I sat during the choir’s intermission, watching the orphan statistics flash across the screen at the front of the auditorium. I knew about the AIDS crisis. I had met families with adopted children. I had listened to stories of missionaries who rocked motherless babies in crowded orphanages.
But at this particular moment, I was expectant. I had been waiting for God to show me why I still had a deep yearning for something outside of the boundaries of my city; and here, I was looking right into the faces of orphans.
Today is one of the most important days for students graduating from medical school; it’s Match Day. This morning, all around the country, each applicant opened an envelope with the name of the program that would become their home for their years of residency; in Hannah’s case, that is five years.
Spring break has begun and we are in the midst of a flurry of transitions. Sweet Pea is on her way home from Gambia after completing a medical rotation in a rural hospital. Noah is in the air on his way to New York City for a business school field trip. In a couple of hours, Russ, Ladybug, and Sunshine will be on the road to Vantage, the halfway point between our home and Seattle, where he will meet his sister and she will take the girls home to her house for “cousin time.” Later this week, Samuel and Isaiah will head to Seattle for some fun with friends and to bring their sisters home.
How often do we tell a friend that we will pray for them and then it slips our minds? Do you, like me, find yourself, in the midst of a task, when a friend comes to mind and you feel terrible that you haven’t remembered to pray for her during a time of suffering?
We’ve hit upon something that is helping us remember to pray for the ones we love.
I don’t often post about birthdays because, the truth is, we have a lot of them and while I’m good at celebrating, I don’t always manage to write about the day. Today is a little different because it is Sweet Pea’s birthday and we aren’t celebrating because she is in Gambia working at a rural hospital.
We haven’t been able to communicate very much with her because they rarely have electricity that allows her to use the computer, but we’ve gotten a few emails. Rather than tell you about her time there, I thought I would let her share it herself by cutting bits out of her emails.
Today was the Reproductive and Child Health clinic day at the hospital. I weighed and charted 182 babies and small kids. They were cute, hilarious, and woebegone by turns. When one would occasionally cry and fuss and flail about getting on the scale, the Gambian nurse would yell “Hey, hey” loudly followed by something in Mandinka or Wolof or Jolla. She kept saying to me, “You have to be stern – these are African children.” I told her American kids have just as much trouble. It might have been separation anxiety, or it might have been the “toubob” (white person) manning the scale that scared them – I’m still not sure! …