Is it the moment of reckoning?
Is it really time to confront even more my "I would rather give than take!" attitude?
Let me cover the other stuff first and I will come back to this issue....
I posted just before we took our trip to Iringa to meeting some of the health leadership in this area. We all feel that it was a very good meeting. We are encouraged that we will be able to work together in the future for many programs.
One of the short term missionaries (Fletcher the one that was putting together the 4-seater airplane) returned to the US. Another missionary family was also returning the same week, so Doug drove Fletcher to Dar es Salaam and picked up the other seven people when they arrived. He was gone from 4 am Monday through 10 pm Friday this last week. It is certainly good to have our family together again and to have the other family back!
Doug has been back at it and working on water leaks down-campus this time. Yesterday he spent several hours trying to fix an impromptu "fountain." The fixing process got complicated as some other water lines got cut in the digging process. Life is always exciting. He called me on the cell phone and said, "Would you pray for us please." It is interesting how "simple" jobs can get complicated quickly.
With Doug gone Joshua and I took a bicycle ride to visit a neighboring village where we had not previously visited. We didn't get the clearest directions and our thirty minute to one hour bike ride turned into a 3 hours and 20 minute adventure. We did visit another village much farther out. We were sunburned (even with our hats on!) and tired when we got back. We will try another day for that particular village. The dirt road split into three paths and we took the wrong path. Then it spit again, and again, and again. We got to see a lot of new territory, meet new people and see some pretty sights. On the way back (on a road) we saw a very nice view of some mountains and valleys. I was planning to take my camera, but I forgot it. Next time I hope to get a picture. (Next time! Ha, ha!)
With so much bike riding, I have decided it is time to figure out a better way to ride bicycle in a skirt. So that was part of my research and development for the next day. I have rigged up something to keep my skirt from getting caught between the back break and the tire. This should make it easier to pedal and save my clothes.
We had the challenge of running out of water on Tuesday. We were thankful that we again had water when we woke up on Wednesday. We are hoping that the issue will be resolved.
It has mostly been day to day stuff going on. Doug worked with several people (at least three) and helped them get reading glasses. We are still so thankful for that donation of reading glasses. People are so happy when they can read their Bibles again.
Yesterday the man from the closest village who has lost both of this lower arms came again. Last time he came he was asking for clothes, which we gave him. This time he asked for money for food for his children. I do know that he has one child. I told him that I would not give him money, but I would give him food. My donation of cornflour, rice, beans and peanuts was was a bit too heavy and the bag strap broke before he was away from the house very far. I had put it in a bag, and made a strap to go around his head and shoulder. Joshua volunteered to take the food on his bicycle to his house. He had to go slowly as the man walked and he was gone from home for a long time. I sent my cell phone with him so he could call his father if there was any trouble.
Do you think you have problems? Can you imagine life as this man? I believe his wife has left him. He has at least one daughter that is in the 5th grade (standard 5) here at our primary school. Can you imagine not being able to feed yourself, scratch you nose, hold a donation, put on your clothes or even "relieve" yourself, by yourself? I sat in bed this morning thinking about him. There are so many tragic cases around us all the time. We can help out in some small way at times, but the need is so much bigger than our resource or abilities. My challenges are rather small compared to this man. He needs a lot of prayers from what I gathered from another person from his village. He is a "member" of the church, but he needs a walk with our Lord. We all do. No matter our physical challenges, God can still use us for His glory. I know of at least one person that will hopefully read this, that has some physical challenges that could encourage "discouragement" if not careful. But I hope that person realizes his life is a miracle. God has a purpose, and even though he is not able to physically do all that he once was, he can cling to Jesus and keep doing the other things that God wants him to do, and with great joy in Jesus. Soon our Lord Jesus will come and the sin and suffering will end. Until then we keep walking by faith and keeping our eyes on Jesus.
Today we will work with the lay evangelism students to do eye test to see who needs reading glasses. I need to leave soon, so I had better wrap this up.
WE SHOULD GET A WHAT????
The answer - a vehicle.
There are a few vehicles here on campus for some of the departments. When we have to borrow one, it puts that department in a challenging situation. With the work that we are doing growing and growing, it was again "suggested to us" that we should see about raising funds to get a vehicle for the medical work that we are doing here. There are lots of "calls" and opportunities to spread the work in MANY places here in the country, and we are excited about that. Borrowing a vehicle will be VERY impractical for trips that take more than a day, and taking the bus will be really complicated if we need to take supplies (which we do.) So, here we are.
The director told us that the Nissan dealership company in Dar es Salaam uses the new vehicles for one year (keeping them maintained) and then sells them at a reduced price each year. He suggests that we get a diesel, 4x4 (we deal with some EXCITING roads here on and off pavement), dual cab, right hand drive pick up from them if we can raise the funds. He sees this work expanding rapidly and knows better than us what is best for the program and projects. The price he gave us is about $31,000 US dollars.
If you, your church or anyone you know is interested in helping to be the Lord's hands in this, donations can be sent to the Outpost Centers International address on our funds page. The donations should be specified as: Medical Vehicle Kibidula.
It is a lot of money, but if it comes in from lots of sources, lots of little donations will add up fast. I am not going to be anxious about this. This is God's work here. Not mine. I just ask that He impress on the people that He wants to give, to give. Prayer, faith, and letting our need be known. That is my part. So there it is.
In the mean time, thank you EVERYONE for all the encouragement, prayers, support and love.
Time to go do the reading glasses tests! BYE