Tuesday, July 12, 2016

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” ― Tom Bodett

     Ah, the kids are back and preschool is in full swing.  I just love hearing their laughter and singing in the morning.  I even love their shouting out the words in English that they know.  Their happiness, hope, and joy to see another day of school fills me with hope and joy and the courage to go on.  They are so young yet so full of life and excitement.  I could never get as excited as they do over a couple of cups of hot porridge (ujii) but then I have never had to go hungry for days on end and never lived without parents or adults who really cared for me.  They get more love, food, and caring here than they have ever had, so they laugh and sing.  I would, too.
     Shaban came by early to get the car to go to Musoma where the car will be the family car in the funeral for his nine-year-old niece who died Sunday of Sickle Cell Anemia.  We had forgotten about that silent killer, but it takes many children here just like in the U.S.  Our car has been a funeral car far too many times, but we are happy to be able to help in a small way.  Our car has also been a taxi, an ambulance, and a transporter of biosand filters many times.  We just do what we can with what we’ve got and pray that it is enough.
      Karen and John will both be going to Musoma tomorrow—John to work and Karen to see the dentist as one of her teeth broke in two.  He has helped me in the past, and I hope he can help her as well.
      I seem to be over whatever was ailing me that wasn’t malaria but had some of the same symptoms.  There are a lot of illnesses here that we never know what they are called or what to do to prevent their reoccurrence, but that is just an occupational hazard of living in equatorial Africa.
     Today is our youngest son’s birthday.  He is 37 years old—our baby is thirty seven!  Karen had all three boys in different ways.  The first was a traditional birth with drugs and the doctor doing all the work.  The second one was natural (Lamaze) and was easy for her and for John.  Keith was a caesarian as he was about a month late and weighed ten pounds three ounces at birth (he weighs more, now).  Each one was a joy.  Keith though was the athlete of the three and played every sport: football, basketball, baseball, and soccer.  As a dad, I got to see him catch a touchdown pass while I was in the press box as a spotter.  The announcer handed the microphone and said, “You announce it.”  And I did.  He, like the other two, has always made us proud and still does.  He is a wonderful father to our two granddaughters and our grandson.  Even though we are thousands of miles away, we carry him in our hearts every day.  That’s what family is all about.  I’ll look at pictures of him growing up today and cry as I remember all the good times.  Karen and I are also proud of the relationship the three brothers have with each other, too.  They all know they can count on the other two.  That’s pretty special these days.  
      We’ve got three men back in seminary in Arusha and have three seminary graduates as pastors now.  Proud of them, too.  Just paid our last court costs and hopefully on the twentieth, we will get our final ruling from the High Court.  Not worried as this is in God’s hands and there is no better place to be.  
      We got two packages yesterday from guys I’ve never met on my internet watch forum and they included watches as gifts for Karen and I, watch bands so we can swap around, and stuff for our little orphans.  One man is from the Netherlands and the other from California.  I’ve never met or even seen pictures of either, but they know of me and our work here through the watch forum and both contributed to my medical bills when I was in hospital in Nairobi last January (I know in the U.S. you say “in the hospital” but the British influence has us saying “in hospital”).  Love the Christmas-like feeling we get when we get packages.
      Have a terrific Tuesday.  Hug and love those who care about you and love and pray for those who don’t like you.  Be kind to everyone.  Kindness feels good as giver and receiver, so just do it.
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