Heart Beginning's

"My daughter, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." Proverbs 23:26

"The plan of beginning outside and trying to work inward has always failed and always will fail. God's plan with you is to begin at the seat of all dificulties, the heart, and then from out of the heart will issue the principleso f righteousness; the reformation will be outward as well as inward." EGW

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Date: 10-21-07

Have I told you what a beautiful place this is? I'm realizing more and more everyday...God is opening my eyes to the beautiful faces, the beautiful smiles, the beautiful tiny black hands reaching up to me. Boy it sure does take time to feel comfortable in a place, to feel like you belong. I've almost forgotten at times that I look any different then them, walking through the market place bargaining for a piece of sugar cane feels so normal....that is until I look behind me and see 15 kids watching me...then you make a quick move towards them and poof they scatter with screams of laughter and giggles...or until I hear "Nasarah" being called out as I walk by...oh ya...I'm "Nasarah"...the white person. It used to annoy me hearing "Nasarah" like an echo in the Grand Canyon all day long...that is until I was informed of how we got that name. The first white people that the Nagerene tribe here saw were missionaries telling them of Jesus the Nasarene...thus "Nasarah"...now every time I hear it I reminded of why I'm here. Instead of irritating me it causes me turn by the Grace of God and grab both of the hands up stretched to me and spin them round and round and round.

Directions...How to Eat Sugar Cane

Date: 10-17-07

First of all if your jaw is sore at all don't even try...especially if your piece of sugar cane is a good couple inches around. After you've accumulated an audience for your debut in sugar cane eating you can begin. Sonya and I sat on a bench surrounded by my family. We'd just finished doing my laundry and were taking a break. A sugar cane break! Turn the sugar cane side way's...grab the outer peeling you don't eat with your teeth and pull as hard as you can, leaving slivers of green peelings in your teeth. You go at it again. The whole family is now laughing at Sonya and I as spit drips down the sugar cane and it still looks the same as when we started. Finally Berthe has pity on us and takes the sugar cane from our hands and grrrrhhh...whips that peeling right off with her teeth...and there you have it - mmmm. Yummy sugar cane that Berthe has just peeled for you with her mouth. Sonya and I bit in with gusto. Ok so it doesn't matter that it has Berthe saliva all over it as I chew and suck and chew and suck until all the cool sugar liquid is out. And then the FINALE...SPIT!!!! Encore!!!!

My Chicken Roomate

Date: 10-14-07

I sat having my devotion's when I heard a peculiar sound coming from Berthe's corner of the hut. It wasn't Berthe - she was already up preparing breakfast and it was still dark enough outside that I couldn't tell what was making the sound. Berthe's mosquito net started to move as something was trying to fight its way out. I peered into the dark intently waiting for something to appear and wondering if I should be prepared to fight or kill! That's when a little white head and yellow beak popped around the corner of the door. The hen did a quick assessment of her surroundings and made a quick run for the door. I figured that she'd just gotten locked in during the night but after a quick breakfast of bugs from under the banana tree she was back again to fight the mosquito net. This time the light flickered into the hut and as she pushed past the mosquito net back into her corner I saw 5 little white eggs nestled into the far corner of my hut. Yep, she had set up housekeeping. Now I'm just waiting for the devotional time when I will hear little peeps and the cracking of eggs and see a family emerge from the corner of my hut.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Thoughts of Home

Date: 10-13-07

What is it that makes my stomach do a little flip-flop as I stand at the sink at the hospital house washing dishes? I think it's because I miss the running water, the kitchen sink, and the atmosphere of the kitchen at home. In the early morning when all I can hear is some bird chirping I close my eyes as tight as possible and try to imagine myself in my front yard. As I sat on the edge of the well this morning while the stars sill twinkled in the sky and my family slept in their huts around me I thought of home. How much do you let your mind run in its memories and cravings for home when reality is here...when there is so much joy to be found surrounding you? Joy in the creations of God, joy in His strength, joy in His comfort, joy at the people He brings into your life, joy in the packages that arrived yesterday. How truly blessed I am. Although it does not deny the feelings I feel when I hear the birds that sound like the ding of a microwave, when I eat the beans and chips my family has sent me, when I see the picture of Kevin, when I smell the burning of sandalwood that reminds me of camping, when James plays guitar Fri. night. All bring a longing for home and friends and family, which cannot be denied. It is something I must embrace, give to God, and then find joy in the new baby goat that bounces like a spring at my feet, throwing his little legs up into the air. Maybe I should get up and do same?

Legs, Eyes, and Wings = Bon Appetite

Date: 10-10-07

It was pitch black inside my hut. I moved forward slowly trying to find my head lamp on the table I knew it was in front of me. I'd arrived home late and was hoping that my family wouldn't try to get me to eat anything. But once I found my headlamp, and had filled my hut with light I found out how wrong I was. There was Berthe at the door a bowl outstretched to me. I gave her a questioning look and peered over the side. Beedy black eyes that had been cooked to a crisp staired unblinkingly back at me. Yep, is was grasshopper season! "Mange" Berthe said and grabbed on of the tasty critters to demonstrate how. Before I knew 3 other siblings had packed themselves into the tiny hut wondering what all the commotion was. So I took a deep breath told them all to take one and on the count of 3 we'd all eat them together. CRUNCH! CRUNCH! I'd tell you it tasted like chicken but I've never had chicken. I will tell you I did have seconds though!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Covered in Mosquito's and Poopy Parasites :)

Date: 10-9-07

I have two new friends - one has visited before and the second I'm still getting acquainted with. I've decided that they're probably going to become very close friends. You know the ones that visit often. Unfortunately they love me and I do not return the feeling ;) You see the name of the first visitor is Malaria and the second is Giardia. Yes, I have the poopy parasite and the mosquito covered sickness all at the same time. I thought it was very considerate of them to visit at the same time!! Misery loves company!! Despite these little bugs having a hay day inside of me. I've really only been sick one day and it was only with a fever. Praise God. The fun part about Giardia is that you must be outfitted with toilet paper at all times!!! Thankfully in Africa you don't have to be near a bathroom to "use the bathroom". I defiantly wouldn't want to have Giardia in the states. Here you can just pop off the path and squat, I say bonjour to many people doing the squat as I walk by. As soon as my French gets better I might inquire which parasite friend is spending the day with them?

Night Shift

Date: 10-6-07

The first patient was held by his Nangerene mother, eyes closed and head flopped to one side. I checked his conjunctiva and found it completely pale. Another Malaria patient that the parents had waited too long to bring in. After hospitalizing him, starting an IV and finally finding a blood type match for the infant we hung the blood..then the IV went bad. It was dark by this time so we took him into the nurse's station to start another IV and there in his mother's arms his little heart stopped beating. We covered his face with the cloth his little body was wrapped in. The mother dropped her head near his face but did not cry a tear or utter a sound. I put my arm around her shoulder everything inside of me wanted to wrap her in one big hug. I looked around at the faces of the other nurses with me. Completely stoic. "God, I prayed please help me never to get calloused to the death of these little ones."

I returned to the pediatric ward to check on the other babies that we had just hospitalized and had placed two to a bed because of the overwhelming amount of patients coming in. Three blood transfusion's were running, all the Quinine perfusion's were dripping slowly, everything was pretty quiet except for the raspy breathes of the baby at the end of the ward. The father was sitting on the floor looking up at the IV with his lantern, making sure that it was dripping as I approached. This one didn't look like it was gonna make it through the night. I listened to his lungs and heard the typical malaria crackles and rales. The nurse on the Med/Surg. side told me to give Dexamethasone and Ampicillin. I did this and then there was nothing else to do but wait. I returned to the back of the building where a mat had been place for me to sleep over there and laid down. But I couldn't go to sleep because all I could hear was the gasping of the infant. "God," I prayed "Is there anything else that I can do?" The moon shown in through the window above me head and filtered down through the mosquito net as I waited for a reply. "Pray with them," came the reply. I struggled with getting up out of bed since it was already 1:00 and I new because of all the blood transfusion's going and Quinine perfusions due again at 5:00 I wouldn't get much sleep but the impression wouldn't leave me. I rolled over and fought my way out of the mosquito net, fished for my flip-flops, head-lamp, and made my way to the end of the ward again. I found the father in the same position..worry written all over his face, holding the lantern and watching the drip. He jumped up as I approached. I asked him if it is would be o.k. if I prayed with him and his wife for their baby. He nodded his head immediately, there in the flickering light of his lantern I held that tiny sweaty hand and asked that God intervene, I prayed that this little girls life would be spared so that she would have the opportunity to know a relationship with God. It was all in English, but the peace of God was there.

After finishing praying I found my way over to the med/surg. side to see if everything was o.k. over there. The generator had been turned on for a C-section and as I entered the building the nurse there grabbed me by the hand and we ran toward the patient latrines. There on the ground we found a new hospitalized mom holding her new baby in her lap, the cord still pulsating with blood from the placenta. Taking the cloth from the father I wrapped the baby and beginning rubbing her to get her to cry. As a small cry came from her mouth Job clamped the cord and cut it. And then we took off running to the labor and delivery room to suction and make sure that the infant was o.k. In the light given by the generator we found a perfectly healthy newborn. I returned for the mother and found a bed for her. The baby immediately began to nurse and in no time we had the placenta out and had given some oxytocin.

So tonight is another night shift. You never know what it'll bring but God does and He can handle any situation better than I could ever have been trained to handle a situation. He is the Great Physician after all isn't He?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Don't Try This in America

1.. Wash the bowl out with sand, rinse with water, and serve.
2.. Re-cap you needles.
3.. Do all dressing changes without gloves.
4.. Go barefoot in the OR
5.. Tell the nurse you're working with to wash out that Foley Catheter bag
you'll use it for the next patient.
6.. Take a shower in your back yard.
7.. Suck on your fingers to clean off you hand after dinner.
8.. Rinse of the suction tubing using your hands and then suck on the
other end with your mouth to continue suctioning the tracheal tube.
9.. Wear the same dress all day after your baby peed all over you.
10.. Throw all the flip-flops in your yard at the pigs that won't leave.
11.. Pile 26 people in a mini-van.
12.. Walk outside your door and pee, why go all 10 feet to the hole?
13.. Use the same IV catheter over and over again for trying to start an
IV on a patient until it gets a hole in it.
14.. Hang blood to gravity.
15.. As a nurse prescribe medication and dosages.
16.. Pile 3 people on one little motorcycle.
17.. Put your arm around a stranger and tell them that you're going to
walk home with them.
18.. Eat the huge locust on your corn plants...raw!!!