Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Troubles Are Common

Who Will Rescue?

The Keep of Jinja, Uganda
Finding coffee like this in the Pearl of Africa had never happened to us before.  Johnny Long and his wife Jen opened The Keep a little over a year ago.  Bringing a little slice of Western culture to East Africa has provided us with a place for some significant conversation and a delicious cup of caffee mocha.  It's also an ideal place to meet and share some time with our friends.

Grace is more than an employee.  She has been the cook for short term mission teams we host for the past several years. In the beginning our search was simply for someone to prepare food for our guests and clean up after it was consumed.  The Lord gave us far more that we were looking for.  Grace has become a dear dear friend of ours.  She is a precious sister in Christ.  We have experienced most of the elements of a long term relationship ... the good , the bad, and the ugly ... and we are better off for it. Grace has also become a friend to many of our guests over the years.

This past summer we had enjoyed an engaging conversation, expressed our love to one another, and were preparing to leave The Keep with Grace. She requested we pray for her and went on to explain that she had been having severe pain in her abdomen for the past four months.  We were more than curious as her protruding stomach was quite noticeable.  Pam and I immediate took Grace to one of the better medical clinics in Jinja for examination.  One of the current doctors was a friend of ours and delivered the alarming news.  Grace had some large tumors in her uterus and they were growing, causing her pain.  We followed her diagnosis with a trip to one of the best labs in Kampala for an ultrasound for confirmation.  Plans were made to see that our friend got the necessary surgery in the best hospital resources could afford.

No success so the trainee finally gave up ...
Grace was without resources to pay for such an expensive surgery, but generous benefactors donated about $700.  Grace was given this money just before Pam and I returned to the States, but it was only a couple of weeks ago that she was able to have surgery.  Her blood needed more iron before the doctor was willing to do surgery.  Then the surgery was moved from Kampala to Jinja after the surgeon transferred to Jinja.  While Mulago Hospital of Kampala was the preferred site for Grace's surgery, her friends and spiritual family reside in Jinja and they were able to care for her during her stay at the Jinja Main Hospital.

Grace is grateful for all the contributions and prayers on her behalf and she looks like she is well on her way to recovery.  Jimmy Kiwanuka is her pastor and Sera Kasonga is her friend.  Both made visits to the hospital and Sera transported Grace back to her house when she was recently released.  Sera has been making regular visits and taking photos for us to include with this blog.

The surgery was done as cheaply as possible resulting in an incision from the belly down to the private parts.  It is a long and serious gap.  Undergoing surgery in an undeveloped world is not easy.  Two tumors were 3 kilograms and one was 2!

Oswald Chambers wrote,"Trouble almost always makes us look to God, but His blessings tend to divert our attention elsewhere." Limited medical resources, lack of finances, and various complications in Uganda directed our attention to God.  Please pray for a complete healing without infection.  Pray that no tumors will grow back.

God confirms in Scripture that
The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. (Psalm 34:19)
Back home & looking good!
Only God could arrange for His family to share in His treatment of the tumors attacking Grace's body. His networking is supernatural.  He arranges friendship and relationships and utilizes the hands, feet, heart, and resources of His sons.

Trouble is a part of life.  It comes, or will come, to all of us.  When it does we often believe that we can't go through what we think we will have to go through.  When we think we can't, we need to embrace the reality that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Together with each other and with Him we can do what we believe we can't do.

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