The first real rains have come, making the humidity
rise significantly in this heat. And yet, I had just made myself
some tea, had finally sat down after running an errand, and was
ready to tackle the next task on my computer, when a knock came
on my window. Not again, what did they want now? (very holy thoughts
;-)) I've been trying to make the kids understand to only knock
when it can't wait another hour or two.
Well, today that knock was warranted. I saw that it was Fusseni,
our third and new kid. With a sigh I wrapped my Malian cloth around
my waist to go see what he wanted. I went to the door and opened
the window, asking what's going on. He said that Abdoulaye was injured.
I asked, What do you mean? Where is he? while opening the
door and stepping out. He pointed to the floor to my right. There
lay Abdoulaye, unconscious, a pool of blood around his head. It
had been Fusseni's job to wash the tiles, and they'd made a game
of sliding on the water on the tiles - until Abdoulaye slipped.
It took me a few moments to realize what had to be done next. I
called Seybou, who picked up the unconscious Abdoulaye - thankfully
because I get sick at the sight of blood. I was thanking
God for our car, as Seybou hopped in with Abdoulaye and we pulled
out of our compound. Only three weeks ago, we had had to go to the
"health center" close-by with Abdoulaye. I was heading
that way again, as fast as I could, all the while praying constantly
for my kid on the backseat. We arrived at the center, pulled inside,
and the realization struck me with terror that the center was closed
because of the public holiday today. Where to go now? I had no clue
where there was a hospital we could go to.
I pulled back out and continued on towards downtown while trying
to reach my missionary friend who would know the answer. I couldn't
get a hold of her. Finally I reached someone else who confirmed
the place Seybou had suggested. Little did I know that I had to
cross downtown - where traffic jams are a constant nightmare. I
was sitting in that traffic jam, fearing for my "son's"
life, praying hard. He still hadn't regained consciousness. Seybou's
white shirt was stained with his blood.
We finally arrived at the hospital, parked the car, and ran to
find someone who would take care of him. We followed a guy to a
little room where they put him on a bed. We told the guy he had
hit his head on the ground and lost consciousness which he hadn't
regained. He left to get a doctor. I couldn't believe how long it
all took until a doctor finally arrived. What if he was dying? Didn't
every minute count? Already we had lost so much time since his fall.
The doctor finally came, and just then Abdoulaye regained consciousness.
He was able to answer when he was asked his name. Praise God! He
looked bad, though. A big gash was on his head, and the bed was
blooded (even more). The doctor asked us to leave the room, so we
went to the reception desk to answer their questions for the paperwork
- name, age, part of town. Then we waited. What were they doing?
Would they tell us what was going on? Finally a lady (nurse?) came
and gave me a prescription. Go buy this at the pharmacy over
there. -- Right now? -- Yes. So I went and bought the stuff
- needles for an injection, bandages, etc. I was asking myself how
any Malian could pay that much money. I took the stuff and went
back to the reception desk, where they took the stuff to the doctor
so he could take care of our little one. Then we had to wait again,
and wait, and wait. It was unnerving. Does anyone tell you what's
actually going on??? I wanted to go back in there, be with Abdoulaye,
so he'd know he's not alone, that I'm there for him and with him.
Finally a guy (doctor?) came and told me, they wanted to keep him
for an hour or two to observe him. I started questioning him to
find out what was going on.
He told me that Abdoulaye had a concussion. The only hospital that
does head x-rays is the big one on the hill, and that's where we'd
have to go tomorrow morning. I asked whether I could go be with
him, and he said yes. So I went back into the room, where Abdoulaye
was lying all alone on a bed - his blood everywhere, and other stuff
on the floor as well. I took his hand and comforted him. I saw that
they had sown his wound (everything was still lying around), and
put a bandage on it. I talked to Abdoulaye to see how he was doing.
I told him, Jesus was there with him and had protected him, and
He'd heal him as well. I held his hand and prayed for him, as well
as singing to him.
In the meantime, our Bible students had arrived at the house and
found out what had happened. I encouraged them on the phone to start
praying! And no need to wait for us...
Finally the doctor released us to go. Abdoulaye was able to sit
up and to walk. We walked to the car, got in, and made our way back
home. Finally the adrenaline rush subsided. Abdoulaye was sitting
on the backseat, seemingly okay. In the hospital I had prayed that
the enemy would not take advantage of this trauma to get entry to
As we were approaching the one gas station with icecream, I asked
him whether he'd like some. He said yes, and with joy, I watched
Abdoulaye - as well as Seybou - eat their first icecream.
We arrived back home, where everyone was waiting eagerly to know
how Abdoulaye was doing. Our other two kids looked pretty sober.
We explained to them what the doctor had said, and that Abdoulaye
needed some rest and quiet now. For that reason, he'd stay in the
Once again, the Lord is speeding things up. The decision had already
been made that the kids would move into the prayer room (which I
will miss greatly), but we still needed to have bunkbeds made and
to get everything ready. Tonight, I put Abdoulaye's mattress in
that room, getting it ready as much as possible, and I took the
opportunity to announce to the other two as well that they would
move into the house. Paul will also move here for the summer months
- he has a 4-month vacation until the next academic year at his
High School starts.
I have already been teaching our kids for the past few weeks, and
we'll continue school every morning until my trip to the US in July.
Paul is assisting me in that, and he will also monitor the kids
the rest of the day. By the time summer is over, I hope we will
have found a teacher/monitor who can join our team.
With the kids moving into the house, life will change once again,
also for myself. And with all that's been happening the past few
weeks, the shaking, the fire, the shifting, the refocusing, more
changes are coming I haven't even shared with my team yet. Things
have been heating up, and this past week has been very difficult
for me, as one negative thing after the other happened. In the end,
it all works out for our good. Thank you, Father!
I do ask you to pray for me, for strength in the
face of (too?) much work and for wisdom to do everything according
to His will.
Pray also for Abdoulaye. He hasn't lost his appetite;
after a big plate of rice, he soon fell asleep while listening to
the gospel of Matthew in his language.
Pray also for our other kids - that they'd become
powerful men of God. That they'd fear and honor God in every day
Pray for our team; it's been under attack, every
person, and it seems like the enemy is winning by far too much.
In my Bridegroom King's service,
P.S. Hama has started his training at a non-profit center to learn
to walk. He goes there twice a week, doing excercises that hurt
badly, and his parents also learn how to do certain exercises with