Archive for February, 2010
O Christ, who is Living Water,
who is deep calling to deep.
You call us to carry
hope to the hopeless,
love to the lost,
and water to the thirsty.
Fill me with your love
that I may have a part in you
and freely give it away.
Pam Hawkins, The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent
8:00am Wilson and Finna suspect they have malaria
8:30am Kara, Wilson, Finna and Christina to Clinic
10:30am Wilson positive for mild malaria, has medication. Finna positive for severe malaria and must stay for 6 hours of observation.
11:00am Home with Wilson to discover that Finna has the house key at the clinic.
11:30am Home again with key. Siyileni arrives to get the car to go get Carter from school.
12:00pm Realize that assignment for UMPH is not 2-page article but 5 session curriculum due last week.
Afternoon Reading, writing, typing, stressed out!
6:00pm Chichewa class
8:00am Tereza arrives to tell us that Lucy needs to go to the hospital.
8:15am Jeff leaves to get Lucy. I am still freaking out about work assignments and stay behind.
8:30am Get my priorities straight (apologies to my editor), call Jeff, and get changed to go to hospital with Lucy.
9:00am First visit to ARV clinic.
11:30am Begin to SMS Siyileni who is picking up Carter to ask if she can stay with him for an hour because we are still stuck in radiology waiting for x-rays.
12:20pm Texting and making phone calls like crazy to buy another 30 minutes of childcare so we can stay with Lucy.
1:00pm Jeff and I home to grab some food and make rice for Jeff to take back to the hospital for Lucy and Tereza. Power goes out.
2:00pm Jeff back to hospital. I give up trying to work without internet and play with Carter.
3:00pm Claire home from school and the kids and I give in to no electricity and watch all but the last 10 minutes of a movie when the battery on the laptop dies.
4:30pm Jeff arrives home after dropping Lucy and Tereza at their homes. Exhausted, stressed and worried we fall for Carter’s well-played request to go out to eat. French fries and ice cream were just too tempting.
7:30pm Kids headed for bed and I stay up to work. Internet goes in and out about every 15 minutes.
9:00pm I give up and decide to go to bed. But can’t sleep and I notice the glowing green button indicating the internet is back on.
9:15pm Back at the computer for 30 minutes only to lose internet AGAIN.
10:00pm I think I slept.
7:00am Jeff gets kids to school and signs up for Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday
7:30am Jeff drops off green truck we have been borrowing to get rear window replaced that we broke fetching water 2 weeks ago.
8:00am Arrive at Lucy’s to see a miraculous site – Lucy healthy, strong and smiling.
9:00am Go to get Jeff’s phone which he left in the big green truck.
9:30pm Back to the hospital to check on lab results (not ready) and see doctor (not there). So we visit Lucy’s grandchild who was admitted yesterday.
10:30am Home and try to work for an hour before going to pick kids up from school. In the meantime have a great conversation with Wilson and his best friend, Lenzo, comparing economics and infrastructure of US and Malawi.
11:30am Pick up Pastor Nkhata and youth from bus depot.
12:00pm Pick up kids from school.
12:30pm Arrive at airport to greet Bishop Nhiwatiwa from Zimbabwe only to arrive late, back into a massive SUV and shatter the rear window of the Rav4.
1:30pm Drop visitors off at the Bishop’s lodge, sing, pray and welcome Bishop in Malawian style!
2:30pm After taping up the window, pick up Moty to do grocery shopping for welcome dinner. Jeff picks up the green truck with its new window.
3:30pm Kids and I home. Jeff to get estimate on replacing window in Rav4.
4:00pm Internet is on so I can send some documents to editor.
6:00pm To Chichewa class.
7:30pm To Daniel and Moty’s house for Bishop’s welcome dinner.
9:30am Home again after dropping the pastor and his wife at home.
10:23pm Sharing the craziness with anyone who has the patience to read.
If you have been praying for Lucy, your prayers have been answered!
Jeff and I’s hearts were heavy all day yesterday. I woke up this morning so anxious to see Lucy and worried that we shouldn’t have left her alone last night. My morning prayers captured the groans of my spirit the past 24 hours…
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
listen to my cry of supplication.
In the day of trouble I call on you,
for you will answer me.
Psalm 86: 6 – 7
Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them.
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
and show them my salvation.
Psalm 91: 14 – 16
When we arrived at Lucy’s home this morning she was dressed, sitting up and eating a big breakfast! She was wearing that amazing smile that was missing all day yesterday. I nearly cried and I did hug her tight. Jeff and I just stared at her as she ate and talked with us as if the previous day had been a bad dream.
When I told her that people in Malawi and in the US were praying for her, she said, “I knew it. Last night I was laying here on the floor I felt a change in my body. And I had not started taking any of the medications yet.”
We took her and Tereza back to Queen’s to drop off a sample at the lab and check on her blood work. We had to rush to keep up with Lucy as her strength and strong stride have returned. There were no doctors in the ARV clinic this morning to check her blood work. So we will go again tomorrow.
But before we left Lucy asked if we could go to the Pedeatric Ward where her daughter’s baby had been admitted. We found them in the courtyard with hundreds of other mothers and babies who have to wait outside each morning as the units are cleaned. Seriously. We talked, snuggled the baby and prayed together before leaving.
Lucy and Tereza asked to be dropped off in town so that they could run some errands. We urged, pleaded and warned Lucy to take it easy today and rest. She said she would… this afternoon.
Thank you for praying and keep them coming.
Ambuye akudalitseni! God Bless You!
Today at Queen Elizabeth Government Hospital I saw
… an ARV clinic with standing room only, lines for drugs and lines for counseling.
… a woman carrying another woman on her back to the radiology department. The old woman hung on her daughter’s back just like the hundreds of children I see each day slung onto mothers’ back with deft precision, skill and nurture.
… two mothers leave the waiting room and returning with mops from some unknown broom closet to clean up their own children’s urine on the floor.
… a woman walking through the radiology department whose right side of her face was swollen three times the size that God created it.
… a mother whispering over her shoulder to her unconsolable and sick child wrapped in the chitenje on her back. The mother couldn’t have weighed any more than her daughter.
… a little girl laughing and cooing in the waiting room oblivious to the pain around her.
… a young boy, maybe 8 or 9, dressed very smartly in gray trousers and a button down shirt. I don’t know how long he was there before I noticed him because he was so quiet. But at one point I looked up and saw him pressing his right hand gingerly to his right cheek that seemed to be slightly swollen. At some point I noticed he was gone but I didn’t see him leave.
And I noticed all of this to keep my mind off of the reason I was there. Jeff and I were there with our dear friend and the backbone of Tiwasunge, Lucy Kandioni. She fell ill last night around 11pm and her friend Tereza came to our house this morning about 8:00am asking if we could take her to the hospital.
Lucy is HIV positive and the doctor suspects she has tuberculosis. Not good. She is currently waiting for a chest specialist because the x-ray that she waited two hours for was not clear enough to make a conclusive diagnosis.
We had to come at home at 1pm to be with the kids after school, but Jeff has just left to return to the hospital. He took water, rice and bananas in the hopes that Lucy will have appetite to eat them and because Tereza has not eaten all day.
Sitting on the stone bench in the waiting room this morning, Lucy laid her head down on my lap to sleep. This women who inspires so many with her strength, who carries the burden of an entire community on her shoulders with such grace, who I have never seen bowed over – laid down and put her head in my lap and slept.
I rubbed her back like she was my child. And I prayed that all the healing, compassion and Spirit that has seeped into my bones during the past 8 months might flow into her and give her strength to overcome the illness in her body.
And now we wait…
Post Script: It’s now 4:30pm. The doctor requested blood work that hasn’t come back. So they sent Lucy home and prescribed a barrage of medicine in hopes that something will make her better. She’s to go back at 8am tomorrow morning. Still praying.