In the afternoons, children gathered on the mission house front porch for singing and a Bible story.
Friday afternoon we visited Trudy’s good friend, Mama Glanti. The parents are named after their firstborn child. It took me a while to remember that my name was Mama Andrew and therefore respond when they called me that. Jake was called Baba Andrew.
I thought, It’s a blessing to be named after my Heavenly Father’s Firstborn–little Christ, Christian.
We also visited Mama Susana, who was dying with HIV. She lay on her mattress groaning in pain, unable to respond as Trudy talked with her and prayed for her. She was so thin we could see the ball of her hip and bone beneath the blanket. She had told one of the Christians that she knows Jesus has forgiven her sins. She passed away into eternity the day we flew home.
Let us pray that the glorious gospel will set aflame in the hearts of the people of Ivuna. Let us continue to pray for those who are sharing the good gift of the gospel. It is our call; it is our part of the work, and God’s work is not in vain.
That evening we had a hot dog roast in honour of Trudy’s birthday in Noel and Sarah’s courtyard.
After we ate a special supper of hot dogs, coleslaw, punch, chai and cake for dessert, we each shared how Trudy is a blessing in our lives. We sang in English and in Swahili, the most enthusiastic voice being that of Pastor Apolinery.
We first met the Pastor in Mlowo at the bus stop. Jake said that immediately he’d seen a light in his eyes, an openness, a clarity of conscience. He was heading to Ivuna as well, to visit Zack and Matt (stepoutonthewaterblog.wordpress.com) and had planned his visit in conjunction with the Canadians’. On the bus he sat in front of Andrew and Megan. He speaks some English and a conversation ensued. He bought salted casava through the window from a vendor at one bus stop and shared some with us.
By this time it was dark, and the light of the bonfire cut through the blackness and reflected on each of us as we sang, “Ni Salama rohoni mwangu.” (It is well with my soul.)
We all need a Fire burning in our hearts, cutting the darkness, brightening our eyes, blazing a purpose for our souls.
While we tidied up the yard and cleaned up the kitchen, we sang,
“Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light.”
The song became my prayer.
Saturdays the clinic is closed, so after a breakfast of stretchy porridge and yummy natural peanut butter, we hung around Trudy’s place, the men hauling water to give the parched garden a drink, and we womenfolk doing a bit of housekeeping and cooking.
Each day I’d been drinking a cup of water with 2-3 oregano drops in it, hoping it’s anti-parasitical properties would take effect. I made a cup for my daughter as well, since she’d been complaining about a tummy ache first thing in the morning. (Ironically, the last thing she’d eaten was Canadian hotdogs!)
“Oregano burns like fire in your throat, so be sure to have extra water on hand to gulp down afterward,” I told her and dutifully continued washing dishes (which we did in cold water.)
Megan told me later that Agatha had seen what a hard time she had drinking the oregano water and graciously offered to dump it out the window. Megan had readily agreed.
Johnny, Matilda, and Trudy walked to the dry riverbed. It was usually flowing at this time of year.
Trudy said she hoped it would rain soon.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. Revelation 19:12