10 December 2008

Water Crisis at Galmi

This was posted by one of the folks currently at Galmi. Just thought you should know. As of word on the impending strike, so far it is still just a threat. To see the full post on the water situation at Galmi, check out Cindy's blog.

A situation has come up that could have very serious implications for the town of Galmi, the hospital, and all the missionaries here.The pump for our well has broken down. It is now impossible to pump water up from the well into the large storage tanks across the road from the hospital. The people in the village also use this water supply. They have become desperate enough to break one of the pipes in one storage tank to steal the water. This breakage also caused the tank to drain to almost empty, thus wasting most of the water that flowed out uncontrollably.

We had a new pump, but it has sat in storage for many years. When it was put into use, it too failed. We are trying a temporary fix, but this may not even be possible. We are trying to get a new pump, but it could take several days to get here.We are on strict water restrictions for the next few days. No laundry, or watering our just-beginnning-to grow vegetable gardens.We have a few days of drinking water available, but after that, we will have to go somewhere else temporarily.Please pray that we can get a temporary fix for the pump, and that a new one will get here quickly. We especially feel for the families with young children.

The construction project is on hold as large quantities of water are needed to mix the cement. Our builder leaves next week, and was hoping to have this part of the building completed before he leaves.Thank you for praying for us, our fellow missionaries, and the people of Galmi.

And for those of you following the crisis in Jos, Nigeria, here is the link to a post by a fellow SIMer who is living through it: http://renemarshall.blogspot.com/2008/11/jos-crisis-few-words-and-pix.html.

08 December 2008

Worth Living Over

I spent Saturday in DC at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with some friends who run a project called Operation Joy. Pat, Pam, and Krista (and families) spend months planning, organizing, and preparing for this all day event. They traced over 4,000 hands (of all sizes) onto green felt in order to sew together christmas trees to be given to the wounded soldiers and their families.

On the drive down, my friend Meighan was telling me about one of the questions she had to answer for her law school application: Describe a day from your life you would want to live over again. What a question! I immediately thought of a few I am thankful I would not have to relive, but then I began to consider what day I would choose. There were many moments that made the list, but as Saturday went on, I began to say to myself, 'This is a day I would I relive."
We spent the day doing crafts and talking with soldiers and their families, hearing the stories of their injuries, finding out about home, playing with their children. We had the privilege of praying with many, as they face many uncertainties about the recovery process.

This year, Operation Joy was granted access to the inpatient hospital. Three of us were able to go visit soldiers in their rooms. The group allowed me to be one of the three -- what a blessing it was to be in this facility. Both personally and professionally. We were able to spend a long time with a twenty year old man who received skin grafting to his entire left leg. He was waiting to find out if the graft took, so that his leg would not need to be amputated. This young man demonstrated an incredibly positive outlook on his situation. He was honest with us about his fears related to the rehab process, but overall, he was cheery, optimistic, and full of laughter. When we presented him with a Christmas tree and explained its meaning, he said, "This is the most beautiful thing I've been given." We were able to spend some time praying with him and his mom. It was a time of mutual blessing.

I prayed with the wife of a soldier who is very sick and they are facing so many unknowns in terms of his health. We were able to serve them on such a deep level. We provided a few minutes or hours of distraction from the reality that the life these men and women knew was stripped from them in an instant -- all the while protecting our freedom (of which most of them consider "just part of my job, ma'am.").

We gave them Christmas trees, they gave us perspective. My heart is full of thanks and gratitude to the members of our armed forces, and to their families, for the sacrifices they have made on our behalf.