It is now just a week before we go on home service, so we should have expected some discouragements and sickness. All to often before we go the enemy attacks trying to disrupt and discourage us. He follows up where Jesus is at work and tries hard to destroy. Even when things shouldn't surprise us it still hurts and affects us. We are not allowing the enemy to win, but we are weary and need your prayers.
The disappointments began on the same day when we went to a friend only to find her in tears over lies spoken about her which led to anger, fighting, beating, and more lies that brought great pain. Some of them people we know and care about. We were discouraged. And now had to deal with it all. Praying for truth, repentance, healing and peace. We look to God to do the work.
We got home and someone else was waiting for us. She told us with tears her pain because of rumors and lies affecting her family and the leaders. So we listened, prayed and then the next day gathered people involved to come together to talk. Again, praying for truth, repentance, healing, peace and unity. It was a long meeting but proved to need another meeting with more people. So a second night of meetings to weed out sin and bring reconciliation and unity. It isn't fun but it is right. We need to address sin so there can be forgiveness. Without unity in the leaders there can't be unity in the church. Christ last prayer for us was unity. So the devil attacks right where Jesus wants to use us as His witnesses to the world.
I am thankful God did His work in people and we were all pointed back to God's truth and His ways for us to live in, but we were left totally drained.
God did provide encouragement. God was at work powerfully in the FIC teachers meeting. Excitement over all God was doing and everywhere God was bringing truth and a full submission to God together as a group. Through the testimony of one fully devoted man, a Kenyan named Charles Mully, our group wondered what could God do through our group of 14 fully devoted people?! It was a Holy Spirit filled moment as we each bowed before the Lord in tears giving ourselves to God and His work.
Next came sickness. Josh and I went to the prison for his last Bible study (for the next four months) and say goodbye. Difficult. We got home and Grace was not feeling well. Looked like the flu. She had a 101 fever even with medicine. Ok, a 101 fever when it is 100 degrees in the house is pure misery! I felt so bad for her but there wasn't anything we could do. In the midst of this my parents came to have one last Obule weekend together. By late afternoon Grace was getting worse and crying with stomach pain. Josh and I sat with her and tried to comfort her but the pain got worse and her hands became numb and painful, her body was hot but her hands and feet cool, and her knees hurt too. The pain in her stomach came like labor pains. She would just look at me like, "help me mom!" It is horrible to see your child in that kind of pain. To not know what it was and have no where to take her for help. We prayed! Josh went outside to get a phone signal to call a missionary doctor to come and see Grace. Mom sat with me and Grace. She got her to calm her breathing with the pain. And we continued to pray asking God to help Grace and take the pain away. She did settle down but it would come back. Finally it was at least tolerable, but she held her hands in a deformed shape and said it was like they were sleeping. She asked us to rub them and her knees. The doctor came and checked everything he could. It was a mystery. I was just thankful she was calm now and I wanted something to give her if that pain came back. She had a night with the flu and is slowing making improvement today. I would like to give my Father God all the credit for the healing. He heard our cry and helped us!
All weekend Emalai had a bad headache, worst than usual for her. Today she is vomiting. Oh man. We don't have time to be sick. We all want to be with our friends these last few days and we have stuff we have to do before we go. I hate to say it but I feel yuck today too but am trying not to be sick. Please pray for healing and health for all of us as we prepare to go and as we go!!!
Yesterday was hard another difficult day. We took an orphan girl (24 years old) to tailoring school. This girl has been so hurt and is so vulnerable. It just seems there is no safe place, no perfect option and I wonder what to do. The school is very small, with only four girls boarding there, and they do Bible study and are actively involved at the church. We know the teacher and lady in charge and she is known to be a godly women. But it is Uganda and things are done differently. We didn't do a good job preparing and it seems she lacks so much so suddenly we need to get more and do more...and we are so busy before we leave. Anyways, she wants to go to school and learn a skill, but she was doing her very nervous, scared movements when we brought her and she was wiping tears when we left. I was not feeling good about it all. I prayed and later we brought things she needed. We were very relieved to find her smiling doing Bible study with the girls! The teacher had helped her with her things and making a list of what else she might need. She had made her first little skirt. I was so thankful for some hope already. It is really hard with us leaving. Who will she go to if she needs someone? What about holidays? It just feels little stressful right now. We continue to give it all to the Lord knowing that is her Father, her Defender, her Protector, her Healer...she needs Him not us.
Pray for our kids as they are having their last week of school (in 100 degree temps!) Pray especially for Lydia as she does her sophomore year exams. Her studies are challenging and she has goodbyes on her heart. Lydia of all our kids is having the hardest time leaving home.
And now in a few days we have to say the dreaded goodbyes to all our friends here...
So that is why we need your prayers. Thank you for covering us in prayer!
Update: We got rain today (Wednesday April 27)! Down to 75 degrees!