God gave me the word again today. It may strike you as depressing, but it's what we felt today.
This morning, when our team arrived to set up the medical clinic, there was a father there with his 9 year old son. They had slept there overnight because he wanted to see the dr today. Robert and I were not there, but were told by the doctor that the boy had sickle cell and was in very critical condition. He was in congestive heart failure. They brought them in first and upon examination, (one of our drs is a pediatric ICU doctor) told him they needed to get him to a hospital ASAP. The father then told them that they had been at the hospital, but he didn't trust the hospital so he had taken his son out of the hospital to come and wait for our doctors. Praying all the way, they got this child back to the hospital, where he only lived a few more hours. Some of our team were able to minister to his family at their home in their grief, but the anguish we felt at knowing how small we really are, and the thought that someone had thought that we were that able to save their son was overwhelming. So far our medical team has seen about 3,000 patients. Every time they leave a clinic, there are more people who could not be treated.
Today Amanda said to me as we were driving back, "when you look at a map of Africa, Uganda is so small." It's true. We see such great need here and are overwhelmed by the small sample space this represents. The task seems insurmountable.
At Agnes' this year, we have been talking about our concerns about Ms Agnes' increased age and ability to continue to care for 40 children, about our concerns with how to handle transitioning the older students out of secondary school and into what God has in store for their future, and about how hard it is to oversee something from thousands of miles away.
Today some of the girls on our team sat down with Agnes and all her girls older than 11. We talked to them about growing up as a woman, shared with them the importance of God's plan of abstinence, and prayed with them. As I looked into their eyes, I wondered how they will make it without families and tribes as they try to become adults. Who will want to marry them? Will it be what's best? Will they be able to wait until they are older than teenagers to start families? Will they have the everlasting knowledge that God loves them?
We have talked this week about the starfish story... And Robert has reminded me, "it made a difference to that one." Still, when surrounded by the need, you can start to feel that the the task is too great, and we are too small.
Then God whispers, "it IS an impossible task for you. That's where I come in. I am not asking you to save all of Africa, or even all of Uganda, or even all of Ms Agnes' children. I am asking you to 'go where I send thee.'
When we start to feel there is no way, we remember the One who is THE WAY. When we are discouraged that we can't heal all the sick, we point them to the ONE TRUE HEALER. When we can't see what lies ahead for these teenagers at Agnes', we remember that God KNOWS THE PLANS HE HAS FOR THEM.
Of course the task is insurmountable. If we could handle it, we wouldn't need God. He does his greatest work with insurmountable odds. I have decided that this is where I like to be spiritually... In a place where the soil is ripe for miracles, and where I am so reminded of my own inadequacies that I can do nothing but rely on Him.