Friday, September 26, 2014

     One night this week the zone leaders asked us to come with them to visit a young family.  The mom is 7 months pregnant and has some cysts on her ovaries that are causing her pain and a problem at an episiotomy site from the last pregnancy.  We arrived at their house well after dark, traveling rutty, dirt roads that don't look like they have seen many automobiles.  We parked out front and entered through  a corrugated metal gate.  Walking through a dirt courtyard that had several low lines with laundry hanging on them, we passed by maybe 6 other houses that shared the same courtyard.  We visited with the family and found out they didn't have money for medicine to help the mom with the pain, let alone money for the surgery that would be necessary following the delivery.  The mom asked if Gary would give her a blessing, and so he did.  So much need here, so little money.

     We have been trying to get a Congolese visa for a young missionary from Togo who has been called to serve in Uvira, Congo.  The woman at the Embassy desk has been difficult to deal with, each time asking for something new that she hadn't mentioned the time before.  We ended up coming to the Embassy 7 times, and because of the number of visits, we became acquainted with one of the guards on a first name basis.  We brought him Church pamphlets and a book of New Testament stories for children.  About the 5th visit to the Embassy, he asked to meet with the full-time missionaries to find out more about the Church.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.  Perhaps it was necessary for us to come so many times because the Lord knew "Nestor" was ready for the gospel and just needed enough time to ask to hear about it.  Friday, Nestor met with the full-time missionaries for the first time, the same day that our missionary's visa was ready.

     One of our sister missionaries has been sick for 5 days, so today we took her to the hospital to have her checked out.  We had to pay 5,000 BIF for an appointment to see a doctor, which  is approximately  $3.40.  We sat in a narrow hallway in a line of people waiting for their turn to see the doc.  We were told to go see the doctor in room 1.  And there, on the brown door, was a square piece of paper with the number 1 written on it in black magic marker.  The paper was taped to the door and probably has been there a long time because the edges of the paper were all curled up.

     From this office, we headed to the lab for some tests to be run---blood and urine tests which cost a whopping $20 total.  While we were waiting for the sister to finish her tests, a man came down the hall carrying a small, purple casket, just like the casket the little boy in our Branch was put in. The man was followed by a group of about 15 people.  They all proceeded down the hall and outside to a waiting pick-up truck.  I imagine an infant died in the hospital, was placed in the tiny casket, and then was taken straight to the cemetery for burial.

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