Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Things aren't always what they seem.

There is an episode of Doogie Howser (I know, I know) from my childhood that I will never forget. In it, Doogie believes he can see more patients in one day by limiting his time with them and working faster. There is a woman who is very sick with an unexplainable illness, and he gets stuck listening to her talk one day. At some point, she tells him about a trip she took to Mexico and how she loved the pottery so much that she brought a lot of it home to use in her kitchen.  Doogie realizes that the pottery is painted with lead paint, and she has lead poisoning.  He would have never put that together without listening to her. 

I am guilty of not always listening to the whole story and of jumping to conclusions, too, sometimes. For example, Yonna and Rogers, the two youngest children at Ddembe have been falling asleep at night during study time. 

They are so tired all the time. Last year we got up a little bit later and finished by 10, and this year they are up at 5 and often awake until after 11. I know that Robert and I throw a kink in their routine, and I also know that they are working hard to study for their midterms. I decided, though, that I needed to talk to Moses about getting the children some more rest. The day I planned to talk to him, we were having a conversation about schooling. He told me the things I shared with you yesterday about the teachers not wanting the students to perform poorly on the exams, so they wanted them there all day every day of the week. Moses told them "no."  He said that our children will have Sundays off to rest, and will not go to school past 6pm. He shared with me that he has really been having to insist that the school let them go at night, and not punish them for missing one day. He has promised them that the children will work hard at home, and that he will help them, which is why they study so much.  When he was done, I realized that he and I were on the same side of this issue. He is doing what he can here, and I was able to just thank him and encourage him to continue!  

This morning I spent about an hour and a half visiting with Esther, the house mother. She is getting married in October, and we had some great conversations about marriage and the children, etc. It was such a joy to just be able to talk. 

Today we visited four of the families of our children. While I will not share all the details of their stories, just know that it is a tough day and a great day at the same time. One thing I admired was the way Moses stayed with each family, asking all about their lives, listening to their struggles, and encouraging them. He reminded me that people need to know that you care before they will listen to your advice. He is so good at this, and I am so grateful that we were able to watch him today. Many of his conversations were in Luganda, so Robert and I just smiled, but when we would get in the car, he would share with us many details that made some other things make more sense. My prayer is that God would give us patience to hear the whole story every time. 

Speaking of working to understand-- Robert and I saw this sign. Would LOVE to understand what special #2 is!!! 

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