Well, you know that whenever something is going to go wrong, it always seems to happen at the WRONG time. Earlier this month, I was headed out with one of our pastor's wife. We were headed to a wake for the mother and sister or another pastor's wife. I was driving our mission vehicle and we were in a traffic jam. Within a few minutes of being stuck sitting there, someone hit me hard from behind. All of a sudden, our evening's plans were ruined as we had to find police officers, make statements, take pictures and on and on into the night. I am going to admit that I was pretty frustrated with the whole ordeal. In my thoughts, my evening was ruined. We didn't make it to the wake. We didn't get to lend any comfort through our presence to the one grieving. However, I've been trying to remember that God was not at all surprised by what happened that evening. He wasn't sitting there twiddling His thumbs and saying, "All of my plans are ruined." Now I can't tell you what God's purpose was for that evening, but I do know that uses all things for the good of those He's called.
There have been many interruptions and changed plans for us this month. We had some follow up blood work done for Ben early this month to continue to watch what has become a long term issue with anemia for him. We've known about this issue since his first birthday, but treatment at that time brought his iron level up to a reasonable level and although he's been on maintenance iron treatments since then, we'd mostly not worried about that again. Back in October a blood test while Ben was sick showed the problem was back strong. We treated with serious doses of iron supplement and kept him eating all of the iron we could pump into his diet. Now after a few more control labs, there seems to be no or negative change. Thanks to the gifts of Southern Baptists, we'll be on our way to South Africa next month to try to figure out what the problem is and how to treat it. We just don't have the specialists here to really get at the problem. If he were an adult, we could probably go further here, but he's just a little guy.
So all of a sudden, my work in Abidjan is interrupted. I was to go on a trip to France to aid some incoming personnel: cancelled. We have a couple coming in to our city that I should have been helping start language: can't do it. So, I suppose I'm learning a lesson about leaning on God and trusting Him to direct my path.
We would appreciate your prayers on Ben's behalf. If only you could see him, you probably wouldn't worry too much. He's our little wild and silly boy. He doesn't look one bit sick save for just a little paleness and that could be just his lighter coloring in comparison to the more olive coloring I've inherited. He loves to run and play with his older siblings and he's always into something. Everywhere I go, I'm known as Mama Benjamin, because everyone knows Ben! He's always making a splash and leaving his mark.
Although I don't know the end result of where we are going, I do know that God is already using these circumstances to bind us with believers here. Many are praying for little Ben. One family in particular has become very close to us over the last few months. My trip out west sealed a good friendship with Viviane, a pastor's wife. We'd been working together in her neighborhood, but after our time together out west, it was obvious that the two of us are well suited as friends. Friend is not a word that I throw around lightly. I don't make friends all that easily and now that we are living in a culture so different, it is even harder. I am so thankful for God for this dear friend He has allowed me. Being vulnerable and in need seemed to be just the thing to bridge the gap.
Although we are embarking on the this crazy new adventure, we are trusting that God's timing is perfect and that He'll guide us each step of the way and give us the strength and the grace that we need for each new day. I'll try to update you as I know something.