I have also been spending a lot of time with Maui (my mother-in-law). Maui has been fighting ALS for a long time now and her time with us is getting short. Jan and Jill (my sisters-in-law) and Doug all take turns spending the night with her and the days, too. I have only been there one night, but I go in the afternoons following work. My contribution to her physical care is miniscule compared to those three. The other sister, Jayne, comes when she can. She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and is fighting her own battles now.
Today I have been gathering my katundu (Chitonga for stuff) so I can pack later. I want to get the packing done and not wait until the last minute. I am ready to go back to Zambia and to the Medical Mission. It has been three years this time - the plan has been to go every two.
I was supposed to go last year, but we were afraid to leave Maui. Looking back, we should have gone last year instead. We had no idea... none. Maui was doing good last year - not so now. You know what they say about hindsight being 20/20... if you could have seen then what you know now, it wouldn't be called hindsight.
Doug is on the fence right now. Tuesday, he didn't know if he was going. Wednesday, he knew he was going for sure. I don't know about yesterday and today it seems again as if he isn't going. I don't know what the answer is for him. I feel as though I must go. We only have four physicians going and five or six nurses. That is about 1/3 to 1/2 of the number we usually have. Seeing between 15,000 and 18,000 patients total in all of our clinics, it is going to be very difficult with so few medical personnel. We will be able to do what God has planned - though it seems almost impossible to me - we just have to trust and be ready to act!
I am still excited to go, but now I have a sense of heaviness in my heart. A gut feeling that when I board my plane on Wednesday, that I may really be alone - without Doug. That makes me very, very sad. But God is in control and there is still time. I will trust in Him and wait....
Please remember me and the entire Zambia Medical Mission (ZMM) team in your prayers. Part of the team left today. The nurses leave on Wednesday, July 8th. The rest of the team leaves on Thursday, July 9th. Pray for our safety, our health, our strength, our example, and our effectiveness to help and teach those we are going to take care of. We will return on Sunday, July 26th. Please pray for us daily.
Also, please pray for my mother-in-law, Maui and for the people taking care of her while we are gone (whomever that may be).
Leza a muleleke (God bless you)