When I felt God calling me to Arusha last year, speaking to me through His Word, I never imagined it would be for such a personal specific purpose! Some of the verses that spoke to me last July, from Psalm 71:
“Be a rock of refuge for me, where I can always go. Give the command to save me for You are my rock and fortress…God You have taught me from my youth, and I still proclaim Your wonderful works. Even when I am old and gray God, do not abandon me. Then I will proclaim Your power to the next generation, Your strength to all who are to come…You caused me to experience many troubles and misfortunes, but You will revive me again…therefore, I will praise You…for Your faithfulness…proclaim Your righteousness all day long…”
|Teaching at the 2017 Baptist Women's Meeting|
I had a really rough start to 2017 so I kinda thought I was on the ‘reviving’ end of the year! I thought I was coming to mobilize others to teach children and youth in Tanzania!! When I found a house named “fortress”, then taught on the priority of children’s ministry at the 2017 National Baptist Women’s Meeting in July, I thought I was certainly on the right track! I discovered that there is little effective ministry to children going on in the churches. I was overwhelmed by the need to train teachers--so much work to do!! But here I was all on my own because the Baptist leader that I thought I would be working with moved! And then after the meeting we got the flu, my sweet Tanzanian daughter, Veronica, had horrible asthma and we were both sick for weeks! And work, my ‘new ministry’ just STALLED--cue crickets! Then Veronica or "Vero" got SO SICK I thought she had a bowel blockage! But we went to the doctor (found out she has fibroids) and she got better. In August, we had a guest from the USA and were able to host her and even do some ministry! But still no interest from any of the Tanzanian Baptists or anyone else about me WORKING—MOBILIZING OR TEACHING. So I waited; I prayed and waited some more. Honestly, I was really discouraged!
|Me, Vero, Teri & Baraka before teaching at Joshua School|
But God knew; He had plans and finally, here we are: Veronica, is having surgery Monday. HERE. IN. AFRICA. So we need your prayers! For me as much as her, maybe more?!! If you know me you understand what that mean. I didn’t birth this girl, but I have never felt more like her mother than this last month and these last few days!! We found out a month ago that she has multiple and large (one over 3” in diameter) uterine fibroids that are calcified, painful but though she got better, I knew it was really bad. They are certainly interfering with her life. We prayed for healing but God didn’t choose to take them away.
Last week, we went to see a new doctor (surgeon), Dr. Samuel Mgelwa. He said she’s both too young (28) and of the wrong tribe to even have them! But they must come out and surgery is the only option; laparoscopy isn’t available and he said she’s not a candidate anyway, so it will be a quite invasive procedure. And worst case scenario is that she could lose her womb. She’s only 28 and more than anything in the world, she wants to be married and have a family. God chose not to give me a husband and kids of my own, but he has given me Vero and other kids here in TZ!!! I know His ways are higher than mine; but I want so much for her to have her family!!!! I know God works all things together for good and we are in Arusha for a reason. Dr. Mgelwa said that the tribe with the highest incidence of fibroids in the nation live HERE….so that means the most experienced doctors are HERE!! I was impressed with his knowledge and manner o I believe she is in good hands. But it’s the before (admission, etc.) and aftercare I’m more concerned about!!
Last November, I ‘nursed’ a friend through surgery (she lived and still loves me). In January I had a hysterectomy(the best friends in the world took care of me because my family couldn’t). In March my mom got so sick we thought we would lose her (but I was there to help my dad with her care) but she got better so I was able to come back to TZ! So here we are now, and obviously God thinks I have enough ‘training’ for this! Hospitals here are nothing like in the USA…they don’t have fancy machines or greatly trained support staff. They do very little for patients and MUCH advocacy and CONSTANT monitoring by family is necessary. I mean, we have to take our own pillows, soap and toilet paper, among other things!!! I don’t know what to expect, except that it is going to be one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. And I’m not the one having surgery! Vero is!! But God knows all this and He has brought us here to THIS time and place, for THIS purpose. We are surrounded by our new ‘family’ in Arusha, our new pastor and his family and our neighbors here at the Joshua Foundation. They have taken us in as their own, prayed and cried with us and I have no doubt will be with us every step of the way. God knew we would need them; and again, if you know me and how much I HATE asking for (or receiving) help, this is a HUGE, HUGE deal. So we ARE blessed!! And we know that God is FAITHFUL!
|Vero and me at the Serengeti in 2015|
Vero will be admitted tomorrow (Sunday Oct 1) and have surgery Monday Oct 2 then be released by Wednesday or so depending on how it goes. I am asking for prayer for Vero, for Dr. Mgelwa and all the staff at the hospital, and for myself. If you know me well, you know that 80% of the time I am really easy going…but that 20% when I’m not is full on ‘hot mess.’ And that’s not going to help Vero or me or anyone else! God has been impressing upon me to read through Isaiah lately and today I finally started. I was so convicted by verse 7:9, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.” Please pray these things for us: may Vero and I STAND FIRM as witnesses to everyone we encounter at the hospital not matter what happens! Let me not ‘lose my witness’ when I get stressed by her suffering, incompetency, greed, my helplessness or whatever else goes on in Tanzanian hospitals. May God give us both PEACE and JOY in this time of His stretching and refining us. Keep up with our #AdventuresinArusha #PrayforVero on Facebook!
And God has His sense of humor and ‘perfect’ timing!!! Monday, Dr. Mgelwa called about the surgery then a few minutes later, I got a phone call from Sarah. Sarah is the head teacher of the Baptist women’s ministry training at Mt. Meru University. So, I have been invited to teach on Children’s Ministry at the Pastors’ Wives Training 10/23-29! So pray Vero heals quickly because we FINALLY have some work to do!!! Hallelujah!!!
Love y’all! God bless y'all! Thanks for praying and giving to my ministry here in Tanzania!!!!
Kay and Vero
How to give to my ministry: You can send a check, use a credit card, use PayPal or do EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) directly from your bank! Instructions on how to give are attached or can be found at www.willingtogo.com. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any information or have any questions!! Again, please join me in what the Lord is doing as I’m WILLING TO GO to TRANSFORM TANZANIA with the love of Christ and MOBILIZE OTHERS to live His story for their lives!