Wednesday, December 14, 2016

“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” ― Allen Saunders

Robert Burns, the Scottish poet, said it best in his poem “To A Mouse” when he wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ mice and men, gang aft agley.”  Which means, we can plan all we want, but God decides.  I had hoped that when I came home from the hospital on Monday that my current ordeal was over and I would soon be back to normal.  Sadly, Tuesday morning saw a horribly painful emergency that while I survived it thanks to some quick work by a student doctor (mine was still in Mwanza), it meant that the ordeal continues.  My good friend, Dr. Chris, is sure we have fixed everything but an infection that is lingering and not responding to oral medication.  It is not uncommon for us to get counterfeit medication here full of talcum or baby powder even in malaria medication.  We have no version of the FDA to make sure our medications are what they claim.  Happily, Dr. Chris has friends in Europe who ship him the real stuff for injections, so today I start a series of antibiotic injections that with enough added prayer should end all this in a matter of days.  I apologize for posting a picture of a lion kill on Facebook to help visualize my pain, but I thought showing a mother giving birth to a twelve pound baby would be a tad crass even if more accurate.  I have learned more about pain levels than I ever wanted to know over the past weeks, but I am moving on.  At least when John Wayne had to have an arrow pulled out of him, they gave him whiskey, but I had no such luxury.  Thanks to rereading Romans about pain and what you can learn and grow from it, I have not only survived but grown spiritually as well.  Another few days is not much looking back over my seventy-two years, and so many are suffering so much worse that I feel a little foolish for even complaining at all.         Karen is leading a two-day seminary beginning tomorrow on teaching Montessori methods to teachers and parents for all seven our preschools, and I feel so useless not being able to help her at all.  John and Shaban are all in to do whatever she needs, so it should be a success—just not without my any of my help.  I do feel so blessed by all of you who are praying and sending encouraging words and emojis to lighten my load.  We were also blessed because those sending financial gifts covered every expense—nothing left over, but being able to pay the hospital and doctors made me feel surrounded by love, and I can never thank those enough who enabled me to do that.  So many famous people have died this year that if I live to 2017, I guess it means I just wasn’t important enough to make the list.  I can live with that (pun intended).  I’m still bedfast and writing this from my tumtop, but it works, especially since John is now back from Dar Es Salaam and can help me with technical problems.  Love that boy and his genius with computers.  Love Karen too and am in such awe of all the work she has put into this seminar through all her pain.  She is my soul and inspiration (remember the Righteous Brothers?) and keeps me going.  All this just underscores my great belief that true riches lie in our relationships and not in things of this world.  God bless you all.  Tomorrow’s blog should be a good one about a religious subject and no more of an old man talking about his operations.  You be kind to someone who doesn’t expect it today and brighten someone else’s life.  God likes that.

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