God chooses to remind us often that we are part of community, that we are loved, that we are His. And for this I am grateful.
I still physically feel terrible and although the acid reducing medicine seems to be working because I am not throwing up all acid and bile I still am only able to keep about 200-300 calories down a day. Thus I am still basically bed ridden and leaving Jason to do everything, our neighbors started saying “Jason ni Mama pia” (Jason is the Mama also). And if things do not change we now know we need to consider medical intervention elsewhere. Even coming to the point of discussing this has been so difficult for us. We know we need to be concerned and are praying through options for our family.
Through this whole thing I have never felt abandoned by God. Not that I should but I am a bit surprised I was not running scared or crying uncle at the first sign of hardship. That is usually my MO. Actually, I have felt that He has been with me intimately through it all. I have still be sad, depressed, emotionally unstable, and generally a mess. But the whole time knowing He is in control. I guess that does not make much sense but most of the amazing, beautiful, and eternal things in life don’t. I am worn down but not afraid. I am sick but not hopeless. I am exhausted but not fearful.
After another difficult night last night I awoke and honestly thought “do I have to do this again?” But now as I type ready to go to bed I am glad today happened, just the way it did.
I am thankful for the many reminders I received today.
A local friend here called my cell phone this morning and at first I ignored the call not wanting to deal with anything or anyone but after the second series of rings I picked it up and she asked again how I was feeling (she checks in everyday). I told her “nzuri kidogo” (good a little, as an aside even if you are on the verge of death with a machete lodged in your head you ALWAYS respond with nzuri (good) first before anything else, I love this language!). She then asked if she could come and take Annikah to the amusement park here with another little girl that lived next door to her so I could rest. She said she would be by at 2 pm to pick her up. She was about 2 hours late but arrived to an eager Anni. They took off on the dala dala and Jason took the opportunity to head to the beach to swim, pray, and relax; something he desperately needs right now. I was back to filling my butt dent on the couch when the Skype ringing started. I went into our office room and it was Jason’s parents and his sister and although the connection was terrible we could type messages to each other. It was so comforting to “talk” with family and know they are feeling this with us even though they are so far away. I felt their love and concern for us and was encouraged and comforted. Back to my butt dent and my book. Then my mom called for the seventh day in a row to check in on me. This time she was calling from the airport to report she made it through customs with all the various and ridiculous paraphernalia we asked her to bring us. She even had to explain why she had so many pretzels in her carry on and told the security people of my arduous tale and was even soliciting prayers for us. My mom is the best! Jason arrived home, took a shower, ate bread for dinner (pole sana for him), and went out to talk to some guy friends at the local hang out while I waited for Annikah to get back. She arrived home almost 2 hours after her bedtime and I expected a tired, whining little girl but I heard from our gate yelling and laughing as they arrived. My friend said they had a blast and Annikah was apparently singing and talking up a storm in Kiswahili on the dala dala to many adoring fans. Anni was so excited and almost out of breath as she quickly told me of her escapades…..that she had “‘nother best friend” and “rode the farasi (horse)” and “ate rice at my friend’s house.” She could not have been happier or dirtier (always the sign of a good kid outing). I thanked my friend and she said she would come by later in the week to meet my mom and sister and then left to ride the dala dala back home. After a quick bath for dirt covered Anni we were in bed reading a book when I heard more people at the door. At this point I was exhausted and just want to go to bed but I prayed for energy and hospitality and greeted the two women neighbors and showed them in explaining I needed to finish putting Annikah to bed. After finishing some quality Dr. Seuss and praying Anni’s eyes were almost completely shut and I left her to sleep. I went out and proceeded to lay down (in order not to puke all over my guests) and asked them if I could bring them sodas to which they replied “we came only to see you.” We then sat and talked for about an hour in Kiswahili about everything. They said they were sad not to see me out much at all and all the children in the neighborhood are worried about me. As mothers they sympathized about the throwing up, being sick, and not being able to eat. They made numerous suggestions about various common remedies here. They asked how Jason was doing having to cook, clean, and take care of Anni. I told them how I thank God for giving me such a great husband; a fabulous but tired husband. They said our school looks great and asked about when we expect to finish. I told them a grant had fallen through and we are praying and asking God to provide the money to finish. They said they are eager to see the school up and running. They told me what their children have been up to and about the news of the neighborhood. They said they want to meet my sister and mom and said if I feel better we must come to visit. They insisted that I stay in bed until I can eat and said they can bring over anything I need. I fumbled through the Kiswahili since my brain seems to not function even in English these days but they were patient and we laughed a lot. They said they needed to leave so I can relax. I thanked them and thanked them and thanked them for coming by, for their concern, kind offers, and told them even though this is really hard for our family God is with us and He is helping us. Then they left and as I shut the door my heart was so very full. My neighbors, these two women reminded me how much people caring about other people means. How it changes a person’s heart when you show genuine concern for them. How I am changed because of the people in my life; both near and far who take the time to love me. I am blessed. It was a reminder of how beautiful the people here are, how much I have come to love and care for them, and how much they have become a part of my life. I must be honest on many days these past few months I have wished I was anywhere but on this island but today there is no where I would rather be.