It's New Year's Eve and I'm sitting here in the ER. We had a scrawny little 3-year-old girl who came to the "clinic" this early evening still having a sustained high fever from malaria that was diagnosed last week and also lung problems. Poor little mother! If I'd spotted her on the street I probably wouldn't have guessed her to be much more than 14 or 15. She was walking around with both of her kids in slings - one on the front and one on the back. I got to tote around her perfectly adorable little might of a kid (maybe 1) while she attempted to soothe our squalling little patient. We weren't able to take her earlier as we had no vehicle. When it finally returned we were off to Metta with Bradley chauffeuring once again (his 3rd trip of the day - my 2nd.) One the ride in I was reminiscing on this time last year.
Last New Year's Eve I was in Burma lying on my mat on the floor of my bamboo hut listening to what I couldn't decide whether to be gunshots or fireworks. To me it sounded like gunshots and I wasn't sure that they'd have fireworks here. Earlier that day I'd heard someone say that there had been an agreement for the Burmese not to attack 'til after the New Year. Well, now it was New Year's Eve -- and, quite honestly, I was terrified and my imagination was running wild. I seriously considered running over to the guy's hut and asking if we were in danger, but thought better of it due to the time. I settled down with the knowledge in mind that if we would need to escape the guys would know and come warn us. I went to sleep claiming Psalms 91. Come morning, at breakfast I asked one of the guys about the sounds of the night only to be asked "What sounds?" Apparently he hadn't even been awake to worry about it. Must've been the fireworks. While amusing (in retrospect), it didn't exactly encourage trust in those I had assumed to be my night watchmen.
Going on through the year I see now much has changed -- and is changing. The schoold was attacked and evacuated (in my absence). It's hard to see change. There's been many painful times, trials, and obstacles. And yet it's beautiful.
I'm looking forward to next year when I can look back at all that will have happened this year. Life is truly an adventure! "We've nothing to fear for the future, except we forget how God's led us in the past."
So I'm sitting here with this tiny, ragged and only half-dressed child in my arms, hoping for great things this new year. I want to be able to see precious kids, like this one, healthy and clean, with food in their bellies enough clothes to keep them warm, and roofs over there heads.
God, help me to not lose focus. Keep my eyes fixed on the goal. Sometimes it feels as though this work is just a needle lost in a haystack, and it is... But You even notice when a little bird falls. Help me to remember that...
(Started in ER and finished later.)