Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Waiting your turn

The Wooddale team has arrived for their annual Mozambique short-term mission trip. This is the 4th year that I have been able to be around when the team has arrived and done their work of serving the poorest of the poor in Mozambique.

The day after each team arrives we take a day that we call, "Cultural Learning Day" and Val and I drive the team around to each of the project sites to meet all of our workers and to experience the vision of Pastor Jeronimo coming to fruition. First we go to ElShaddi and see the progress of the school building and 3 large classrooms of exuberant children coming to total attention as we walk into the classroom ready to greet us. Once they have said their good morning in Portuguese, they go on to sing a song or two just to capture our hearts just a tiny bit more. There is a library now and it's supply of books are growing each year. The first time I came to visit in 2006, the main building was only 3 rows high in the building process and now, WOW, it is completed and we are ready to move on to the next building. The plan is that eventually with donors and enough funds we will build a campus with classrooms for grades K-12, a kitchen, a sanctuary and a cafeteria. So we continue to pray for all this to come in our near future here.

After a short visit across the road to the teaching farm our next stop is the Ray of Light pre-school in Mafarhinia. The smile on these children can not be compared to the children of the village or the children in public schools. There is just a significant difference between the privileged to be educated and light and dark when Jesus is taught in school. One day the children learned that they should pray before they eat and the next day a parent came to the school to say that evening as they began to eat the meal of rice the child began crying and crying. No one could figure out what the problem was. So they stopped eating their meal and calmed the child to have him speak. He told them that they needed to pray before eating, he proceeded to lead the prayer for the meal and they continued on. This family now prays before meals thanking God for their food. In the two pictures can you tell which picture is of a student of our private Christian School ElShaddi?

In this same area but across the street is our pre-school kitchen where a hot bowl of porridge is prepared each day. The Mafarhinia church, the newly remodeled Tessa Grace Nutrition center and our medical clinic that was started by a woman from my church at Maranatha Bible in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A picture of Robin Perry hangs on the wall to commemorate her work in Mozambique. A strong woman remembered by those who live in the area of the clinic and by those who loved her for her love for the children.

As I stood in the clinic waiting for the team to take their Mozambican led tour, I took a seat and watched the people waiting for their turn to be seen. In the waiting room, on one side of the room sits 45 spaces made up of a combination of chairs and benches. And on the other side where I sat, there are 10 benches. The clinic each month sees between 2,000 and 2,500 people by one nurse and two days a week for 4 hours a doctor comes in for those who need a higher level of medical attention. The left side of the room was full. Each time a person walks out of the examining room, they see the pharmacists and receive the medication for a minimal costs. Then the next person would get up and go to wait on a bench in the hallway by the nurses office for their turn. As each seat emptied, everyone would move over one seat at a time to find their place in order to see the nurse. Some days you can wait almost the entire day and not see a nurse or a doctor because time runs out. So you have to come back the next day. I sat there watching as each person moved to the next seat and wondered, "What are the thoughts going through their minds right now?" They have to move 45 times to get to the first seat. No one budges and those who are too sick to sit in the seat lay on the veranda outside while a family member takes a seat to keep their place.

All of the medications are donated by Americans. Sometimes we have enough for the month and sometimes we run out. There is never enough money to deal with all that we have to do here. Antibiotics, milk for babies, vitamins, gloves, nutritional supplements, tylenol and the list goes on. We need it all each month to serve just a few of the many who are sick and dying.

There is more to the project tour and someday I will share about that too but for today I just wanted to tell you about waiting here in Africa to see a nurse at our medical clinic. One dream of one lady that serves many.

Are you waiting for something? Are you in a hurry today? Slow down, take a moment, think and pray for our friends here in Mozambique.

"If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother." Deuteronomy 15:7

Obedience.... Kathy (BigMamma)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

First Class Flight?

I have always wanted to fly first class to know just what it is why people pay all those extra dollars for comfort. Well, I didn't get to fly first class with all of the frills but what I did get blessed with was a whole section of empty seats! I had a full row to lay down and lift my feet for the long flight between Atlanta and Joberg. This is the part of my work in Africa that starts out with a long difficult flight and 3 days to get there. But, I am always blessed. Blessed to know that where I am going is just where I am supposed to be at this time of year.

The first part of July I was surprised with a middle of the night call from my kids saying, "Mom! Grandma is really sick and you need to come home!" After two days of phone calls between the hospital and a very short conversation with Dad telling me,"honey just hurry home!" I began the process of going home. This is not an easy or quick task but again, God is in everything. I was home in 3 days.

Every hour after that first hour of hearing about Mom being sick, I was in prayer about God allowing me to see her again and to hear her voice. I prayed each hour of each day until I walked into her hospital room. What I walked into was a figure laying on the bed before me. Tubes going in and out of her body all over the place and her face not recognizable. I remember seeing a friend of mine die and she looking this same way. My first thought was, "Thank You God for letting me see her alive."

I took her hand and whispered to her, "Mom, I'm home." She opened her eyes and a tear rolled down her cheek. Was this going to be the end? Did I come home to walk with Dad and my siblings through the process of her death and funeral? What God had planned of course was something even more than what I could have hoped for or imagined because what I saw was not good. Many times we let our eyes judge what the truth is and what is going to happen. But God........

Each moment after taking her hand in mine was a miracle. The doctors were amazed at her recovery. The nurses made comments on how quickly she was coming around and how determined she was to get well. I know this recovery had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the God that I serve. My family and I watched the grace and mercy of our Lord fall upon Mom as she recovered, entered rehab and then return home with a walker in a month's time. Now she's preparing to strengthen her body enough to go one last trip to Arizona for the winter. We all are rejoicing at an extension to her life.

This blog is not so much about Mom and her recovery but more about my God. My God who is bigger than any problem we have, my God who can do all things, my God who has a plan for it all and who is in control of it all. My God who has more grace and mercy for each one of us than what we can muster up with all of our might. I am so blessed to serve this God. When people ask me what I am doing, I just can't keep inside of me the burning way down deep in my soul about the love I have for this God I adore and glorify. He has been good to me, in the good and in the bad times He has been with me each breath of the journey and season. He has had His hand in it all. I am blessed beyond belief. Even when I don't recognize what He is doing, I know that it was God that has designed this beautiful life for me and for you.

He is always always always right on time, in His time to make all things perfect and for His glory. We may not understand it now and maybe never, but we are His and he will never forsake us or leave us.

To conclude I would suggest that you too look for a First Class Flight. But this first class flight would be your journey through life with Jesus being your pilot. Doesn't this sound corny? Well, maybe it is but you get the point. Your life will be a first class life when you allow Jesus to be the guide. As I said, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Life has it's trials and it is not always easy and sometimes there are seasons of down right difficulty. But the good news is you don't have to go through that season alone. If you haven't already, accept Jesus as your Savior.

Hey, Maranatha is a great church and they would love to have you step inside of the walls of their worship center. Get loved on by some really great folks and hear the word of God spoken in truth and with a challenge.

If you have questions or concerns about your life or those you love let me know. I want to pray for you. I have time ya know?
Blessings to you all. May God multiply your blessings as you follow Him with courage and confidence to do His work.

obedience, Big Mamma