Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Update - July 29

Today was my 19th radiation treatment--just 14 more to go.  Still no real side effects, and I've actually had more energy this week than I did last week.  Dr. Nuesch assures me that the side effects will happen . . .

Another blessing of our extended stay is that David was able to go to the Global Missions Conference in Arlington last week.  He saw many of our friends from years past and made some new connections.

The medical mission ended on Tuesday last week.  I haven't heard the totals on the number of patients served during the six clinics, but Rodgers Namuswa e-mailed us that there were 137 baptisms.  

Most of the team came home last weekend, but Mark and Michele Broadway are staying an extra 10 days.  Michele is teaching my English classes at GBCC.  She and Mark are also helping with some teacher training workshops at area schools.  

We discovered some slide shows on the Namwianga mission website that we hadn't seen before.  You might want to take a look.  

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Kitchen is Where It's At

The dining room furniture was moved into the kitchen during the medical mission.   My kitchen is pretty small, but that didn't stop it from being well used.  

Here's the report from Michele Broadway:

When we got back from the first set of bush clinics, Mrs. Jope had given Richard Prather 30 eggs.  So Friday morning we had scrambled eggs!  Someone went down to the Hamby house and got buns and butter to go with the eggs, and it was delicious.

By the way, we (actually we're not sure who did it) broke the French Press (filter press coffee maker), we used up all your Crystal Lite lemonade mix for the reception, and we've eaten three bags of blueberry muffins.  We would have made cookies, but the mixes require eggs and a stick of butter.  We had the eggs, but we ate them all.  We're starting a grocery list for our Livingstone trip.  We've totally rearranged all your furniture and the house is a mess!  We've also been slipping and sliding on your concrete floors--on purpose!

Imagine your kitchen (see photo) with the dining room table in it and 10 or so people either sitting at the table or standing around it trying to cook eggs, wash plates, pour coffee out of the hole in the side of the French Press, make and pour tea, and feast!  There is a really great group of people staying here, and it has been really fun.

I'm so glad that our house has been used for such great fellowship, ministry, and fun!  

Rearranging the Furniture

Michele Broadway sent this picture of our DINING ROOM at Namwianga.  Our whole house was used by medical mission team members--18 in all!  

Last Friday (the 18th) the team was at the Mission in between two sets of clinics in the bush.  It was the day to do some projects around the mission, get laundry done, and repack for the second set of clinics.  

Michele writes: 
Then the power went out.  The laundry for the people staying at our house was still not ironed, and some was still on the line and didn't get dry.  

We went to eat dinner at Roy and Kathi Merritt's in the dark (but still delicious).  We got back to the dark house and tried to sort out laundry.  I couldn't find any of my socks, and other people were missing various laundry pieces, so we did a mass search for socks, etc., with flashlights.  Mine were found on top of a bunk bed in another bedroom.  Everyone packed for the next outing in the dark and then went to bed.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Update - July 22

Radiation treatments continue to go well with minimal side effects.  I've now completed more than a third of the required 33 sessions.  

We made arrangements for our return flights to Zambia.  God willing, we will leave from DFW on September 2 and arrive in Livingstone on September 4.  On our flight from Johannesburg into Livingstone we will be with the new Harding In Zambia group, and we are looking forward to meeting the students as they begin their time at Namwianga.  

We are keeping up with Zambia Medical Mission through their blog site.  It sounds like the work is going well.  They are now in the second set of clinics out in the bush.  I know from experience how much they are looking forward to hot showers and a soft bed!    

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Update - July 12

We're in Abilene this weekend and just attended the Saturday afternoon wedding of Nathan Driskell and Jesiree Guerrero.  Nathan grew up with our kids at Brentwood Oaks, and we were so pleased to be at this celebration.  Nathan's mother, Tammy, gave me a hug at the reception and said, "I'm sorry for the reason that you have had to stay in the US longer, but I'm so glad that you were able to come to the wedding."  

I agree.  We have had many other unexpected and blessed experiences during our extended stay.  We have been able to spend relaxed times with John and Leah--having them over for meals, sitting by them in church, and just being with them.  And Sara is coming to spend the next week with us, so we'll have additional time with her.  I've also gotten to spend time with old friends, visit shut-ins, and be part of an intensive small-group Bible study.  I thought I would be miserable without a job or a major project running my life, but I'm finding that I can stay quite busy and happy just being.  I guess it's all part of having this blest cancer.

My radiation treatments are going fine--8 down and 25 to go.  I still have no side effects.  In fact, I'm walking four miles a day and feeling great--no fatigue yet!  God is good all the time.  

Thanks for your prayers.  

Friday, July 11, 2008

Another Lesson from Feathered Friends

Following is an excerpt from Anne Graham Lotz's book Why? Trusting God When You Don't Understand (Thomas Nelson publishers, 2004).

A Tale of Two Birds
A turkey and an eagle react differently to the threat of a storm. A turkey reacts by running under the barn, hoping the storm won't come near. On the other hand, an eagle leaves the security of its nest and spreads its wings to ride the air currents of the approaching storm, knowing they will carry it higher in the sky than it could soar on its own. Based on your reaction to the storms of life, which are you? A turkey or an eagle?

It's natural for me to be a turkey in my emotions, but I have chosen to be an eagle in my spirit. And as I have spread my wings of faith to embrace the "Wind," placing my trust in Jesus and Jesus alone, I have experienced quiet, "everyday" miracles:

His joy has balanced my pain.

His power has lifted my burden.

His peace has calmed my worries.

His grace has been more than adequate to cover me.

His strength has been sufficient to carry me through.

His love has bathed my wounds like a healing balm.

Soaring has become an adventure of discovering just how faithful He can be when I am way out of my comfort zone in the stratosphere over the storm. Soaring is an adventure of discovering by experience His answer to my pain. . .

Soaring is so exhilarating, I find increasingly that I am no longer content to live in the barnyard of familiar comfort just for the relative security that seems to be there. I want to live by faith.

The book is available from

Monday, July 07, 2008

Update - July 7

I had three radiation treatments this week starting on Tuesday.  There is no pain or real discomfort involved in a treatment session.  I just lie on a table while the huge linear accelerator buzzes around me for 10 minutes, and then I leave.  Side effects don't usually occur until two or three weeks after radiation begins, and I've had at least two friends who say they never had any bothersome side effects, so I'm hoping to be like them.

Our friends Mark and Michele Broadway left on Saturday morning for Zambia.  We all agreed that it was strange for us to be taking them to the airport instead of the other way around.  We will be trading spaces for the next month--we moved into their house here in Austin and they will be staying in ours at Namwianga!  They had already planned to stay a week and a half after the medical mission,  and Michele has agreed to teach my English classes for me during that time.

A dear friend sent me a chicken story this week.    He had heard a sermon on thankful prayer. A preacher shared a story told by Jim Bill McInteer that supposedly came through his grandmother.  Here it is:  How do chickens drink?  They go down to the water, then raise their heads up to the sky to thank God, then swallow the water.  Jim Bill said he never wants to be outdone in prayer by a chicken. 

I agree, and I'm finding many things to be thankful for each day of this journey.