Maize, babies, clinics and the quasi-empty nest

Dear Family and Friends,

Well some days in Magambua Melissa and I feel like it’s our second honeymoon! And other days we want to cry because it’s so quiet at the house. Thanks for praying for us and the kids as we all adjust to them being away at school. Rachel seems to be settling in at RVA and making friends, though school itself has been hard. *Pray* for her as she gets used to a formal classroom setting again. I just talked to her today, and she said school was going better this week than last, but she has a sore tooth and wants more friends, so those are her current prayer requests! Today was the first day for official 6th grade rugby practice, so Drew was excited and told us about his mouth guard that he got fitted for over the weekend……yes please protect those teeth!

On the medical side of things here in Magambua, patient numbers in general have been lower than usual, but some of the patients we are seeing, really needed care! I’m so thankful for the ultrasound that allowed me to diagnose twins this past weekend. The family came from Lahoda, a village a few hours away by bicycle, and they were worried that the mom’s belly was looking SO big, so they came for a check. Sure enough, two babies were inside, but they were both laying sideways with their heads together on the right, and already at 34 weeks. Because of the ultrasound, I was able to advise them well in terms of getting to the District Hospital early for monitoring and possible C-section in a few weeks if their position didn’t change. Last night a child came with early cerebral malaria, was given an initial loading dose, and thankfully woke up this morning well.
Another little guy came to us with 2nd degree burns from hot porridge. He was admitted for nearly a week as we dressed his burns and taught his father how to take him through exercises to prevent contractions on his neck.
Yesterday afternoon, a new baby girl came in to the world after a normal labor and delivery. Poor Margaret (our midwife) was down with a migraine, so I got the privilege of catching this little one. I talked with the family about how we are thankful for God’s grace that she delivered well.

Please *pray* for an upcoming Magambua Dispensary Staff Meeting this Saturday. We had a visit from the District and Regional government authorities last week to check out the dispensary to talk about upgrading it to a health center. (It really already functions as a health center, but getting official support and recognition from the government may be helpful…..) Pray for wisdom for us as we pray and plan for the future.

Please *pray* also for a trip to *Pahi*. Melissa and I will be spending six days in Pahi among the Rangi people to run a general medical clinic from Jan 22-27 there with the local staff as a medical outreach to the community. Pray that our efforts would continue to help the local church to build bridges with their neighbors for the sake of the gospel.

Please continue to*pray* for the *Birise clinic* that happens the first Tuesday of every month. The village leaders have been a bit lax with providing a decent place to examine the pregnant women (normal room would be preferred to a chicken pen). Pray they would value the clinic and be willing to make a proper space every month. The AICT evangelist Gidamehembu, from Motto village, has been going on the Birise clinics to share with villagers there, pray for a group of believers to grow in that village.

Another*PRAISE*, an ‘mzee’ (means older person) from the village of Motto gave his life to Christ! Gidamehembu told me a few days ago that he’s been having conversations with this particular mzee who comes from a Muslim background. Anyway, the mzee told him that he heard about Jesus from the previous three other AICT evangelists (Mussa, Maela, and Tambalu) who served in Motto before Gidamehembu, and now he’s heard it from the 4th evangelist and finally decided to accept Christ, praise the Lord!

*Famine Relief* – Thank you to so many of you who gave donations! The project account had $1,250 in Famine Relief donations in October, and $5,135 come in in November. I should be getting the December report soon. We spent $3,236 on the first distribution and are planning on getting more maize this coming market day January 20th next week. After a two week stretch of dry, hot, sunny days, the Lord sent 2 days of absolute downpour, and it’s brought some relief to the worried farmers here. Even while I type there is a gentle rain falling outside.

May the Lord continue to lead and bless you all in this new year of following Him!

In Christ,

Jon for all of us

Pics:

1) Christmas 2015
2) One of the twins on ultrasound
3) The little guy with the porridge burn

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