#1: A very small thing, a flu virus, took me out of commission for an inordinate amount of time (considering how microscopically small a virus is) early this week. Now, one doesn’t exactly “not sweat” a virus ‘cause one is usually quite miserable. One prays and waits, usually flat in bed, until one feels better. Thankfully after a few days, I found my feet again. Wobbly though they were.
#2: A couple brought a 2-year-old girl to me who had pushed a seed up her nose. The parents had unsuccessfully tried to dislodge it (with a pin? I was told) and finally came for help. While we talked, the child looked at me with round, fearful eyes. She’d suffered already on account of that silly seed and I don’t think she wanted my help at all! There was screaming and tears as I checked things out with my otoscope. Her little nose was pretty inflamed, so the plan was treat with anti-inflammatories and antibiotics and “not sweat too much” about it while things settled down a bit. I gave her parents some ideas of at-home (non-invasive) things they could try along with instructions to bring her back if those didn’t work.
After a day or two they returned to say that although things were improving, the seed was still there. This meant it was time to do something further, so I got my otoscope again. Again the child went wide-eyed when she saw me and started screaming. This time I had a pair of blunt-nosed tweezers in my other hand and when the mom noticed them she said, “We didn’t have tweezers like that at home to work with. If I had them I think I could get it out.” The dad smiled at the squirming, crying child and added, “When she’s asleep she’s very still.” I was still struggling with my post-flu-aches and knee-wobble at that point and her suggestion sounded good to me.
“OK” I said “but be very gentle and make sure you don’t push it in further.”
Next morning the father walked up to me triumphantly after devotions and smiling ear to ear announced, “Madam*…it came OUT!”
Here’s the seed and the kind of pod it comes from. It’s a tree seed. Talk about the potential to get big!
Case #3: For the past few months, there have been some conflicts brewing between two neighbours in the nearby community. They both receive help from the mission, which is why it came to our attention. So last week we called a meeting between the neighbours to discuss the issues that have been “sweated over” (for too long) but not dealt with. As it is many times, there had been one underlying offense but the remaining issues were "small" ones like pesky goats wandering where they shouldn’t...
and a dried fish that went missing from someone’s home.
We all talked for quite awhile then eventually apologies were uttered, Bible verses shared and prayers said.
A few days later I saw the one neighbour and asked if things were any better between them. She smiled big and said, “Ahhh, yes! Everything is good! All that stuff is gone now.” I do trust so.
So here are my "notes to self" regarding small stuff:
1. Ignore it, if you can
2. Pray and wait, so long as waiting is ok
3. Deal with it soon, when ignoring and waiting are not options, because small things tend to have “big thing” potential.
Dwight made a flight to Marromeu this week to make a small delivery of legal documents to a pastor who is working on adoption papers for Tendai, the little girl that Rick and Heather are fostering. Yet another example of small things with big potential!
And since my legs are no longer wobbly, I’ll get some updated photos to post here of current near-by construction projects:
Bridge sides going up. It's hard to get a picture of both sides, but the side you see has a mirror image just beyond where our dog, Mushu, is.
Mercy Air's house foundations got poured this week.
Steps in our backyard that we've been so impressed with. These were built by a bricklayer that has been with us practically since day 1 (13 years). He doesn't perform well with tape measures, levels and straight edges, but let him exercise some creativity with stone and cement and...wow! He's so proud of himself and we're proud of him. :)
*Madam: This is a commonly used term of respect here.