The title of this post comes from another funny story that happened around the dinner table. We host visiting doctors on Tuesdays for lunch. Many times they’ll bring American treats for us as a thank you for feeding them. This past Tuesday, we received a baggie of fun-sized Twizzlers, Baby Ruth bars, Butterfingers, Crunch bars, and the tiniest Gummi Bears I’ve ever seen. The boys were quite excited, so we let them each choose something from the bag after supper Tuesday night. Jacob was the first to pipe up, “I want the blue one!” (Apparently, he thought the Crunch bar looked most appealing.) Noah quickly claimed “the one with the blue wrapper” too. Then, Levi said, “I want the red one!” Of course, Aaron handed him a small bag of Twizzlers. (It is the red one, right?) He scowled and said, “No! One like my brothers!” (Will he ever get his colors figured out??)
They devoured their ‘blues’ despite them being crumbly from melting and reforming in transit. It was fun to talk again about what they remembered from the States and what has been lost from their memories. I almost felt sorry for them for not knowing the difference between the candy bars, but then I realized that they probably wouldn’t know this if we’d never left the States. They rarely got candy in the States. I certainly never bought it. I don’t buy it here either. We’re just blessed with a lot of people who bring and send us sugary goodness!
So, as I was reflecting on this profound moment in our week, I started to notice a theme. It’s Crunch Time for us in so many ways. Here are the ones that come to mind.
1.) Baby Joshua has stayed in my womb 32 weeks now. Per my doctor’s orders, I’ve been off my feet as much as possible since reaching 30 weeks. The OBs and pediatricians agree that he’ll be fine to deliver and stay at Tenwek if I make it to at least 34 weeks. I’ve been taking the progesterone shots for months to help reduce the risk of preterm labor, and I just underwent a round of steroids (dexame??) to help with Joshua’s lung development as a precautionary measure. The nursery is not ready, but I plan to get it all set up this week. It’s kind of hard to get a lot of work done when I’m sitting all day! Those of you who know me best can guess that I’m going crazy on my bum. I’m not very good at sitting still for very long. It adds to the feeling of the time crunch!
2.) Then there’s the number crunch. Our 2-year term with Samaritan’s Purse expires early 2015, but we plan to extend our stay until June 2015. This will enable the boys and I to finish another full school year without moving. Obviously, this makes sense for school, but it doesn’t make much financial sense. As soon as our SP contract is over, we’ll loose a huge percentage of our funding. No more rent money, no more food allowance, no more insurance, etc. As we start to look at our dwindling funds, we’re trusting God to fill in the gaps, for we believe He wants us to stay these extra months.
3.) I know the school year just began and that we’re planning to finish it here, but I still feel like our time left here at Tenwek is short. I’m already taking close inventory of our groceries (the good news is that we still have about 6 precious cans of black beans) and toiletries (how will I use all 20 bottles of body lotion?) to make sure we don’t overbuy. I know this time crunch is less justified, but I also know that time flies when you’re busy. And once Joshua is here, I’m sure I’ll be busy!
4.) I suppose I could mention the dreaded ab crunches that will be awaiting me after Joshua’s birth. (yet another reason to keep him inside as long as possible!) Of course, no one really does ab crunches anymore. We’re way too advanced for that. I’ll use some sort of ab video that incorporates cardio and ab sculpting. The fact that I’m returning to the States in June, the beginning of summer attire, will give me added motivation to loose any baby weight!
5.) Let’s end on the best tasting crunch in Tenwek: ugali chips. Assuredly the most delicious and fattening way to ingest maize flour, ugali chips tend to be sold by a neighbor’s house helper on Friday afternoons. They’re freshly made and oh so greasy. It’s a perfect complement to our Friday night pizza!
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1.) Praise God that Joshua has stayed put for 32 weeks! As each week passes, I feel more and more at ease with having a baby here in rural Kenya. Please pray for us. Pray that I will find rest in God’s perfect timing and that Joshua will be a healthy, 7-poundish baby.
2.) Praise God for being the Great Provider! Please pray that He will work in miraculous ways in in the coming year in meeting all our financial needs. Right now, the task seems daunting. However, I’m exciting to see how God will raise up a mighty team of supporters for our continued ministry here at Tenwek Hospital.
3.) Praise God for bringing us to Tenwek. We are blessed beyond measure for this opportunity, and we are excited that He is calling us back to this wonderful community of believers. Please pray for the community. It is growing by leaps and bounds. Another reason to praise God! Pray for those in authority as they figure out how to house the new families, expand the hospital to best meet the patients’ needs, and keep it all about bringing God glory.
4.) Praise God for house helpers! I know I’ve said this before, but I am truly blessed to have Joyce. All of the helpers in the compound are such blessings. Please pray God’s blessing on these men and women who serve us so that we can do the work God has called us to do.
I’m still plugging away at memorizing I Peter, so I’ll end with the section I memorized earlier this week.
I Peter 3:13-17 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it it God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.