I have spent the past 24 hours in bed with fever. Maybe it’s been fifteen years since I was sick! Phiona and Robert spent the day in town for car repairs. The exhaust pipe fell off and he was making such a noise on the road the police pulled him over. It took all day long because they had to move to so many places to find the correct part. I was home with all the children, officially in charge, but my sore throat and ear pain turned into fever and I could only lie on the sofa and feel sorry. I was able to deliver an important talk to the children about stealing and forgiveness. But right after that I returned to my place and went to bed suffering aches and a fever of 103. When Robert and Phiona returned at 7p.m. he took me to the doctor’s and Phiona stayed with my kids.
This was a first experience for me to be the patient in a doctor’s office here. I was in and out quickly, they took blood to make sure I didn’t have malaria. It turned out I had a bacterial infection and they gave me penicillin. All through the night the aches remained til I was able to take the second antibiotic dose and arise feeling mostly normal.
The last thing I ever wanted was to be sick here, I fear their medical abilities, but now I see it turned out just fine. I have mostly lost my voice with this infection and I am supposed to teach in the village tomorrow. If it is the last thing I do I will get that work done. Robert is the interpreter so he is the only one who has to be heard!
Today we are celebrating the children’s success with school and taking them swimming and for pony rides. It will be wonderful. They are so excited. I have to say Jack was so tender with me when I was sick. He made me tea with honey, wanted to give me a cold cloth, brought me water, babysat Kira, and he prayed for me holding my hand. He said maybe I am supposed to come with you on these trips so I can take care of you. It’s true, I really need his help and companionship. I was disappointed to lose an entire day here with sickness but what can I do. Some of the things I was going to try and do I might not get accomplished. The good news is the team here is so good they can do so many things for me when I am gone. It’s all going to be just right.
While I was flat out on the sofa shivering I listened to all of the children playing together. Some were playing , “go fish”, and others were putting together a puzzle. Some were outside kicking the ball. Last year the children used foul language with one another and spent most of their time yelling and arguing. They had no respect for one another. Just because they were all assembled to live together doesn’t mean they had to like each other. It was a long long struggle to get these children to how they are one year later, polite, considerate and kind to one another. There are the occasional personality conflicts but respect must come first. Robert said oh we fought so hard and so long to help them change their attitudes and they are so much better now. It is a great joy to hear them playing, laughing and being kind to one another. They have great respect for the adults in their lives. When I think of all the ways we have established their routines here, the most significant contributor of their success is our reward system. They can visibly receive rewards and praise when caught being good and doing right. They get tickets to get privileges. They also have a daily behavior chart where they get a green ticket for good, and yellow for just so so, and red for bad behavior. They really hate to get a red! They have responded beautifully to reaching their potential by doing good. If we have made this much progress in one year, I can only imagine how we will do next year! This ministry is a great blessing, and Robert, Kiah, Julie and Phiona believe and know God’s hand is upon this work. With all of our problems with outsiders we have still managed to make outstanding progress with the children! Tears of happiness are dripping down my face. It was all worth it. And we have such a bright future ahead of us.