I have been trying to decide if I should keep up this (random, occasional) blog, or if Tim and I should switch to email prayer/update letters. I am hoping to post more frequent, shorter blogs. Any feedback?
In an effort to start communicating more, I thought I’d post a few random experiences and pictures. On Thursday, February 13, Pastor Harold (the hospital’s Spiritual Director) asked Tim if he would speak on “Marriage” at Friday morning’s chapel service, since it was Valentines Day. Tim and I decided it would be more fun if both of us spoke, so I went in to the hospital on Friday morning for the 30 minute chapel time.
We started off with a wedding picture of us – from over 35 years ago. There was a startled, “Ooohhh” from the staff, and then laughter. I think it was difficult for them to make the connection between that young, dark-haired couple and us! We had recently read an article on marriage on the internet, and we shamelessly borrowed some of the ideas, adding a short reminder of the Biblical description of Christ as the Groom and the Church as the Bride, our own emphasis, and experiences. Tim and I had a good time, got a few laughs, but truly, I think our cultural differences, and our age (!) made it a bit bewildering. I pray that some of the practical advice we gave, as well as the reminder that marriage is about more than just the 2 people will help strengthen the marriages of the hospital staff.
We had a lovely time in the US for a month from mid-Dec to mid-January 2014. We got to visit with almost all of our family and many friends. Our grand-daughter learned to recognise us, and calls us both “Papa.” We also had numerous doctor and dentist appointments, including skin cancer treatments. That part was not as fun…
Upon arriving back at our flat, we saw that the central courtyard fountain had been removed, and new equipment was delivered. About a week later, our new fountain was installed. The water starts in the highest basin, and flows through outlets into each successively lower basin. A recirculating pump is under the whole setup, sending the water back to the top. It’s not very loud, but it’s a huge improvement over the empty concrete basin in the ground with a pipe arising from the center! It only operates during daylight hours. (that’s our flat in the background)
At the hospital, we were warmly greeted by the staff. They could not imagine how cold it must have been in VT – very few of them have experienced temperatures or ice or snow like we had. The consensus was that we are happy to be back where it’s warm. We were asked if we rested, and were also told that we looked good – “Ahh, you have put on weight! Maybe 2 or 3 kilos. Especially I can see it in your face.” We are trusting that this is a complement! In another conversation, one of the Zambians said that carrying (extra) weight was a sign of prosperity – so obviously, we are prosperous! Yes, we are, and we are reminded of that frequently, living here in Zambia, where so many are barely surviving. Prosperous not only in terms of weight, food, finances, but also in the hope of the Gospel.
We are settling back in here – warm days with windows open, birds singing. Nshima (or rice!) for lunch. And smiling kids throughout the hospital!