Thursday, June 1, 2017

Detour

We felt like we were starting to know our way around Juba --finding things in the market, taking rickshaws, and practicing new phrases in Juba Arabic. We were reviewing our language learning books and preparing to start lessons this week with a tutor. And then a few physical/medical issues stopped us in our tracks and forced us to change our plans.

On our last evening in Congo three weeks ago, we celebrated with a nice dinner of fish. Bob ate his with bidia, which camoflauged a fish bone in his mouth until he felt it poking his throat on the way down. We hoped that the bone had not gotten stuck in his throat, but when he still felt like something was caught there two days later, it was hard to be sure. We saw a doctor as we passed through Ethiopia en-route to Juba, who said that there was no bone in Bob’s throat, but that there was some inflammation where perhaps the bone had poked him. He gave Bob some antibiotics and sent us on our way. Good news! Except that, two weeks later, Bob’s throat still periodically felt sore or clogged, and it was disconerting that it did not seem to be healing.

Just as we were wrestling with these thoughts of Bob’s throat, he started feeling very weak, achy, and tired. We went to the doctor in Juba, thinking perhaps he had malaria. The malaria test was negative, but the doctor prescribed the treatment for malaria anyway, given that it could be in the early stages.   He also examined Bob’s throat with a flashlight, but did not have any equipment beyond that to asses what was irritating his throat. After a couple more days of resting, praying for healing, and seeking guidance but not feeling any better, we decided to come to Nairobi to see a doctor and get more tests.

We arrived in Nairobi on Monday of this week, and saw a doctor and had a battery of tests on Tuesday. We are very grateful for the encouragement to come and get treated, for the reassurance of ruling things out or knowing what is going on physically, and also for the time and space to rest and recover. It is humbling to be forced to change plans and accept physical limitations. We had only been in Juba two weeks before suddenly leaving again for Nairobi. But sometimes being humbled and forced to change our timetable is exactly what we need to ensure that we depend on God and the people around us rather than just on ourselves. So we are waiting and trusting God to restore health and energy so that we return to Juba and to language learning. And in the mean-time we enjoy some ice cream, cool weather, and bird watching while we pass the time in the big city of Nairobi.

Amani Gardens Bob reading

Relaxing in the shade at the guest house in Nairobi

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We appreciate the lush trees and flowers at the Amani Gardens Guest House

4 comments:

Luke Schurter said...

Praying God is very near to you on this (hopefully short!) detour! Take care, friends... be encouraged: none of this was a surprise to God!!

Peter said...

Blessings to you, Bob and Kristi. Thanks for the update and I'm glad you are feeling better, Bob. Rest well. Thanks, too, for the lovely pictures. I love the format of the newsletter.

Marsha Ruland said...

Praying for you, Bob, for full recovery and strength!

Mike Birbeck said...

Our congregation will be praying for you both as you transition into this new ministry and work through what will hopefully be short-term delays. The grace of Christ be with you both.