Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Day on Film

Today I knew was going to be busy. But you don't really know what you

are in for until you jump in with two feet. Naomi was going to come to

work today and Becky, Olen's Aunt, was going to be following us around

to film my day for friends and family that may want a glimpse of what

what I do. When everyone gets here I am ready to talk to the group

waiting for me on the bench outside my house. I start with the couple

that brought a baby 3 days old that is not eating. It is so tiny and

limp and lifeless. We ask several vital questions. The baby was born

at home and has cloth tied around its umbilical cord. There was a twin

but the other baby died. I prepare some baby formula and with Danae I

was able to help show the mother how to feed the baby by putting her

finger in the babies mouth and using a syringe pumping a little milk in

the babies mouth as it tries to suck down the milk. It was starting to

work and you could almost see the baby being brought back to life like a

wilted flower being watered. The three of us women pray for the health

of this baby. Then I left the mother and father to work together on

this while I go and talk to a blind man that has given me a chicken as a

gift. This man has a request for helping him repair his home that has

tumbled down. I glance over at the couple with the baby and notice that

the father has stopped his part of the feeding and the mother is just

giving the baby formula straight from the syringe without using the

sucking method. I don't think too much. But after talking to the blind man and working out some details, I go back over to the family with the baby.

But as I come close the baby does not look good. It has milk coming

slowly out of it's nose. I am confused and see that the mother is

concerned and pushes on the babies stomach and milk begins to pour out

even more from its nostril. Naomi is trying to take the baby and is

saying that she gave too much. I then take the baby from Naomi and turn

the baby upside down. I push on the baby and milk is just streaming out

of the face of this child. It was so much. Now the baby is turning

blue and I am so scared the baby is going to die in my hands. I right

away start to head over to the hospital with out saying anything to the

parents and I am just desperate for help. Half way to the hospital the

baby begins to breathe. Thank you Jesus! I continue to go over to the

emergency room and have Dr. Olen listen to the lungs and breathing and make sure she is ok. All is fine. God is with us!

Its only ten o’clock and time to go to visit with Abduli an Arab man I am friends with from the market.  We are going to his house today because his son was in the market fire that happened last week.  There were 3 people that got hurt in this fire and two I knew.  One was the father of one of my students last year and he actually died two days after getting burned.  Abduli’s son got burned too but just his arm and the side of his face.  When we get to his house we are warmly welcomed and asked to take a good place on the beautiful red and yellow carpet mat that is under a huge mango tree.  We begin to talk and laugh and share stories and give gifts.  I brought a few things along for their son like cars and a little bible book and I brought some incense for his wife.   They just loved it all and then they brought out some beautiful smelling incense of their own for each of us (me, Naomi and Becky).  We were all having such a good time that they asked us to stay and eat with them.  This is such a big deal for them.  We accepted their invitation and grabbed the opportunity for an adventure and that it was.  The men and women eat separately so the men stayed there under the tree and the women went further in to their compound to the outside of one of the various rooms they have to sleep in.  We were under some kind of awning and his wife had it made up so beautiful for us.  There was the same kind of carpet mat but this one was green with a design on it.  At each of the corners she had a beautiful pillow for each of us to relax on after we eat.  Then here comes the food.  It is boule of course with my favorite sauce with greens in it but this time they put some ox meat in it.  Becky speaks out and says that she wants to eat it the way they would eat and that they should show us how.  Us girls had such a good time.  Eating boule for the first time is always an adventure.  Becky ended up taking a picture of her place because she had rice everywhere.  We then sat around talking to Abduli’s wife in Arabic through Naomi.  Her name is Zarah and she is 23 years old, has three children with her oldest at the age 8.  So you do the math.  She started very young.  Right now she is having a lot of female medical problems that she felt comfortable talking to us about.  We told her that she needed to come to the hospital and see the new OB doctor, Danae.  So we felt as though even though we were just there enjoying their company we were still able to reach someone that needed help. 


After a long day we come home about 4:30 pm.  It is Friday and we have all the volunteers coming over to our house for vespers.  I am grateful for a good husband cause he had the living room all nice and clean.   After everyone is at the house after 7:00 pm I get a knock at the door.  A lady I know tells me that there is this little girl around age 8 at the front of my house just crying.  I ask her why and she says that she has no mother and no father.  She has been staying with someone else I know but the man left to go to Lai and the wife kicked her out and said that she needs to go.  But there is no where to go.  I go inside and get some potato soup and a piece of bread and have Tony interpret that she can stay the night out on the back porch and that she is expected to go to church with us the next day.  I set her up outside with a blanket and water.  My heart just breaks and I cry for her.  I think to myself what if it was me or one of my children what would I want someone to do?  I prayed with one of the volunteers in my kitchen for God to give me guidance with this.  I come to the conclusion that I will take her to church and see who knows her and knows her story and what I should do for her. 


And that is how my day ended! 

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Monday, February 7, 2011

An Amazing Day!


Monday, February 7, 2011

An Amazing Day!

    Woke up at 6:00 am.  Went straight to the kitchen and put on a kettle of water to heat up.  Walked back to all the rooms with all the kids and woke them up for school.  On my way back to the living room I hear an early knock at the door.  I answer it and it is Valery.  This is a 24 year old boy that I call one of my sons.  He is married with a 2 year old little girl, Riesa with another child on the way.  He has come to my door to let me know that his wife is at the hospital getting ready to have their second child.  I was so excited but also surprised because I didn't think that she was due for another month.  I knew that I wanted to be in the delivery room and hopefully deliver the baby if all goes well.  Without another thought to the hot water on the stove or anything else, I run to my room and put on a set of scrubs.  I grab a water bottle for her and some things for the baby and I run out the door.  I didn't want to miss anything.  Valery meets me half way and walks with me to the maternity ward.  As soon as I get there I am trying to find out some information on how far along she is so I can know how close we are.  I soon find out that she is at 6cm.  I then call Naomi and let her know that Valery's wife, Chouka is having her baby.  I knew that Naomi would want to know because Valery and Naomi are first cousins and just found eachother about a year ago.  Their father's are brothers and neither one knew that they had family here.  So I had Cory run out to her hut and pick her up with the motorcycle and bring her to the hospital.  I am so happy to see her.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I like to talk.  In the situation I was in I was unable to really talk to anyone and it was driving me crazy since I was so excited about this baby being born.  So as soon as Naomi gets there I get to release all the questions and comments I had been storing inside for the last hour.  We end up having to walk Chouka around a bit for now she is at a stand still.  It takes a few very long hours of anticipation.  Then finally, around 12:00 noon, Naomi and I have her on the table and she is ready to push.  I am starting to freek out.  I put on my gloves and I am yelling for Denae, the new OB Dr. to come and talk me through this.  As soon as she gets there it is time for me to grab the baby's head.  Denae calmly tells me what to do and lets me do it all.  I am absolutely freeking out inside.  I can not believe I am doing this and as the rest of the baby comes I am just in awe.  It's a girl!  I set the baby on the mothers stomach and work with Denae with the clamps and cut the cord.  I also am taught about what needs to come out next and how to work with all that.  After that I take the baby and begin to clean her up.  She is healthy and perfect!  Praise the Lord!  Jamie comes and checks in and hears that it was a girl and all is well.  I then have him call Valery and let him know.  I can tell by the conversation at this end that Valery thinks Jamie is joking that he has another girl.  I know that he wanted a boy.  He shortly there after comes to see his family.  He has the proud father's look and the thoughts of wanting a boy are gone. 

Valery tells me that he wants me to name her.  I knew this was coming because he told me this before but I thought that I had another month to think about it.  I give him three names.  Neveah (Heaven backwards), Brianna which is the name I was going to give Brichelle and then the last was Diane which is my middle name which means celestial hunter.  I told him he should pick the name.

Just the other night we were at Valery's house celebrating the birth of his baby girl and someone asked me what her name was?  I turned and looked at Valery and asked him what he named her and he said Diane.  I was really surprised.  I had heard that it was going to be Neveah.  Later when Valery and I had a moment to talk I asked him what made him pick that name?  His response was beautiful and this is what he said.

"Mom, one day you may have to go back to America.  If that happens I will be sad but it will make me happy to be able to call my daughter by your name everyday so then it is like a part of you is still here with me.  Your family has really changed my life and I thank God for that.  I realize now how important family is and I want to just thank you for being here for me and my family." 

At this point I just want to cry.  He is saying so many heartfelt things to me that makes being in this country worth being without a few things that America can offer. 

Everyday is an adventure here.  Adventure is something I anticipated on the way here.  But the love I found and experience with the people has been a complete surprise.  This place has really taught me about the love God has for His people.  Love is very powerful.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011



    We started our journey on a positive note.  We were standing in line at the airport, waiting for our turn for checking in our luggage.  Mrs. Parker and myself were talking about our journey ahead of us.  A man behind us overheard some things and ask me where we were going.  I told him but not giving much information.  He continued to ask questions.  Immediately he said that he was going to be praying for us.  Then he proceeded to get his wallet out and said that he wanted to make a contribution.  I was jaw dropped to the floor.  I couldn't believe that this stranger felt inclined to give us money.  Then as I stepped up to the counter I gave my first set of luggage.  The first person was checking in three bags which was going to be an extra $200.  He again immediately stepped up to the counter with us and gave his credit card and said that he would pay for it.  I couldn't believe that God had touched a stranger to help us out.  As the man walked away I got tears in my eyes just thinking about how good God is.  I felt at complete peace the rest of our trip just knowing that God is taking care of us.

    Well we are back in the crazy land of Chad.  Only those who have ever been here can understand the culture shock that you feel when you step foot off the plane.  Right away I felt the culture difference of the people in Ethiopia.  We are taking a bathroom break before entering the next secure area for our next flight.  We take turns watching the luggage.  Brichelle and I get to go first.  As soon as I walked into the bathroom I could smell that it was not going to be pretty and it wasn't.  But the more entertaining part was after getting out of the filthy stall.  An Arabic woman began to wash her hands in the sink next to mine.  I didn't think much until she began to take part of her clothes off.  Then she proceeds to put her foot in the sink and wash her feet and then her legs.  Then she washes her arms and her armpits.  I was not too surprised but it sure was entertaining watching another American come into the bathroom and try and process what in the world was going on.  I just laughed inside thinking that was me a year and a half ago. 

    As we proceed to the gate as we are going to be boarding, many people are pushing their way ahead.  This pushing dose not stop until you get to your seat.  Jamie had one guy really push him and I thought for a minute that Jamie was going to loose it with the guy.  Instead he just said in English, "the plane is not going to leave without you, you are already on it".  Then after we sit in our assigned seats we are moved again.  I look over at an Arabic man in the seat next to us and he has a gray ski mask on.  My first thought was how uncomfortable it made me just looking at him as though he was dangerous.  But then Jamie and I talk about it and figure that this is just something he is probably just showing off that he has.

    We finally get to Ndjamena and all goes well there.  We got all of our bags without a problem and James Appel was even there waiting for us. It was a weird feeling being back again.  It was really hot outside.  Everything was so dusty and dirty.  Several times I just silently laughed at the situation that we are in again for another year and a half.  There is just something about this place that is addicting.  I look down the dusty road with all the different people walking to and fro and all the run down stores which all have most of the same things from one store to the next.  As we go by people they stare.  Some people yell "Nasara" and some run to the window trying to sell you something.  I just continue to think of all the people I will being seeing in Bere' that I love so much.  That is why I love it here.  And my tomorrow was such a perfect day!  Hugs were given out left and right.  Whether they were ready for it or not.  Hugs are not something they are use to but something they accepted from me.  Seeing all our friends was great!  But I must say that the inch layer of dirt in my house was a little shocking and something I am still working on.  All of the missionary volunteer women came to my house and did alot of cleaning too, which I was very touched by.  But it is just a tough place to keep It is good to be home.