Dear Friends and Family,
The past two weeks we have been settling back in to life and ministry in Magambua, Tanzania. The dry and dusty village is a contrast to the warm and friendly smiles and hugs we received from our Tanzanian friends and missionary neighbors. The kids enjoyed catching up with old friends, playing soccer and kick the can in our dirt front yard. The kids’ only frustration was their rusty Swahili which needed to be dusted off, just like all our counter tops do every day. Things always tend to get run down after being gone for a year, and there are some plumbing issues, but we have a lot of rain in the rain tanks, and a new pump to get water up the tower, so we have running (or I should say moving) water in the house, and hot showers, and the solar lights are working, woo hoo!
It was a joy for me to find the medical team at the Magambua Dispensary working faithfully in the day to day treatment of patients and running of the monthly mobile MCH clinics. A week ago I started doctoring again at the dispensary, and the first few days saw us treating pneumonia in an HIV patient, a pediatric cerebral malaria case, and a teen mom with a premature 1.7 pound (0.79 kg) baby who was a month old and needed help with expressed breast milk feeding and kangaroo care. Margaret, our missionary nurse midwife, spent time counseling her and showing her how to feed her baby with a small cup since he was too weak to suckle. He’ll be coming every few days for weight checks.
I was also called early one morning for an unconscious woman from the local village. It was not the first time she had collapsed, yet there was no history of seizures that anyone could tell. I admitted her, ran some tests, which came back normal, took some spiritual history, and just felt that this could be a case of demonic activity. Shortly after she was admitted, our team gathered for morning devotions at dispensary, with other patients who had arrived. Pastor Michael Mashauri started to lead the devotions, and as he began to read from the Scriptures, the woman I had admitted began wailing and screaming. After wrapping up devotions and praying together, we took the prayer meeting in to the ward to cast out the demon, who promptly left after about 20 minutes. The woman came to her right mind, and we shared the gospel with her and her husband, and warned that they needed to seriously consider Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives, and receive the Holy Spirit, or something similar could happen again. Pray that seeds of the Word would take route in their lives, they left the clinic without making any serious claim of repentance. Other patients who had witnessed the situation at first were afraid, but then when she came to her right mind, it was a testimony to the power of Jesus over spiritual forces.
We worshiped in the local church Sunday, and met some new babies that had been born while we were gone, and some new marriages among some of the young people.
So life continues on in a place, and we just started picking up where we left off. The harvest was poor this year, and we anticipate famine in a number of the villages in the area. I’ll write some more when we get more concrete numbers on how much grain we might need to collect to help them.
We celebrated Josh’s 14th birthday in Magambua, and just yesterday were up in Kenya, at RVA dropping the boys off for the start of school. We miss them so much already, but they were so excited to be back at RVA, that it seemed less hard this time. I think it will hit us more as we return to Magambua with just Rachel. Pray for Melissa and Rachel as they start up homeschooling.
Thank you for all your support and prayers for us and the work here.
Jon for all of us
1) For Evangelista, the woman who was under demonic attack
2) For the little premature baby
3) For Josh and Drew at boarding school in Kenya
4) For Melissa and Rachel as they begin homeschooling
5) For stamina and compassion as we care for patients daily 6) For wisdom for planning famine relief