:: Tomorrow we head back to a "normal" routine. We are all done with Christmas, all done with New Years, all done with Youth Camp... now back to our regularly scheduled program. We are thankful for the holidays, but thankful for routine too!
::William and Matthew are down with Malaria this week! Poor guys! Prayers appreciated for a quick recovery. This is William, bravely getting his blood taken for the malaria test.
:: Benaiah had some rough days this past week too. It seems as if he is very allergic to something around our house/compound, but we have no idea what! This past Wednesday his whole face swelled up and his eyes were swollen shut. It seemed to be an anaphylactic response of sorts. We are now trying to track down an epinephrine injection (something like an epi-pen) to keep on hand in case this gets worse! On Monday night, he had started to have an asthma attack. We had just given him a nebulizer treatment and were realizing that he needed oxygen too. We had been gifted an oxygen tank (so thankful to the Lord and our friends at Musana camp for that!), but we couldn't get the bolt loose on the tank and Benaiah was starting to shake and wheeze with every breath. We prayed and asked for prayer from my prayer group here in Mbale. A second later the bolt loosened and the tank worked beautifully. But when we checked him again, he was back up to normal and the wheezing had stopped! He didn't need the oxygen or any more medicine for the rest of the evening! God was so good to us to answer our prayers so quickly and fully! On Sunday, most of the gang went to a village church, but William (who was already sick) and Benaiah (who didn't need to be around any more dust) stayed home with me. Benaiah and I had a lovely lunch date together since William was asleep in bed.
::On a sadder note, on January 8, our Missionary Associate's younger sister was in a very horrible head-on collision. She broke multiple bones and has already undergone three surgeries. Sarah, our MA, is flying out tonight to go be with her family and help them. Thankfully, she purchased a two-way ticket, so we hope to see her back in four weeks. Prayers appreciated. Sarah has a vibrant ministry here, not just to our family (she is only with us part time), but with the children of our church and many other really great things. While this is certainly in God's hands and in his good will that she return to America for a time, I can see that it is also a "messenger from Satan" sent to discourage the good work that she is doing here. We are going to miss her terribly for the next few weeks. Pray for her safe travels, her sister's healing, our kids' hearts, that the kids in her reading classes will continue to come and learn underneath Connie Jackson's substitute teaching, and that our little home school will run smoothly for the next month.
:: Here is a picture of my little buddy Jackson. When I first met him, he was 7 months old and weighed less than 15 pounds. He was frail, sickly, malnourished and the grandmother was discouraged. His mom had died when he was an infant and his grandmother had only been able to give him porridge and tea that his body wasn't ready for. I began to buy him a little bit of formula every few weeks. The grandmother was very diligent to give him the formula, never asking for more than she needed and never "sharing" with others it wasn't meant for. Over the months, as he has healed and grown strong and healthy, the grandmother has grown in her confidence to care for him. I know the calories from the milk was not what saved his life, but I do think it was the small hand up that encouraged his grandmother to begin to own and invest in his care. I love it that a small gift can do so much in the life of one little boy. I saw on fb a meme that says, "You have the power (and I would add that it's Holy Spirit power) to say, 'I will not let their story end like this.'" So thankful that God gives us these opportunities to be a part of a different endings to the stories around us and that we can encourage others (like this grandmother) to also be a part of better stories. And don't ya just want to squeeze those cheeks??
::Finally, we have heard that our lawyers have applied for a court date for Denise. Please pray that we get a court date soon, so that we can continue to work towards getting her a visa to travel with us to America. She's a precious kiddo...worth every prayer and penny! :)