Wednesday, July 1, 2015

“It is not possible to live in a malaria endemic zone without either being sickened by it oneself or without knowing someone who has had it or been hospitalized with it or without personally knowing at least one man, woman or child who has died from it or without knowing at least one woman who has lost her unborn baby from it.” ― T.K. Naliaka

Entering my fourth day of malaria. Combination of severe headaches, nausea, diarrhea, chills, high fever, vomiting, and back pain--I simply cannot imagine a parent watching their child suffer from this. I've had two IV's and have received three of five daily injections because of the severity of the case--first one for me in four years.  I actually thought I had become immune, but the doctor tells me that the parasites are always evolving to be more resistant to the drugs that kill them.  That’s why I’m getting injections every day for five days instead of the four tablets you take once the first day.  Just have the occasional headache now and am really tired because the parasites attack the red blood cells and destroy them.  It takes about a month to get back up to speed.  Still, saw the news about the U.S. women’t soccer team and way to go!  Into the final having not given up a goal in five games.  Here, sadly, Bishop Festo’s father died on Monday.  They thought he had ulcers but it was stomach cancer.  We really liked him.  He had us in his home for dinner on two occasions and once said that my rudimentary Swahili was “charming.”  We will miss him.  We still have four students at the Methodist seminary in Arusha to bring back home this weekend.  One has graduated and the other three have one more year.  The three going back in the fall include Festo’s sister, Esther, whom we have known and liked since our first visit here twelve years ago.  Thanks to a wonderful friend in South Carolina, we have purchased a new bicycle (that’s number 37) for the new evangelist in Tireme.  He will be starting a new church in the next month or so, so thanks again to our American supporters.  Since the doctor kept coming over to keep me alive, he had time to talk to John about the solar project and wants solar lights for his clinic.  John is also helping him get a computer and putting a medical records system on it to keep track of his medication and patient records.  I guess each of the three of us has made a significant impact by our presence here in education, medicine, solar, water purification, church growth, and new preschools in seven of our churches.  Got to stay alive for as many years as we can because stuff just keeps coming for us to use our skills and talents to benefit God’s children here.  Guess God knew what He was doing when he called us.  Never been easy, but we were never promised “easy” just rewarding and important.  God bless all of you who keep us in your prayers.  We couldn’t get by without them.
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