Monday, October 20, 2014

It is well...

So much has happened this past month. It seems like whenever Jon travels, (Derbycon and Hacker Halted), things just happen. I'm sure things happen when he is here, but when he is gone they just seem worse.

About a month ago he headed to Kentucky for Derbycon. The morning he was to leave our youngest guard dog, Thorin, was not himself. By mid-morning we could tell that he was really sick, and our guts told us he had been poisoned. Now poisoning of dogs is quite common here. People will put rat poison in a cheap piece of meat and throw it over your fence, so the dog will eat it... get sick.. die.. and then someone will break into your compound. We immediately called the vet, and he sent a driver over to pick him up. Within ten minutes of our call, the driver comes. Thorin was almost unconscious at this point. His eyes droopy and puffy. His mouth horrible swollen. We had to carry him into the car and lay him down.

Jon was here for this part.. but within minutes of sending Thorin away, the driver was here to pick Jon up to take him to the airport.

The vet calls later to say that Thorin is on an I.V, but not doing good. Jon calls from the airport to check in. Of course he feels bad that he is going when I have to deal with the dog.

The following morning.. the vet calls at 6:30.... Thorin has had a heart attack during the night and died. He was such a good dog. He was always sitting at our front door step, guarding. He just was so sweet. I am so sad. I have to tell Declan on the way to school. Jon is over the Atlantic somewhere.. I'll have to tell him later.

Flash forward to this past week.. Jon got asked to speak at Hacker Halted in Atlanta. He is scheduled to fly out Monday night, which means leaving Jinja at 3 in the afternoon. He gets on his way. About two hours later... as I was greeting a new guest for the Bed & Breakfast, I notice that Kodi (our male german shepherd-father to Thorin) is not acting normal. It wasn't like he was acting sick.. he was just not his normal self. About thirty minutes later, Johnson comes to the door and says Kodi isn't eating the food he is giving him (which he usually loves). I head outside to see what's wrong.

Kodi is just laying down, but as I approach he gets up and just stands there. He is normally running all around the property and making sure the other dogs are in order. For him to just stand still, is quite out of character.

I call the vet. He says he is in town and can come in twenty minutes. (I have to say it is extremely nice to have the vet come to your house- the vets clinic is a good 30 minutes away). Kodi just stands with me.. I notice he is shaking.

The vet loads Kodi onto the back of his truck, with Johnson and Gerald accompanying him to the clinic. (Kodi does NOT like this vet-- a week previous to this, the vet had come to update the dogs vaccinations... long story.. but Jon ended up getting 10 stitches- guess that's another story to tell).

I don't hear from the vet til the next morning. Kodi had a temperature of 41 C. That is extremely high for a dog. The vet says he has given an injection (doesn't say what), and has him on an I.V. Later that afternoon, he calls to say that Kodi seems to be doing better, but he will keep him there to make sure he will eat.

Around 9pm that night, I get a call from the vet, saying that Kodi is doing much worse. That the high fever seems to have caused Kodi to have blood vessels in his brain to burst- he is bleeding from his nose. The vet says the prognosis isn't good.

Declan and I sit on the bed and cry.

Not again.

We pray. But I think I know, Kodi doesn't have a chance.

Next morning as we are heading to open the Keep... I get a call from the vet... Kodi has died.

Again... our dog is gone. Again.. Jon isn't here.

We do know that the deaths were not related. We are fairly certain that they both died from different things. That is wasn't poisoned meat thrown over the fence. BOTH deaths... could have been prevented.

Fumigators had come to the house to spray for bats, rats, fleas, fire ants, etc. Jon specifically asked them if it was safe for dogs. They assured him it was fine. Even so, Johnson and Gerald moved the dogs to the opposite side of the compound while they were spraying. Thorin managed to get off his chain and headed back over to his doghouse. The fumigators didn't stop spraying. Nor were we told he had gotten off. This was Friday. By Monday... the toxins had already taken over. Had we known Thorin was near the spraying... we could have given him an antidote. Organophosphate. Banned in the US for use... but still commonly used here.

For Kodi... Aflatoxicosis- a fungus that can grow in maize flour and ground nut powder. Both of which are extremely common to feed dogs here. The fungus causes a build up of basically poison in the liver... the liver gets to the point that it can't handle it anymore- they get ill- fever- and have a 70% mortality at that point.

Things that could have been prevented... but things we just didn't know about. Living here.. we are always learning. Sometime we can learn without anything devastating happening... probably half the time... something devastating does happen.

On top of Kodi dying.. I get an email from my mom with the news that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. What does that mean for her? What does that mean for me? For us here?

One thing I have learned living here....if I don't put my trust in God. I would have no hope. I am overwhelmed a lot of the time. But I know that God is with me. That is the ONLY thing that helps me get through times like these.

I recently found a new version of "IT IS WELL"- by Kristen Dimarco - It has been like a life line for me. To just play that song. To sing those words in the midst of sadness. It is well....(

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Back with a vengence

You know it's been awhile since blogging when..... you can't even remember what the name of it is. Way back when I started this page... I knew it was going to be a challenge to keep up with it. Having not blogged in over a year, proves that.

I don't even know if anyone checks here anymore.. this is more just for me to write down all the frustrations. Sure the year has had its up's.. but, do you ever feel like you've just had a horrible day..week..month...year... or years?! Now I know when feelings get involved our view on life can get very skewed. Let's just say that there are SO many feelings involved that it is really hard to see the good, the positive. I am trying.

This is my desert. I can relate to the Israelites wandering around in the desert. It's not that I don't feel close to God or feel his presence. With so many bizarre things occurring around me, it does make me doubt myself and others.

A friend of ours here said, "The hardest thing won't be doing your ministry, it won't be the nationals... it will be getting along with the other 'missionaries'". Why is that? Why is there so much dissension, so much gossip, so much back-stabbing amongst the missionaries here? Living in a small town, everybody pretty much knows everybody. Somehow.. when one person says something about another.. that is taken as law. No going and checking with the other person to at least hear the other side of the story. So is that judging? AND... since I am ranting... why is it that christians can use the "I was seeking advice" excuse to go and gossip? It's not seeking advice, if permission hasn't been granted to that person to go and mention what was told in confidence. IT'S GOSSIP. There is a saying, "If your not part of the problem, or part of the solution... then you talking about it.. is gossip". I'm not saying that ONLY christians do this. In the circle of people in this community... by FAR.. it isn't the Muslims, or the Hindu's or the un-churched... it is the very adamant christians.

Frustrated is not a strong enough word. So many things are going on in my life, that at any given moment I could just cry. Or scream. Not sure which would be better.

So.. I have been getting up earlier so I can spend time with God. I listen to worship/praise music a lot more. Is it helping? I don't know. I would like to say it is. I am trying to live like Christ would want me too. In spite of all the poo around me. When satan tries to get you down... he really comes at you FULL force. He plays with your insecurities. Pushes that knife in deeper. And at times... uses others to dig at you too.

Through all of this.. am I behaving how God wants me to? Regardless of how others treat me. Whether or not those around who hurt us are christians or not, it shouldn't matter, but for some reason it does. It cuts to the core. Especially when the hypocrisy is so thick.

What's the comment made by Gandhi? "I like Christ, it's the christians I don't."

What kind of examples are we when we can't even get along with each other?