Wednesday, June 26, 2013

the Greatness of our God.

Little Shakira was really tired this morning and it was evident that her breathing was more labored than it should have been.  After listening to her lungs, it was decided that she should go to the hospital for further evaluation.  Her little lungs were "wet" (full of fluid).  She was brave for the needle stick and sat patiently as the doctor listened to her lungs and heart.  She perked up at the end and started dancing to some music she heard.  It was hard for my heart today to see this little girl struggling.  I don't know what her prognosis is.  This little girl with absolute spunk and enthusiasm for life is really sick.  My heart was feeling the pang of it today and yet, I am absolutely choosing to put my feet firmly in the ground.  My Jesus knows exactly what He is doing with this young girl and whether or not her days are limited here on earth... has no bearing on the greatness of our God.  Holding on to that tonight as I process the day.  What a stretching day it was.... so thankful to have been able to be present with her today... and to just love on this sweet girl!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I think you need to eat chocolate three times a day....

Several posts back, I introduced you to a sweet little girl names Shakira.  She is just shy of three years old and is one of those kids that just makes you smile.  She is ADORABLE.  She is the size of a one year old.  Every day at the clinic, she greets me with either a "I'm too busy to acknowledge your presence" as she goes off in another direction or with a sheepish little smile and arms up ready to be held. No matter what language you speak to her in, her usual response a repeat of what you just said.  She is still living at the clinic with her mom and with her baby sister.  Shakira came down with malaria last week and her recovery to those little parasites has been somehow slow.  It is clear that her body is tired and that recovery takes her a little longer than it does for most.  Don't get me wrong... she still has spunk and she still has the energy around to explore, investigate, and interact.  On Friday, I lifted her up on my lap and gave her a pen and showed her how to write.  She took right to it.  I captured a few fun pictures of her.  This coming week, we will go into the city and spend the day at Mulago hospital.  There, the prayer is that, she will have a semi-complete assessment and we will have a more clear idea of what is going on with her body.  I'll keep you posted! 
"So tell me about your owie?"
"Um, I think you need to have some chocolate three times a day for 2560 days"

It has been nearly a month since I have started working in the clinic full time.  And it has been an adventure.  There have been parts of it that have been very challenging and other parts that have been absolutely amazing.  I have fallen in love with seeing patients.  Someone comes in sick... and it's a process to problem solve looking at the hints to figure out how best to help the person in front of you.  Sometimes, it's simply listening... other times, it involves acting quickly. It has been an absolute honor to take care of the individuals, both young and old, who have walked through the doors of the New Hope Clinic.  Some days, I feel as small as I did standing up against that tree.... and the reality is, I am that small.  But, the bigger reality is that my God is right there with me and as I lean into Him, He is filling me with His wisdom, His direction, His leading... In Him, I am finding peace and a keen awareness of HIS presence in this process.  This process that comes with a lot of joy and challenges all packaged together.  The challenges of learning how to work together with other medical care professionals that have learned so differently than myself.  We come with different backgrounds, yet with a strong desire to help those who come across our paths.  And while there are bumps as we merge, my prayer is that God will lead each one of us.... so that as we continue to work together, it would be the merging of a team... each learning from each other and using the different skills that God has given us.  He has brought us together, and I choose to rest in that.  Will you pray that we would become more united?  that I would know when to speak up and when to be quiet? Sounds simple enough... but it's not and I yearn for your prayers in this area.  

"For it is you who light my lamp, the Lord my God lightens my darkness." Psalm 18:28

Last month, I said hello to a friend who I first met in kindergarten and said goodbye to a friend that I met in January shortly after arriving.  Leigh came to Uganda for a conference and Anna and I were able to hop a boda and see her shortly after she arrived.  We joined up with her and her team and walked through the botanical gardens.  What a sweet time it was!  So great! Anna and I spent the remainder of the day together and then we headed to the airport.  It was hard to say see you later to such a dear friend.  We may never see each other again on this earth....but we will fo sure see each other again in heaven one day..  So thankful for that. Anna returned back to the Congo. Wherever we are, we are committed to "Live Free". 

 And since I have not been so good at keeping you all in the loop this last month (my apologies), I figure I will just keep sharing. There is so much to share and my fingers are just lining up with my soul tonight.  It's now Sunday night (writing a blog post happens in stages) and I am finishing up my first weekend of being on call.  Yep, on call.  I can still to this day clearly remember hearing the phone ring in the middle of the night at my house growing up.... my dad often fumbling for the phone... and his barely awake voice talking.  I don't ever remember him being unkind to the nurses on the other end of the phone...and having been the nurse calling the doctor in the middle of the night... I am thankful for that.  Thankfully, the phone hasn't rung in the middle of the night... yet.  It's mostly been visits to the house or phone calls throughout the day.  A cut hand, sprained ankle, malaria, and a young boy struggling to breathe.... which despite a steroid shot and antibiotics resulted in his admittance to the hospital here.  Thank you for letting me love on these sweet children and amazing staff members.  Thank you for journeying along with me.... it is a gift and I am so thankful to Jesus for His bringing me here and for walking this journey with me.  Hand in Hand.  Yesterday, as I was trying to help a child struggling to breathe with no albuterol and only steroids and antibiotics... I found my insides nervous.  If I was in the states, I would have had a doctor directing me.  The little boy would have been having breathing treatments back to back and here I was watching a young boy struggle and I was calling the shots.  The wrong shot called and the consequences could be so bad.  And as I stood beside the little guy.. I just sensed God saying, "I've got him..." And my internal posture relaxed.  I am His hands and I am not doing this alone.  He is at my side.  Thank you Jesus. 

A positive one of these.... 

usually means the person feels like this....
but with TLC and God's healing touch... the end result is usually a smiling face