Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pains and Praises

Sunday, March 8th~
We're exhausted.  After a few interrupted nights, the past few days (which have also been non-stop) have seemed to warp into weeks in our stretched minds and weary bodies.   They've been demanding and tiring for all of us.  

We've had a number of cholera patients the last week, more people on cots than usual, and a couple births in one night...  And things just keep happening.   I keep reminding myself, "One day at a time, one thing at a time."   

I'm sure my theology can be challenged, but I believe God does give us more than we ourselves can handle, but never more than his grace in us can endure.  And it seems that real weariness comes when we forget to seek and employ that grace.

I was sitting in church today, too tired to sing, so I put my head back, closed my eyes, and just listened, letting my mind wander over the past few days...

Lost in the current of my own swirling thoughts, I felt moderately interrupted and equally annoyed when a friend with arms aching from holding her sleeping child so long, came and plopped the child into my arms.  

I rebelled inside.  Doesn't she see how tired I am?  Does she just assume I'm always thrilled to hold her child?  I knew I had a bad attitude.  That got me thinking about being a servant.  A real, unselfish one.  

Really, you can serve people night and day and still be selfish.  You can selfishly want people to notice and credit you.  You can secretly admire your own abilities and then entertain feelings of self-worth, honor, and even pity, for all you do.  And you can quickly shift your focus from meeting the needs of others to sympathizing with your self for how much you have to give up.

I think that's the ditch I was finding myself in, sitting in church, thinking about how tired I was, and feeling like the world around me owed me something for it.  :/   I felt reproved in spirit, finding myself praying once again for a real servant's heart, one willing to let self die without demanding, expecting, or even hoping for a tombstone of honor or recognition...

Tue, March 10th~ 
What a day!  A very bittersweet one.  Our dear alto-singing, coffee-drinking Rho, heroic head nurse, faithful friend, inspiring example, selfless servant...and much more to those of us who have lived with her for the last 1 1/2 years (or at least a few good months for some:), has said goodbye to our Aylege Haiti team to go back to school in the States!   
(Rho with a goodbye gift from Donny and Thea, and a bow that we thought looked fitting;)

We got up at 3:30 this morning to say goodbye, shed our tears, and see her off.  Fre Nores was there too, seeing his wife off to town with Hans and Rho, and he asked if he could pray before they left.  

He seemed so much like a Papa right then, his own tender heart hurting to say goodbye, but strongly and so gently encouraging those of us left behind to dry our tears and take heart.   "Oh, it hurts!", he told me at clinic today.  "My heart is sad!" "Rhoda was such a good nurse!"

I thought I was done crying after we had slept a few more hours and got ready to face a new morning.
"Father, please give us an easier day, one without so many people!" was my prayer as I headed down the path to the clinic.

"Oh, thank you Lord!" I sighed gratefully, when I saw a very small, peaceful crowd waiting outside!   I noticed several times throughout the morning what a peaceful day it was, and I wondered if Rho had prayed for that.  :)   

Kin and I walked into her room at the clinic and found ourselves wiping a fresh falling of tears.   But they weren't just sad ones.  

I sensed such a comforting peace straight from God that gave me assurance that no matter what situations we find ourselves in, He's going to take care of us.  

"See?" I told Kin, "I asked God not to give us more than we could handle today, and he gave us about half as much as we'd been getting when Rho was here!  He knows I can't take as much!"  ;).  

It was a beautiful day.  Tomorrow might be different, but we don't have to fear or worry what might happen, because we trust in God to give us what we need, when we need it.  

Wed, March 11th~
Another beautiful spring day in Haiti!  Last night was the first in a long time that I got hot enough to throw back some covers!  It's amazing what a difference just a night or two of uninterrupted sleep can do to make the world feel like it's still spinning in the right direction!  :)

The crowd at clinic was very manageable again, for which I was again incredibly thankful for!  Especially since we've been getting through the last week with one or two of our Haitian nurses instead of three!  Today there were two, and it sure helped! 

We've seen some sad and sickening results of negligence lately: grossly wormy wounds, rotting flesh, reeking with such an overwhelming stench as to send your nare nerves into panicked shock ...
Despite the horrendous condition and smell, I had to laugh when I walked into the room and saw the mask that was creatively used to mercifully shield the dear old man's view as the Doc and Mali pulled out worms and cut off the flesh of his very neglected leg wound! 

But how we love toothpaste, and Kin's friend who shared the ingenious tip of putting a dab between two masks!  No matter how strong the opposing smells assailing, the toothpaste is an effective defense, a stomach-saving breath of fresh mint!  
I couldn't help but add a picture of this face behind the mask!  :)

Well, it's almost midnight, and I'd have long been in bed on time  if I hadn't decided to get my blog post done on schedule!  But such is life in Haiti...keeping one schedule usually upsets the next...;)

So goodnight!

~Whit