Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Suffering and Joy

One of the many motherless day-old infants that come to our home.

Joy personified in a run to find Easter eggs in our front yard.

Thanks everyone for your concern, prayers and calls. We miss you and are so thankful that you partner with us in so many ways.

Last Wednesday a little 3 day old girl was brought to my ultrasound clinic. Her father died a month ago and her mother died in child birth. Her aunt who brought her in and is the only known maternal relative, has HIV. We asked if there is anyone else who could breastfeed the child. She said no. This little girl has 5 older orphaned siblings. This child probably will not see her first birthday.

During our prayer meeting, Jessica shared in tears how hard it was to see this girl in this situation and feel helpless. Can we adopt this one? How about the other 5-10 motherless newborns who come to our motherless clinic? Yet, as we examine our resources, we are not sure we can even continue the motherless clinic. We want to help the many but we also want to love each individual child. What about this one? What about all of these “one”s? God loves each of them as much as you and I. He asks us to love them.

Having malaria, having to watch programs end that are so helpful because there are too few teammates here, struggling through cross-cultural relationships, struggling with communication via internet, struggling with car issues, struggling with electric power and even water, desiring friendships and missing much of our life in the US has a purpose. We do need your support and encouragement. We do need your prayers and emails. We do not need pity (though we often want it!)

We may be suffering a bit more here than we would in the US. It would be hard to catch Malaria in the US. Still, we are not suffering the same as those around us. We have mosquito nets. We take malaria prophylaxis. Our children are not malnourished. We have parents, siblings and friends that cherish us. We can catch an airplane to the States or even drive to Fort Portal if we need a break. Our children do read and have a great teacher teaching and mentoring them. We take for granted that they will go to university- let alone not worrying about school fees for primary school. Lilli plans to be a teacher/astronaut/archeologist/African Priest and does not expect to be a carrier of the water bucket/firewood and married by 15. We know that God is love and cares for us. He is our Father and we are not forgotten.

The scriptures never say that we are not suppose to suffer. It does not even say we should flee from it. We are to enter into suffering with the joy of knowing that we share in the sufferings of Christ. He suffered so we may know He loves us. He suffered that we may know joy. Our little suffering here drives us to love those around us whose suffering is so much more profound. We pray that in their suffering, their joy may be just as profound.

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