Saturday, June 11, 2011

Game Night & Fellowship

Well, it's Saturday morning here at Mbingo. Melissa just got in from checking on her patients and we are getting ready to go to the market as well as a hike with some friends.  Last evening we were invited to The Palmers home for dinner along with some other visitors that happen to be here at the same time we are here.  There are two girls who are studying diet and nutrition from North Dakota and also a young surgery resident from Singapore.  After a nice meal, the missionary Tom, who took me to see the Fulani Tribe the other day, came and picked Melissa and me up for game night at his house.  We had a good time playing Farkle, which is a new game to us that we were taught by The Ipsens (a visiting family from Joplin, MO). Brian Ipsen is a talented young Orthopedic Surgeon, he and his wife Amy, and their three kids along with Amy's mother are here for a month.  We had a good time with Tom, his wife Ellen, and another young couple who are from Switzerland, Christoph and Sarah.

At some point this weekend I will need to prepare for a "sermonette" for the staff chapel on Monday.  The chaplaincy department has asked me to speak on Joshua 7:7-12.  I have been really moved by the acceptance of my services here by the chaplains.  They have been so embracing to me, it's amazing how the family of God, when operating like Jesus wants it to, is like a real family of brothers and sisters that no matter the background, orgin, or skin color, we love and want fellowship with one another. Speaking of the chaplains, one of the chaplains who works in the afternoons, named Ephesians took me on a complete ward tour the other night.  We went to every ward (except maternity and TB) and greeted all the patients. Some would want prayer and some just needed a friendly smile.  One woman called us over and wanted prayer for post surgery nightmares that she was having during her sleep. The next day, Ephesians and I were in the chaplains office and he said, "You know dat woman having de nightmare in her sleep? She called me over today and said Pasta (Pastor) Pasta, de nightmares stopped!"  It's amazing to see how God is working!

Another cool thing that I did yesterday was getting to stand in on two surgeries with Dr. Steve Sparks, the chief surgeon here at Mbingo.  He asked me on Wednesday at tea time if I wanted to come watch, so we set it up to come in on a shunt placement for a baby and a mastectomy on a breast cancer patient.  The shunt placement was actually on a baby that is in our children's ward, so after morning devotions as I was leaving, the mom asked me to pray for the baby's surgery. I prayed for the baby and told the mom that I would be in on the surgery as well.  During the surgery there were a couple of complications, but it was a success.  It's amazing to watch Dr. Sparks work, and when he gets to something that is risky, he says "Father, we need a little grace on this one right here."  You kind of hold your breathe and just whisper "Jesus".  There is power when we call on His name. As soon as the surgery was done, he looked at me and said, "Jeff, let's go to tea!" I knew that the mother would have been waiting, since the surgery went longer than expected, so when we left the theatre, I looked over and there she was with a worried look on her face.  So, I looked at her and smiled with a big thumbs up.  The relief that came over her face will be a picture in my mind forever!  After tea and watching the mastectomy I went to the surgery ward, and checked on her and the baby and they were doing just fine.

Melissa and I are feeling pretty tired from all the running around here and there, but God is helping us.  We made a choice when we arrived here that we were going to go full throttle and try to make a difference while we are here.  So, when opportunities come to us that seem alittle out of our comfort zone, we just say "yes" and ask God for His help.  A big part of that extra boost that we are feeling is coming from your prayer support that we can sense each day that we are here! We love you all! - Jeff & Melissa

 Jeff & Lesslie (Social Worker)

 Singapore Resident and Melissa

 Dinner at The Palmers

                                                                    Game Night at Tom and Ellen's

1 comment:

  1. Family Game Nights are a dying tradition, it's so sad! There's no better way to spend quality time with the most important people in your life..we recently started doing a monthly Neighborhood Family Game Night; the first week of every month, all the families in the neighborhood get together (we rotate houses, and the host house provides dinner!), we play team board games like Pictionary and Cranium and Twister, have spinning wheels with small prizes, and set up a projector to watch movies! It's a great way to get to know the families in the neighborhood, make new friends, welcome newcomers to the neighborhood, and spend a fun night with your family! :)