Saturday, April 2, 2011

Am I dreaming?

“Life here is crazier than a dream” said Anna as she left our house tonight.

Well, to recap the last week, here are some bits that might make you agree:

Travis had a stomach bug that left him throwing up for 8 hours.

Anna had the same bug, only 6 hours later.

Amy had the same bug, minus the throwing up.

Scott Will has opened a café in his house with freshbaked goods and iced teas and music provided by local teacher Agaba.

A child’s cry of pain comes from our neighbor’s house and upon nighttime questioning, I am told to go away.

A threatening letter comes from a disgruntled former employee who says he will sue Travis personally.

Muslim evangelists build scaffolds in the downtown trade center and with a loudspeaker, yell from 3pm to 6pm all week, only stopped by the call to prayer.

We visit a new local restaurant and are surprised by the good food and a dvd playing music videos of Shakira, Don Williams, old-school Madonna, Westlife, and Bryan Adams. More surprising was that a large Ugandan man in the corner was singing along passionately to “Lady in Red.”

A neighbor’s goat has been tied up in our front yard to eat grass. He likes to stand on a tall tree stump. This is humorous as he looks like a goat statue in front of our house.

Our house is like Fort Knox now that we have omitted all ways for Bhootu to escape our yard. However, he likes to stand on a table and look in our bedroom window.

Using a locally bought qtip (essentially a stick with a poof of cotton), I poked a hole in my earwall, creating a sore which makes it feel like I have swimmer’s ear.

I learned that all eggs sold in the market are shipped here from Kampala, 9 hours away on bumpy, bumpy roads. Meanwhile, chickens run everywhere. I mean everywhere.

To take our medical intern Alyson out to see villages, we all went for a hike to Nyahuka Falls. We met the kindest local guy who patiently guided us to the top. On our way home, we stopped at the family of our sponsored medical student. The father of the student reached in the car and GAVE Lilli and Patton money to buy sweeties!

Travis has malaria.

We housed a young Ugandan man from Kampala who is interested in supporting the locally-sponsored NGO called Hands of Hope. HofH recently put the word out that they are collecting clothes for the needy and were encouraged that people brought clothes to share. They now need boxes to house all the contributions!

Neighbor kid Vincent climbed 40 feet in to the top of a tree to knock down a ripe JackFruit.

The lawnmower for the airstrip still does not work, even many hours have been put into it. The grass is now as tall as me.

A 4 year old boy of a local teacher was diagnosed with Polycycstic Kidney Disease.

BundiNutrition hosted HarvestPlus Vitamin A Sweet Potato Training on Thursday. This included harvesting orange sweet potatoes, teaching about the importance of iron and vitamins in diet, and a lunch which included vitamin A sweet potatoes. The participants were local producers of BundiNutrition’s gnut/soy flour, agriculture teachers from local schools, and area farmers. They all agreed to plant these sweet potatoes but said they still prefer their white (non-vitamin) sweet potatoes as they are firmer. However, for children, they agreed to promote them.

A testimony was given at church on Sunday by one of our friends who had cerebral malaria and had tried medicines, local remedies, witchcraft, and finally decided that none of it worked. She went to her local church and stayed there a week. As she was prayed for by the pastor and a friend, her fears left, she was able to finally sleep, and she received new life in Christ! Now that she has returned to Bundi, she is a new person. Praise God!

The Semiliki Presbytery has submitted forms to create a new radio station called Redeemer FM to broadcast the gospel in Lebwisi and other local languages all through the Rwenzori Mountains.

The two pregnant cows are just getting bigger…and feistier. Calves expected in April with milk to follow. We will be glad to be done with the powder milk and boxed milk that we use now.

The CSB boys football team won both of their games on Monday. They then won a game on Wednesday. And today, they won the first of the district championships which means that they will play next Wednesday. We are all happy that their biggest fans, the Myhres, will soon be here to cheer them on!

And lastly, this evening, a lorry was bringing back 120 of our students from the football game in Bundibugyo Town. As the driver swerved to not hit a small “taxi” car, his left wheels went off the poorly graded road. As he tried to swerve back, the truck went on its side. We are grateful that God spared the lives of the students who were standing in the back of the truck. Travis and Scott Will went to the Nyahuka Health Center with lanterns (no electricity working there), a thermos of warm water for the casting, and surgical materials. As it was big news on a Saturday night and most everybody here is related, there were more than 50 people crammed around each injured person. They splinted several arms and casted another and are awaiting the daylight to possibly transport a female student who is complaining of leg pain. Chapel was held to pray in thanksgiving for miraculous well being and for those who have injuries.

So, now I go to bed, in hopes of a peaceful sleep. Even my craziest night dreams cannot compete with the activity of the days here in Bundibugyo! As Pat always says, "Never a dull moment."


  1. Oh dear friends, I am praying for hope in this storm that He will hold you close and sustain you...praying passionately for strength

    Wendy Allison

  2. A while ago, when you first mentioned that only you (Johnsons) and Anna remained in Bundi, I was reminded of Paul’s statement at the beginning of 2 Timothy 4:11 that “Only Luke is with me.” I know that you all wouldn’t compare yourselves with Paul and Anna wouldn’t compare herself with Luke. Nevertheless, by the Lord’s grace, you all can continue and persevere as Paul and Luke did.
    The craziness of this world is both exciting and disturbing, but this is our Father’s world! Though this isn’t our home, it shouldn’t frighten us (note to self) because nothing here is out of the Father’s control. Maybe others wouldn’t agree with me, but I think it is an amazing example of the Father’s hand that Scott (another Dr. with much skill, experience and familiarity with the people of Bundi), would, because of the volatility expected as a result of the South Sudan referendum, be led to join you all at this critical time of diminished staffing and trial (including Travis’ malaria and the lorry accident). Sometimes I think this life is like a puzzle with a billion or more pieces. But to God, it is less challenging than a baby’s 6 piece puzzle. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14)

  3. Wowza! We were just wondering tonight, during our family prayer time, "What is up with the Johnsons?" Now, we know better how to pray.

  4. I thought of you guys several times this week, wondering about what could be going on to have the little break in posting. Prayed, and will keep praying. You all are such a reminder to me in my daily life that it's not "all about me." God be praised and my the gospel advance through you in all the crazy.

    And may the Lord bring health and healing to Travis and all the sick and broken. Peace.

  5. Note how the little "Travis has malaria" comment was just slipped in the middle, like one more normal daily life event. Praying for you all even as we head your way.

  6. Can't stop thinking about you all and Anna. Praying. A lot.

  7. Praying for your family. Love from Kijabe, The Shirleys

  8. I just read the latest post on the blog and I am so sorry that so many hard things are going on. I'm praying this morning for Travis to heal, for the students, for the other requests in the list and also that the kids will be protected from sickness and injury. Is there anything that you need that I could ship to you or is that too difficult to do where you are? I'm happy to do that if you need me to.
    Was listening to a song this morning that was are the lyrics... may the Lord shield you all continually. Thanks for pouring out your lives there.

    Through the love of God our Savior,
    All will be well;
    Free and changeless is His favor;
    All, all is well.
    Precious is the blood that healed us;
    Perfect is the grace that sealed us;
    Strong the hand stretched out to shield us;
    All must be well.

    Though we pass through tribulation,
    All will be well;
    Ours is such a full salvation;
    All, all is well.
    Happy still in God confiding,
    Fruitful, if in Christ abiding,
    Holy through the Spirit’s guiding,
    All must be well.

    We expect a bright tomorrow;
    All will be well;
    Faith can sing through days of sorrow,
    All, all is well.
    On our Father’s love relying,
    Jesus every need supplying,
    Or in living, or in dying,
    All must be well

  9. wow, praying for you and thanking God for your lives and the perspective you bring to all who read your blog (especially me-- you make me so thankful for my comfortable life in Boston! And inspired too...) Thank you for serving, and for your example.

  10. ...and with all this you welcomed the Myhres, the Linharts and then had meetings??? hummmmm. nothing dull about life in Bundi.
    I believe that God will give you all strength, wisdom, mercy and God's tender heart of Love for the unlovable, suffering and those who don't know Him in BGO and all of Uganda. You are being built up in the Word so that you will not shrink back from the difficulties of life no matter what it throws at you. You are being built up for the glory of God! You will shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the Word of Life.
    tonight Hunter was teaching us how to pray future prayers as Paul does in Phillipians 1. 3-11

  11. phew
    hang in there
    hoping it helped just to write it all down
    to realize that is a lot to contend with everyday!
    so many are praying and caring
    esp for Travis.

    hugs from our house, my friend