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Can you believe I skipped church this morning – just didn’t think I could make the 7 a.m. service. I had a leisurely start, finished a fascinating book entitled: “Take this Bread,” a spiritual memoir of a 21st century Christian who had been an athiest. I used the word “athiest” in my class the other day and my students had never heard it and didn’t know what it meant. They cannot imagine anyone not believing in God and yet there are plenty of reasons for me to wonder when I see what I see.

I am glad that I didn’t go to church because the electricity went off and I was yearning for a bath and shampoo – managed to get it just before the electricity went off, otherwise it would have been a cold bucket bath. Sometimes girls have to do girl things, so I worked on my nails (never to be the same), didn’t get any tea or breakfast because I had no electricity. At noon I met with the New Yorker’s again with the Carpenter’s Kids for a dinner in the college library. I met so many interesing people, some from Australia who send money for medical emergencies and eye glasses. We don’t have to do big stuff – just little things with love.

When I came home I changed out of my clergy shirt and new African skirt and put on work clothes. Jessie has felt our “yard” needed attention so I raked the yard, meaning I raked the dirt. It bore a slight resemblance of a Japanese garden minus white sand or stones – just dirt.

Sandy McCann came over and said: “is your sister home?” Soon thereafter Jessie came home with wonderful stories and pictures that I can see her painting. The first thing she wanted was a shower but we had a rash of company and now many hours later she is finally getting her bucket bath. Isn’t it interesting how the simple things in life give us such pleasure?

We all need to re-evaluate our lives and determine what is important in the overall scheme of things. Do I miss nice bed linens, a strong shower? You betcha, but I have enough.

We continue to grieve over the loss of the baby. Jessie painted a picture of the great grandfather on the library walls last year. We feel a connection and a sadness. The father of the baby, Emmanuel Petro said it was God’s will but I don’t think like that although I do believe God redeems everything even is we can’t see it.

Wait until you hear from Jessie.

Oh, it is lonely here tonight with branches brushing up against the house. Soon I will crawl into my mosquito-netted bed and pull the covers over my head! I think of Jessie possibly sleeping on a cow skin although Sandy said she might have a bed. She is staying with Moses Motonya’s mother. Moses is the principal of the college and he will visit us in December just before he begins 6 weeks sabbatical at Virginia Theological Seminary. I had dinner tonight with Kate and Iri Moto, he from New Zealand and she from Tasmania. Both teach here and they are the salt of the earth. They even offered me a bed tonight if I was nervous about staying alone. I’m trying to prove my courage and think of my favorite things! Iri blessed the food before dinner and prayed for Jessie. I asked if the villagers would entertain her with songs and dance tonight. If not tonight, certainly tomorrow he said. Since there is no electricity there will be no “Sleepy Time” tea and no reading. Aren’t you just dying to hear from her?

A knock just came at my door with the familiar greeting: “Hodie.” I thought it was Sandy checking on me and opened the door. It was Jackson, the night guard (with a rifle) giving Jessie and me an invitation to a staff luncheon tomorrow to honor the people from New York here with the Carpenter’s Kids, a New York based organization that goes into the remote villages chosing the most vulnerable children and giving them school uniforms, shoes and school supplies. We met many of them last year when we went with them to distribute the uniforms.

Many have written asking how they can help. Checks can be sent to Mr. William Rose at 10 Walnut Creek Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374. Checks should be made to Karimu our tax deductable non-profit organization. For all who have been so generous I thank you with all of my heart. You can’t really have a grasp of this unless you see it. Yesterday we went to the Amani Hospital which sits unused and empty. It is a sound building but no money to reactivate it, but we have hope. Martin McCann dreams that someday it will be strickly a maternity hospital. Had the little baby that died this morning had the proper care he might be alive tonight. I took pictures of the OR and the instruments. They looked like something out of the dark ages. We are limiting our pictures because it uses up a lot of giga-bites on the Msalato bill. Plus I’m not sure I know how to download the pictures. I just take them.

Blessings to all who read our blog and who pray for us. Night-night.

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