It was a Saturday afternoon on July 13, 1985. I was taking care of Andrew, an 11 month old and getting ready for a garage sale. While I priced and folded clothes and things I had the T.V. on. While Andrew was taking a nap, God used that day and that time to rock my world!
I was 21 years old and had no idea that God had a message for me on that day. My small-town world would be shattered and I would have my heart broken and my eyes opened.
You see that was the day that Live Aid occurred and was broadcast simultaneously from London and Philadelphia. I was young, and to tell you the truth, I didn’t watch the news because typically it would depress me. That day, this young mom saw moms in Ethiopia watching their children die from starvation and there was not one thing they could do about it as they were dying as well. I had been told growing up as a child to “finish my food, there are starving children in China”. This really bothered me the first time my mom said that to me. I couldn’t believe that ANYONE in this world could be starving and how awful that would be. After all, I was a 100 pound 5 year old and this was totally out of my element!
On this day, I SAW it through the magic of television and I wondered how I, this small-town girl with a very soft heart protected with a very hard heart could have been born in America, blessed with so much and taking so much for granted. Health, food, shoes, family, and shelter.
This was the day I thought, “that mother watching her child die. Tina, that could have been you”. I realize that was just about 30 years ago, but that seed has been in my heart ever since that moment when God broke into my heart with truth.
What brings these thoughts up this week is that we have been looking for a lot of different auto parts and so I have been in the car watching people a lot. This, unfortunately, takes a lot of time, but I have been observing people and life in this Nigerian world. Tuesday I saw a pregnant young woman hawking food. “Hawking” is what some people do here. They have a large container of something that they carry, it could be bananas, rice, peanuts, olives, sunglasses, etc. and they carry it to cars and businesses trying to sell it.
Well, I thought, “this is her world”. She hasn’t been brought up being told that she can be anything she wants to be when she grows up. She is living day to day. She hopes to make enough today to survive another day. Soon she will have a baby to take care of as well. Frequently hawkers also have their baby tied to their back as they go about trying to scrape enough money for another day.
This is my thought for today: Are you counting your blessings today? How has God broken your heart and opened your eyes? Are you doing anything about it?
I am sorry friends, we have not had much for internet the past two weeks. Here is what we’ve been up to:
On Friday we saw the doctor for Dan’s leg. He determined it was getting worse and there was nothing more they could do in Gembu. He called his brother-in-law, who is a doctor at the National Hospital, and set up a meeting for us Monday morning.
We left for Abuja early Saturday morning, October 25 after the nurse cleaned and wrapped up Dans leg. We had an uneventful trip and arrived in Abuja on Sunday. We got a few provisions and went to the house and rested and contacted the doctor we were meeting on Monday. During this time Dans leg is looking and feeling increasingly worse.
Monday morning we texted the doctor and met with him. He took one look at Dans’ leg and said you will need to be in the hospital for a week or two with your leg up to reduce the swelling, and then have a skin graft, then stay in the hospital a week or two or until it is healing. I do not need to tell you that both of us were discouraged. This would eliminate doing any work in Gembu before we have to go home in December.
I am ready to call and get plane tickets home as I really hate seeing Dan in pain and it has increasingly gotten worse with treating it here. Dan thought he should check with his doctor that is going to do his vein surgery in his legs in December to see if there were things we could do that we hadn’t been doing that would help or if their opinion was we should come home. We are still not sure why we didn’t do this before. They were wonderful and said that he probably had cellulitis around the ulcer and that was where a lot of the pain was coming from. Also the gauze he was using was not non-stick. That was irritating it every time he moved or changed dressings. We traveled to quite a few pharmacies and found the items we needed to wrap up Dan’s leg and he sat on the couch with his leg up Tuesday and Wednesday and he continued taking the antibiotic he had been on for two weeks.
God has blessed tremendously and this has reduced the pain, infection ,and drain on Dan’s body! Words cannot describe how very thankful we are for this.
While in Abuja we have had servicing done to the vehicle we are using, bought a new truck and the mechanic is currently working on that making sure everything is ready so that we can take it to Gembu. You see, when a vehicle breaks down on the road, that’s where it gets fixed here. Availability of parts and qualified people are very limited. It is always better to take care of it in a bigger city and be able to get the parts that are from the dealer. We have also spent this week getting the items on our “to do” list done. It totally amazes me how long it takes to do anything here! We can spend a whole day and not find the part we need or a decent copier, or an ace bandage!
On Sunday we got to go to an international church called “The Ark”. It was wonderful to sing songs we knew, a message that spoke to us and visit and connect with people of many different nationalities. This made me realize that I have had a lack in my life here and that is music. I seem to need good words and melodies going through my head This seems to encourage and motivate me. I was so surprised that I just soaked up the music and the whole experience like a sponge!
On Monday we went to Johnny Rockets. We visited with a missionary couple on Saturday that told us they had discovered it about a week ago and then and there Dan had decided that is where he would go for his birthday lunch. His birthday was actually on Tuesday, but we decided that day we would work around the house and get some more done there. The picture above is Dan enjoying his peanut butter chocolate shake and enjoying every second of it. Ice cream in Abuja is very expensive and does not taste good to us. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there talking and eating and listening to oldies from the jukebox!
We are still waiting to hear when we are supposed to meet with US AID for a close out meeting. We are anxious to get back to Gembu and get some work done before we have to leave in December. We are missing our friends and co-workers in Gembu and excited about what the future holds there at GECHAAN.
We also found out this week that my mom broke her leg and dislocated her hip. I am so thankful my sisters are there to be with her and advocate for her as she is in the re-hab. They really are much better at that than I and I am thankful for that!
This note is more informational than inspirational today. I do want to leave you with this one thought though. Wherever you go, whatever you do (especially if it’s not what you want to be doing) who are you reflecting? You do not need to be a missionary to reflect the One who sent you!