Happy For The Weekend

It’s been a rough week in the sense that there have been people at the door all day everyday. Farmers getting money and seed, I finally last night told our worker that from now on farmers come before 5 in the evening because everyday this week just when we are sitting down to eat they come. They thought it was funny that we eat that early! One man asked if we eat and go to bed! Because they all eat around 8 or 9 and then go to bed. We’ve had no work going on this week so our workers have been by for money or work. One person came and wanted to borrow $150 to buy land because the person selling needed the money for a sick child. We told them we would have to check with the board and usually that ends it! The next day another person came and asked to borrow $150 because someone has land to sell that has a sick child! We told them that we can’t give out loans that they can’t repay. That is so much money here and they all want to borrow and then pay back $1 a month! The best one was the guy who came and said he is making bricks to sell – he is hiring 10 guys to make the bricks for him so could he borrow the money to pay his workers! We had a pretty good laugh about that one! Our farm manager asked if he could have some of our scrap wood – he would pay a little for it – and we said yes. He asked if he could have bricks we have left from the barn and Christian didn’t answer him. Next thing I know, I look out the window and they had the truck half full of our bricks! Christian had to go out and tell them to put them all back, we have other projects to do. One thing we’ve seen, if we give somebody something it seems to tell them that they can come take whatever they want from our property. I know they don’t do that to each other, but we have seen tools, a ladder, Raelee’s toys walking out the gate! So the week has been draining and Christian and Raelee have had pretty bad coughs so they haven’t felt good.

We are excited for Easter. We are showing the Jesus Movie at church on Sunday. We are trying to invite as many people as we can. I was told today that “some are muslim” and might not come. I said, “Well, maybe they will come and not leave as a muslim”! So pray with us that many will come and be touched by the film. So many around the world have.

These cuties were waiting on their mother in choir practice and came and took my hand and walked around with me. I brought them to the house and Raelee gave them each a doll. The boy seemed pretty surprised when he tried to give it back and we told him he could keep it! The little girl had taken hers into the church!

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I need to make a PS…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              After writing this and posting, I was encouraged and reminded that not everyone just wants something from us. Our boda driver that delivers groceries and take out food to me whenever I call, never cheats me and just loves Raelee had told me his Iphone screen had shattered and did I know anyone in America that could get a new screen. I told him there is nobody coming soon and I couldn’t get one mailed. I got my favorite phone unlocked so that I can use it here so I called Richard to bring us a few things and gave him my old phone. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone get that excited over something! Christian said he thought Richard was going to do a dance! It’s a really nice phone, and he really wanted one to use online to talk to his friends, but the battery life on it is pretty short. So, after a week of gimme gimme gimme around here it was a joy to make someone’s day like that!

Game Night With The Beavers

We played a game last night with Raelee – Tombalo. Everyone has sticks they have to lay according to the card drawn and build a damn. If you get the 4 stick card that has a beaver on it, you lay 4 sticks and have to balance a beaver on top. Raelee was over the moon when she got a beaver to stay without toppling the whole dam! She won the first game. She loves to play it, loves it when we sit down and play games with her. I know the boys used to love it when we just sat and played games although one of them who shall remain nameless liked to cheat! Haha! He grew up to be a very honest young man. Both of the boys are.

Daniel and family are getting ready for a move to Greece with a transfer for a leadership position with Samaritans Purse. We are very proud of him. He is excited but a little sad to be moving away from Africa, where there hearts have been for many years. But he knows Greece isn’t the end, God has many plans for them and for us it is very exciting to see them play out. (And flights from there to here – here to there are cheaper than from here to Niger. Good to know!)

We had rain last night, and lightning, so we had a little curly headed visitor in our bed again. I’ve told her the thunder and lightning will probably last now for at least a month and she can’t get in bed every night because our bed is too small. So she lays in the little spot that my feet don’t reach! Then there is the cat – scaredy cat I call him. He doesn’t like the thunder either so he wants to climb in. I’m thinking we may need to get a bigger bed but Christian says we just need to kick out the bed poachers! I tried to tell Raelee no last night but then I remembered that she won’t be a little girl forever and I don’t want her to think we disregard her fears so I relented! Time goes by too fast when it comes to kids growing up and I have already experienced the lonliness of a mother when her children get too big to hold and too proud to climb in Mama’s bed so I will hold on to her childhood as long as I can!

Life Is Good

We’ve been pretty busy here, getting the “barn” finished and over seeing the guys putting a ceiling in the building we are moving into. Then there are the farmers getting ready to plant before the rains set in. The Chairman has been very supportive and has even had meetings with the farmers to re-iterate the goals and help them to understand the importance of the chance they are getting. So join with us in prayer that everyone has a great harvest and we have open doors to bring the gospel and form relationships.

We are now in the planning stages of getting the chicken farm going, so we plan on staying busy! When the guys are done with our ceiling, there is a huge cleanup that will have to be done in our building. And I made a mistake of painting some of the walls before we decided to have that put in so now they are pretty messed up and will have to be painted again! Christian has had to stay on the guys, they are professionals but we have found that here that doesn’t always mean they do a professional job! We wanted the ceiling to be as high as possible and it started out really good. But when they started outside of the bathroom they dropped about 15 inches! It was really noticeable and they apologized and said they would do it right on the other side, which would have been worse! Luckily they were still putting supports and mesh up so they took it all down and re-did it. It has the first layer of concrete and has to dry so then the put the layer on the inside and smooth it out. Probably still have 1-2 weeks before that is all done.

One of our workers daughter died last week – the second worker that has had a child die since we’ve been here. And one had a very little one die by drowning in a hole that filled with water just before we came here. It’s a rough life here, even though they live with disease, poverty and sickness they aren’t very educated about them. They don’t realize that malaria does not go away by itself and many die because they don’t get treatment. Because of the fear of Dr’s and hospitals they don’t have their children immunized and even though they can get vitamins for free they don’t do it. It’s sad and we are trying to change that little by little by doing whatever we can by educating the ones that come to us and by taking them to Dr Nelson. He has given us a lot of help and advice. Out of all the people that were screened for cataract surgeries, there were 4 that were eligible for a procedure that could be done here at the hospital but only 2 would go. The 2 that were eligible for cataract surgery won’t go out of fear. It makes me wonder why they even came to be tested. Our driver has been sick and today he went to Jinja to the hospital for some MRI’s and tests and they came out okay but the Dr is still concerned and wants to do a scope of his throat to rule out any cancer. But Indianga just wants to take the medication the Dr gave him for inflammation and see if it goes away. This has been going on for some time now so we think he should have the scope. At least he isn’t putting all his faith in the witch doctor! He told us if he doesn’t feel better in a week he will go for the test. We are going to talk to Dr Nelson and see what he says about it. In the mean time we pray. For everyone.

Always pray for us, for patience, endurance, good health and open doors to begin relationships and witness about the joy we have found in our Lord Jesus Christ.