Sunday, August 23, 2009


I sat today with Susan, a mother who is desperate and heart broken. Her 14 month old boy, Shafik, was a normal healthy little boy several months ago just beginning to walk and saying mamma and papa until one day he got a fever. She took him to a hospital where he received treatment. They were going to release him but she asked them not to because he was still so weak and not quite right. A mother's intuition. A day later, he began to have seizures. She then told me that he had water on his spine and they released it. I have been told before that that is the way people here describe a spinal tap. They then began to treat him for meningitis but the medicines did not seem to help. By this point, he could no longer hear, speak, see, sit up or even swallow. He could not move his right side but physiotherapy is helping this. Because the meningitis medicines did not help, they refered her to the TB clinic and said they think he has TB of the brain. With desperation on her face and in her voice, she told me "I think they are just guessing, now." In my heart, I responded "I think you are right."

I spoke with my fellow missionary and dear friend, Claudia, afterward. We both feel so desperate to do something to find someone who knows these things and can do something to help this child and his needy parents. I wonder to myself, "how could this be prevented?" You may remember "Tiny Rose", whose situation seems very similar - a child who is developing on target, gets a fever and then loses much of her abilities. How can we keep this from happening to other children in the nearby villages? I have now seen two children like this and one is too many.

It is tough when there is so much suffering here and you seem helpless to do anything about it. Would you pray for Tiny Rose, Shafik and for prevention of this happening to others? Would you pray for Susan and her husband that this situation will bring them to the Great Physician?

Saturday, August 8, 2009


The other day, Titus noticed a whole bunch of caterpillars in the tree right outside of our house. He and Mark counted 45! The next day they had invaded our backyard and were all around our house. We have been told by the farm manager they are harmless so although we don't want them in our house, our kids have had a great time playing with them. Megan has one she swears really likes her and likes to hang on her shirt.

I wish I would have gotten a picture of her today with 4 on her shirt.

Looking for a new pair of pants?

I remember as a teenage girl going to the store looking for the right pair of jeans. I would place them up to my waist to see if I thought they would fit. Seems logical, right? I always thought that was the way to figure out whether a pair of pants or a skirt was worth trying on, but seems like I may have been wrong all these years.

I have watched the girls here at the orphanage go through clothes that generous people have brought for the kids. They would pick up and wrap the waist of the skirt or pants around their neck. Yep, the neck! (If you are one of the enlightened ones who do this also, please forgive my ignorance and be patient with me). I finally asked one day why they did that and they told me that was how they could tell if it would fit. I just shook my head and thought how silly teen age girls are.

Well, I have lost some weight and wanted our guesthouse helper who is also a seamstress to do some of her magic and take in the waist of one of my skirts. I took it to her and asked if she wanted me to try it on so she could see how much to take in. Oh, no, she said, just put it around your neck. What around my neck? So knowing she was a good seamstress and knew what she was doing, I hesitantly put it around my neck and then gave it to her hoping it would fit when she brought it back. She came back two days later and guess what! It fit perfectly!

The other day, I was going through my closet and found another skirt that needed to be taken in so I took it to our guesthouse helper again. Except this time, I held it up to my neck even before she asked. So next time when you are in the store and want to see if a pair of pants fit you, all you have to do is put it up around your neck. Never know what you will learn. Still not sure how it works though.