Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cracked Pots

Sometime ago I acquired an asparagus fern while I was at Tenwek.  I loved this fern because it reminded me of my Grandmom Smith.  My Grandmom lived in the Detroit suburbs in a house my Grandfather built and it had a sunroom where no less than a dozen asparagus ferns resided ~ it was all light and green and airy and I loved it.  When I moved from Tenwek I left the fern with a girlfriend in Nairobi.  I happened to move into her house a year later and loved sitting on the porch watching my fern grow and remembering my Grandmom Smith.  One day last year I looked over and the fern's pot was broken into several pieces that were still clinging to the wedge of soil and roots inside.  I hadn't been taking very good care of this fern because when I really got a good look-see I noticed that inside the pot it was all roots and very little soil.  The growing roots had broken apart the pot.  I split the plant in 2, bought 2 more big pots and repotted the plants, glad for the opportunity to now have 2 asparagus fern plants.  

The last 2 months have been hard on me.  My head is telling me I'm like those brand new pots I brought home from the hardware store down at the Karen Shopping Center.  Strong, solid, and able to withstand any combination of dirt and roots placed inside.  As I've had to lessen my activities, mainly no heavy lifting, in recent weeks I'm slowly, oh so slowly, coming to the conclusion that I may not be that pot.  To be honest I've been a little disappointed that my body has let me down.  Can anyone relate to that?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not ready to check into assisted living quite yet.  As I stand over a heavy piece of luggage and want to weigh it and realize I better not pick it up I realize I'm mad.  I used to be able to do this.  You mean I have to rely on someone else to do it for me, when it's convenient for them, and I get to watch?  Yea, I think that's what I mean. 

I realize that my pot is slightly cracked.  I may not be able to lift 50 pound duffle bags anymore. I may need to ask for help when moving potted plants, furniture, and boxes.  I will need to respect the limits my body is setting.  I also need to come to terms that God can use me despite limitations that come along.  
As I anticipate returning to Kenya and Sudan next month please pray for continued healing after my surgery which went successfully.  I continue to have some pain which I am told is expected after surgery.  I'm a little impatient to be on-the-go again!  Also pray that I will come to terms with my current pot! Scripture tells us, "we are all the work of the potter's hands." (Isaiah 64:8b)    Despite the cracks that I have, and that you have, Jesus still has jobs for us to do - and the plant, or responsibilities He has given each of us, fits the pot.  My desire is to help the people of Sudan realize the hope of the Kingdom of God in their lives, and communities, and nation.  I continue to be in contact with two mission hospitals in South Sudan who are asking for WGM's assistance.  Reuben Kirui, from Tenwek Community Health & Development is also waiting for my return so we can begin planning and implementing a community based health & development outreach into South Sudan.  The needs in Sudan are more real now than ever before.  The Sudanese desperately need the hope that Jesus brings!  Pray with us as we recruit a team, choose a location to work in, and begin building relationships.  

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."  2 Corinthians 4:7

With the all surpassing power of Him who saved us,


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good News ~ Bad News

The bad news first.  The International Criminal Court brought charges against the President of Sudan last Wednesday on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  On the same day a dozen aid and relief organizations working in Darfur were expelled from Sudan.  This will leave over a million people in a very precarious situation.  Life saving services such as provision of food, water, and medical care will vanish and lives will hang in the balance.  It is still to be seen if the Sudanese government's response to the ICC's charges will affect security and ministry in South Sudan.  Please join me in praying for an invasion in Sudan - an invasion of God's angels to keep watch over His children.  To feed them, ensure that they have enough water, and that they stay healthy and safe from those who intend to cause harm.  Let's pray for a miracle!  Let's pray for all Sudanese and aid and missionary workers - that they will be safe and that peace will prevail.  Let's pray for the President of Sudan and the country's leaders.  

Andrae Crouch's song, "Jesus is the Answer," keeps coming to mind as I think of the Sudanese in these these trying times.  Let's pray that the 250,000 Bibles that were distributed last year will point people to Jesus. 

Now, the good news.  I had a good doctor's appointment yesterday and am scheduled to have surgery for my herniated disk this Friday at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.  My Doctor predicts a quick recovery which I will spend in Cape May, NJ with my sister, Linda.  Thank you for your prayers for my healing, for the medical team at Pennsylvania Hospital, and for an incident free recovery.    

As I walked the halls of the hospital waiting for my pre-surgery testing I learned a lot about health care in the US in a photo exhibit hung along the corridors.  Pennsylvania Hospital is our Nation's first hospital started in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond.  I know I'd rather be dressed in nursing whites and standing by a hospital bed rather than lying in the bed but I'm thankful for the miracle of, and access to, modern medicine.  Considering the loss of such basic livelihood necessities by so many Sudanese this past week I don't take this for granted.  

Giving thanks to Jesus for He is good, His love endures forever!  (paraphrase Psalm 107:1)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Glass half full

Two weeks ago I was having quite a bit of hip and leg pain and did not get on my scheduled British Airways flight to return to Kenya.  That was definitely a glass half empty day.  My nature usually sees the glass half empty but I know it's always better to look at it half full.  Let's see ~ glass half full.  I can see it if I squint.

  • Since I've limited my activity while waiting for Doctor's appointments my pain has decreased!
  • It's better to know about this herniated disk now rather than after getting back to Kenya and Sudan with the rough road situation and a potentially painful return trip for medical care
  • I've had a chance to get some paperwork done that might have been hard to squeeze in during my transition back
  • I have seen the bottom of my inbox!
  • Time to rest, pray, and prepare for Mango Ministries
  • A big snow in Cape May, New Jersey!!
I'm trying to make the best of this unexpected down time.  Because I love schedules this undefined time space has been a little hard to handle.  What I do know is that one Neurosurgeon has recommended surgery.  I have an appointment with a local Neurosurgeon in Philadelphia next Monday, March 9th.  It is my prayer that he and I can come up with a plan of action to relieve my pain, get me active again, and back to Kenya and Sudan.  That may possibly mean surgery.  If so, you'll all be the first, or second, to know when and where.  You have been a terrific support team and I've appreciated your many expressions of interest, concern and love.  Thank you so much for your prayers!  This all may mean that I will have to rely on others to carry my luggage on my many travels in the future but I may be able to get used to that!

This is my first attempt at blogging to share more information about my life and ministry for those inquiring minds who want to know more than what is in my Monthly Memo's - which will continue.  I will try to blog roughly once a week.  I have included:  several links to websites of interest, books I've recently read and recommend, and up-to-date prayer praises and requests.  I'll be updating all of this information regularly besides writing and adding pictures so bookmark this site and check back frequently.  Feel free to share this blog with other inquiring minds.  

Your missionary in waiting . . . . with a cup half full of Kenya coffee!