Sunday, March 29, 2015
On Friday morning Amy Bemm, a super cool lady here, took the older kids and me up to the hospital for a tour. At one point we went to the OB wing and saw where babies are delivered. A baby had just been born and she was there just minutes old in a warmer. The kids’ eyes were huge taking everything in, but it wasn’t the sweetness of the newborn baby – the mom had been moved over to a different bed that we couldn’t see, but the bed she had been in still had the remnants of giving birth on it. We walked on and then there were most certainly questions to answer – what in the world was going on in there? Giving birth, my dears. It ain’t always pretty.
Will came home Friday night and we had the whole weekend together. We have been looking forward to having him home with us for a couple of days. He has worked hard all week and will write soon about some of the work he has done at the hospital.
Outside of the entrance to the hospital grounds
His schedule here is totally different than back home. He walks up to the hospital around 7:00 and we usually catch a glimpse of him before he leaves. Then many days he is home for lunch sometime between 1:00 and 2:00.
The main meal of the day is typically eaten at 1:00. So our house helper Edna will cook a bigger meal at the beginning of the day that we eat for lunch. Then for dinner we will warm up leftovers or just eat a sandwich. It’s such a better system than we have in the states! It eliminates that awful 5:00 hour - when daddy isn’t home yet, the kids are crazy and you’re trying to get a full meal on the table. Genius.
Will walks back to the hospital after lunch to finish his workday. He has been home every night for dinner around 6:00 and then bedtime. For all my peeps back in Minnesota, you know this is absolutely out of the ordinary. The time we have had as a family has been one of the greatest parts of being here. I’m wondering… will all this togetherness get old? For this two weeks, no. On the flight home, yes.
Edna had made spaghetti sauce and breadsticks for us so I just boiled some pasta and we had an easy dinner. Then we watched a movie on a borrowed portable DVD player from one of our neighbors. The kids loved having some time to veg. I was so tired and fell asleep while they were still watching. Super Dad got everyone tucked in without me.
On Saturday morning Liam went with Will to do rounds. Pretty cool that he is able to do that. The girls and I baked some snickerdoodles and then we all walked up to the doukas, or little shops, to get some mangos and bottled cokes. The kids all got Fanta or Sprite in a glass bottle and it was a treat. I could eat a mango everyday. Yum!
Liam and Will in front of our apartment on their way to do rounds
Saturday night we had been invited for “supper club” to the Galats. It was us, the Mitchells, and another visiting couple. The Galats have a brick oven and they made some delicious pizza. Charley ate 5 pieces! I contributed some Ranch dressing from home and cookies. Besides the great food, the company was even better and I felt like I received some valuable advice. I’ll share more on that later.
We got up early today for a fancy breakfast at Barbara Pinkley’s house, a sweet long-term missionary lady that lives close to us. And then we all walked up to worship together. The church is a pretty even mix of missionary families and Kenyans. I liked how they had open prayer request time for the whole congregation to share requests and praises.
Three things stuck in my brain as I left that morning:
First, a man got up to pray and said how thankful he was for the privilege to be at Tenwek. It is a privilege. That is a small statement but it rang in my ears. It is a privilege. I think I’ve spent the first week too much inside my own head – thinking about what I have and don’t have to eat, or what I wish I had brought from home, what conveniences from home would make things easier, etc. The privilege of being at Tenwek had been pushed to the back of my brain. I needed the reminder of what a privilege God has given me.
Second, the pastor touched on how everything we have belongs to the Lord, none of our money or things are actually ours, we are stewards of them. All these things I have heard before. But the reminder sat heavily on me. Will and I carry debt with us that is not only from college and medical school, but also from irresponsible spending. Budget is a dirty word that I usually avoid. But going to Africa will shine a light on your excessive living real quick. I have changes to make when I get home. But if any of you ask me how my budget is going when I get back, I will pretend I don’t know you.
Third, there was a verse written on the back of a bunch of the kids’ t-shirts at church, a verse I have know since I was a little kid: Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Now it’s buzzing in my head. The Spirit is pressing it on me…seek FIRST His kingdom, seek FIRST His kingdom, seek FIRST His kingdom.