We said good-bye to Edna today. Since tomorrow is Good Friday today was her last day. She left the apartment shiney clean. Liam drew her a picture of our family and Hayden gave her a rubber band bracelet. They were dragging their feet when I asked them to do something to thank her so I had to dish out a big mommy lecture about thankfulness on them. I wanted to thank her someway and asked around to see what would be appropriate. I was told she would probably appreciate food items for her family the most. So we gave her a big bag of rice, some beans, and a bag of salt. I'm thinking it would be nice if we were a little more practical in our gift giving back home. The next birthday party one of the kids goes to I'm sending them with a bag of beans.
I was asking Edna yesterday what her mornings were like before she came to our house. She told me she wakes up at 5:30, milks her cow and then takes the milk to use for her morning cup of chai. It helps her get her day started. Kinda like our morning coffee.... except cow teets required. Then she gets her older kids off to school and showers, gets dressed, and mops her floors. Her children leave for school at 6:00 am and don't get home until 6:00pm! After she drops her 2 year old off with her mother-in-law, she walks an hour to get to my house! She works from 9:00 to 4:00 and then walks the hour home to then cook and clean for her own family. It fascinates me to hear about how she lives. There are similarities between us but lots of obvious differences too. I have often wondered what in the world she really thinks about me and my family.
We've had a couple of days with challenges but they seem pretty minimal after hearing about Edna's daily challenges.
Charley woke up yesterday with her arm chewed up by some kind of bugs. We aren't entirely sure what is happening with her. We thought the bed bug problem was fixed. After a new mattress and new bedding she appeared to be clearing up but we took a step backwards yesterday morning. Her arm was welpy and swollen and she kept saying "my arm hurts" and clawing at it. Liam also woke up with his face and arms chewed up. So now we suspect something going on with his bed. Wondering if it could be scabies?
The kids didn't let it slow them down and they spent yesterday running around with friends and reading the new books they borrowed from the White's house. We had pancakes for dinner and then walked across the lawn to the Bemm's house. Chuck Bemm is a pediatrician at Tenwek and his wife Amy is a nurse. They have 7 kids, 3 biological and 4 adopted here in Kenya. Super fun family. My kids are contsantly wanting to go over to their house to play with their kids and see their pet bunnies and rabbits in their backyard. Chuck and Amy looked at Charley and seemed to think it was an increase in the bed bug problem not scabies. We've been giving her Benadryl to help with the itch.
Today she looked a little bit better but it is still bothering her. All the kids were wonky today, fussing about a whole bunch of nothing.
My day-to-day existance is similar at Tenwek to what it is back in the states as far as spending my time and energy taking care of kids - feeding them over and over and over, breaking up fights, disciplining, reading books, keeping them clean, etc. I wonder what would ministry look like for me here? Not entirely sure but I know it would be a lot of mothering. The wives here spend the majority of their time homeschooling, taking care of their homes and children, and supporting their husbands. That's not to say there aren't ministry opportunities but it will look alot different for me than it will for Will. He will go to the hospital everyday with distinct opportunities to help people and share the gospel. I pray for eyes to see the opportunities around me as I go about day-to-day life.
We had dinner at Carol Spears' house tonight. She is a general surgeon at Tenwek and is also the assistant director of the residents. I talked with her about Side By Side for a little while and she sees great potential for it here. There is a need for some kind of outreach for the Kenyan women married to residents. She gave me the name of a person that would be interested in talking more about it and I hope to connect with her tomorrow sometime.
A friend from home just sent me this email and I so appreciated it:
Praying for you all daily, Psalm 115:1 "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto your name give glory, for your mercy, and for your Name's sake." That you would have ears to hear His will, open hands to do His work, a heart and desire to be obedient in whatever He may call you to today, and JOY in your efforts for the Kingdom!
Thank you so much to everyone that has been praying for us during our time at Tenwek. We are so encouraged and have certainly felt God's hand over the past weeks.