Dear friends and family:
Thank you for your continued interest and patience in spite of our slow communications! Since our last writing, we keep caring for our patients in the best our often selfish and limited abilities allow. It’s crazy how often self-righteousness creeps in and interferes with what ought to be a self-lessening work of caring for a patient: frustration with being interrupted enumerable times on rounds for questions ranging from when will students get electricity (not thought to be my realm of responsibility) to the urgent needs of performing an operation right at the end of the day. The interruptions force me to pause in my self-important thinking that i need to get my work done, while most people are seeing their own problems as most urgent. No, abdominal pain for 10 years is probably not most urgent, but i still have a first reaction of frustration rather than patience and willingness to listen, perhaps redirect and counsel about living with chronic problems, or recommend seeing me during clinic hours . . . .
Anyways, being whittled to be used as an arrow in the Lord’s quiver (using Dr. Helen Roseveare) is a lifelong slugfest with humility! Often gets pretty ugly; i usually need the jolts that hurt but give me sudden realization of my self-centric, self-important blindness to the needs of others. But it’s not just saying i get character development out of the unpleasant struggle (which i do). But the greater lesson is God is worth the struggle. He gains a greater, more angular character and presence as my self-justifying, self-aggrandizing get smaller. Just seems to take forever!
Our organization’s CEO, Greg Seager, visited us at Kalukembe; we’ve renewed Zeke’s passport in Luanda and now await the renewal of our visas (submitted the beginning of June); we’ve shared theology of health and specific topics related to men’s health in Namibe province in June; we’ve butchered a couple chickens; we’ve claimed a cat as a pet; we’ve collected firewood for the cold season; we’ve had many warm fires together in the evenings; we’ve planted seeds for herbs; we’ve shared in women’s health talk at a local church; we’ve done a few fun science experiments with boats and rafts; the vice-ambassador for the US and colleagues visited Kalukembe in the beginning of the month; we’ve spent 5 days on a farm in the desert with other missionaries for spiritual refreshment; we’ve had a two-day nursing continuing education seminar with Priscila and Dr. Nicholas Comninellis speaking (more later).
Keep us in mind and prayer:
Our electrical project won’t be able to have the presence of an experienced electrician this year or early next year. In the meantime, there are lots of light bulbs and basic wiring that need to be replaced and we are using funds given by you and organizations for that. We anticipate having some solar power installed at the hospital to at least stabilize the telephones and perhaps even the blood bank refrigerators. Keep praying our electrical challenges would find sharp minds, able hands, and wise money to resolve.
Our patients: These past couple of weeks have had a share of tears for young women and small children who have died from eclampsia, malaria, severe dental infections and burns, respectively.