Just the Postman
October 15, 2009
Just the Postman
It’s hard to believe that 3 months has passed so quickly but we will be leaving Tenwek Mission Hospital in the next 24 hours. Over the last few days my family and I have been remembering and recounting the good things that God has done during this trip. We are so thankful for “journey mercies” as we have traveled not only from the States to here but for all the journeys we have taken all along the highways and byways of central and western Kenya. We are so thankful that God has protected us from sickness, and so thankful that God touched and healed little Jack of malaria. We are thankful for the prayers that so many have offered and so thankful for the many people who commented on our blog or sent us notes of encouragement. Your prayers and your support were vital to what we have been able to do here for Jesus. When we were tired or discouraged or homesick we could feel the strength of your prayers helping us make it through.
I was thinking about what all God allowed us to be a part of while we were here. I was able to treat and encourage and bless hundreds of patients during our time here—in the clinic, on daily rounds, in the theatre (OR). I was able to relieve overworked long-term missionary surgeons, giving them a much needed break to recuperate from the hectic pace of this busy hospital and ministry. We were able to help a Rwandan refugee and widow with 6 children—by fencing her shamba (small farm), placing secure windows and doors in her home and building her a separate kitchen. We helped complete the classrooms and sidewalks at Mosop orphanage. We built tables and chairs for the dining hall at Bosto orphanage; we gave money to help support 31 orphanages at Kitoben orphanage and over four hundred orphans on Mfangano Island. We distributed two dozen soccer balls to orphanages and schools all around this area. We were able to bring much needed supplies to Tenwek Hospital (surgical mesh, surgical drains, and x-ray aprons). Jenn and the girls tirelessly cared for newborn orphaned triplets in our home (here on the mission compound) for almost three weeks. We were able to buy and install seat belts in a missionary’s vehicle. I was able to take a trip to explore the area of the Pokot people—to plan a medical and evangelistic outreach next time we are here in Kenya. My youngest daughters—Olivia and Sophia and several of their friends worked every week (baby-sitting, chores, bake sales) to raise money for the needy patient fund here at the hospital. Because of their efforts, one little girl will have a much needed heart operation done at no cost to her family. We were able to help several orphans with their school fees so they could continue their education.
Everything that God allowed us to accomplish here was because of you—your support, your faithful tithes and offerings to Lakewood, the special gifts you entrusted to us. We are so grateful to each and every one of you.
Several years ago something happened to me that forever made an impact on me. I was building an office behind my home so that I could have a quiet place to prepare my sermons. To my dismay and for no apparent reason, the contractor quit the project and would not return my calls. A dear friend of mine (who is a home builder) came to my home, assessed the partially completed project and told me he would help me. Within 3 weeks the office was completely finished. When I asked my friend for the bill, he would always say “later” or “don’t worry about it”. After almost month of trying to pay him he came by the house and said the completed project was his gift to me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, so overwhelmed that for the next few weeks every time I saw him I would thank him again and again. One day I was being effusive with my gratitude when he said to me, “Paul, when the postman brings you a special gift, you don’t thank him, you thank the person who sent the gift”. He went on, “Paul, I’m just the postman. God is the one who gave the gift.”
So our family wants to thank you for allowing us the honor and the privilege of simply being the “postman” who delivered your gifts and His gifts to the people of western Kenya. And may God receive all the glory.
Pray for our “journey mercies” as we travel home next Monday.