15 May 2010


Wednesday morning Kim (Justin’s Mom who is a nifty PA in Oklahoma) and I took 4 of the HCH kids down to 3 Corners to visit the hospital.  This hospital is more of a clinic with 2 doctors and a lab and 14 regular beds and a L&D unit where they deliver at least 15 babies each month.  We got to sit in with the doctor while he examined each of the kids.  
One rash of bacterial staph on a precious 8 year old that will take forever to get rid of because he lives at an orphanage.  2 periumbilical hernias that won’t get operated on because the holes are >3 cm and it’s considered a cosmetic surgery here.  And one case of possible pyelonephritis/ nephrolithiasis/ choledocolithiasis/ PUD.  The doctor relied on all the physical exam skills he could: percussion, kidney trapping, costovertebral angle tenderness…
Pure medicine :)
And now, to the soundtrack or rumbling thunder, we’re handing out toys, clothes, socks, and underwear.  The girls got bracelets and earings. The boys got bracelets and action figures.  
Never before have kids been so excited to get one action figure. Or one pair of socks.
Can I stay forever?!


Yesterday we spent the day in Bamenda: at the market, checking out the language center, eating lunch with a missionary family, and getting ice cream!  How fun!  When we got back to HCH (2 hours later then planned) the children greeted us with screams and smiles!  They were so happy to see us and we realized we were SO happy to see them too!  We missed them all day while we were gone.
Which started a cascade of tears:
What happens when we leave in 3 days?
What if we don’t have time to finish mending the children’s clothing and school uniforms?  Will they have to run around in their unmended pants that they hang out of?
We’ve only done so much, but now we see SO much need, how can we meet it?
And probably most pressing: how do we learn to live in the United States in a culture that is so completely different after experiencing everything here??
Kadzi (don’t cry), Chimi (stop crying)
“Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling all your threads and
Breaking yourself up.
If it’s a broken part, replace it
If it’s a broken arm, then brace it
If it’s a broken heart, then face it”
-Jason Mraz
The only thing we can do is soak up the time we have left here and do what we can with the resources we have in the time we have.  And we have to trust that God’s plan is perfect, even when ours is not.


Screaming Children.
They just got home for lunch and discovered surprises in their cubbies:  new mesh bags full of toiletries: 1 toothbrush, 1 “toothbrush protector,” 1 tube of toothpaste, 1 bar of savon (soap), and one sweet (candy).  
They screamed and jumped up and down for at least 3 minutes SO excited for the surprise!  I thought they were just super excited about new things that belonged to them (they have very little here that belongs to them).  But Justin told me they were really excited about the savon.  They’ve always used regular savon that you buy in bulk here: its the same savon they use to wash clothes and dishes.  
A big square of unscented soap.  But we gave each kid a small bar of soap that a bunch of my friends at school donated from the United States.  A plain, no frills, white bar of soap.  The kids have never ever been given scented soap before.  And “they’ve never felt like they were special enough for good soap.”

09 May 2010

Reflections of HCH

Who am I that my God could love me so much?

This morning, 5:00 am, we climbed the hill again.  This time, instead of 7 of us, there were 19.  We took a “shortcut” that required us to squeeze through several fences and up the side of a cliff and over a pass that was frightening.  But the whole way I had someone to hold my hand.  Usually it was Linda, a sweet 13 year old girl.  As we climbed, I realized how walking up the cliff holding her hand was like walking through life holding the sweet hand of my Lord and Savior, Jesus. 

When I was about to slip, she held me up. 

When I was frightened, she gave me courage. 

When I was exhausted, she gave me strength.

She fell a few times too, but I shared with her the analogy of how helping each other was like Jesus, and she smiled.  It was SO much easier to make it to the top with her help!

Other sweet things so far:

Making it through the airport with no problems.

Getting to sit next to Justin on the bus ride to HCH and then being greeted by a bunch of adorable kids and staff!

Getting to talk with Bo-Jung (Emmanuel Ngala) about life: How frustrations are sometimes good because it makes you work through things, how I should stop stressing about everything being perfect (getting to do lists done, making sure the team is getting fed, checking up on things) and breathe.  Instead of stressing, I should relax and get it done, how precious the children are, etc.

Hearing the kids sing and dance with SO much enthusiasm at devotion.

Staying up all night talking with Kim because neither one of us could sleep.

Walking around the field talking to Charlotte or Justin or a sweet kid.

Getting my hair “plated” by a sweet girl.

Watching a movie surrounded by a million sweet kids and getting to hold my boyfriend’s hand.

Congo-line style offering at Church.

Holding Evet’s and Orelia’s hands…

03 May 2010

Silly Girl

Amidst packing, studying, and planning something is bound to go wrong.

Of things that can go wrong, I guess this wasn't the biggest...

But honestly, who in their right mind throws away a bag full of pictures, meds, and a CD?  Apparently, no one but me.  It's a wonder I'm still breathing. 

I'm hoping that's all that goes wrong.

Pray for us as we fly out?!  We leave DFW at 1:20 pm!!