Wednesday, January 18, 2012


We are doing well.  Things are busy.  The kids are doing great.  Annaleigh is out of diapers.  She did so well with potty training. Abigail is riding a bike with training wheels.  Colt has hit a growth spurt and is wearing size 10 men's shoe well before his 11th birthday.  Joel says when comparing my height to Colt's now that it is "officially a tie."  Colt is quite proud of this!

I am caught up on emails, which is amazing.  That will last til the next email sails into my inbox!  I am also trying to catch up on a few things with school, as well.  I think I'm caught up on guest house work to some degree, too.  There is still much to do at home, but it is nice to be able to see a bit of progress.

Allergies are really kickin' our tails right now-especially Joel's.  With dry season, there is so much Harmattan dust in the air.  Smoke can also be heavy at times due to all the fires.

Joel stays busy at the hospital.  I stay busy at home, with school, and with outside ministry opportunities.

I've written this while I've been up in the middle of the night, not able to get back to sleep.  I guess I'll try for just a bit more sleep now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Failes!

We absolutely loved our visit with George and Elisabeth in October.  They planned their time here around the 1st Baptist Church 50th anniversary celebration.  It was great to have them here.

Cindy Wilson with her two daughters, Ali & Natalie

                                                 We miss the Wilsons bunches!

The Women of Gambaga in October

Foot Washing in the Fall

This year we are in a homeschool co-op group with other missionary families.  We meet three times throughout the year in Tamale.  We are enjoying being with our friends.  This photo is of the chapel service held one day in the fall.  Nathan Esala led the children through a foot-washing ceremony.  It was very moving.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Mona Hewitt and I found a baby hedgehog outside our house one day.  Cute little guy, huh?

Abigail's Fourth Birthday in September

It's hard to believe our precious little girl is now four years old.  She is growing up.  What a happy celebration.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bernice's Story

Bernice is a special name for me. It is my late grandmother's name as well as my sister Jackie's middle name. It's also a name I'll remember from my time here in Nalerigu. 
It was about 7 pm when Elaine, a visiting medical student, from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston knocked on our door. She said that Bernice, who had been in labor and formerly had been screaming in labor, now lay on the floor unresponsive and with a barely palpable pulse. I'm not a brain surgeon, but something told me this was not a good sign. 
Elaine and I arrived at the maternity suite at the hospital to find Bernice pale and not responding to questions. The nurse midwife had send a red blood cell count or hematocrit which was 3.7. A normal value is 40-45 or so, so she had lost the majority of her blood. She was not bleeding externally so we assumed she was bleeding internally from a ruptured uterus. The baby had pushed thru her uterine wall into her abdomen rather than the usual way. 
I really did not feel like she would live. We prayed for her and set about looking for some blood. Baptist Medical Center does not have a blood bank. The patient is responsible for finding blood donors from friends and family. Bernice obviously was not in a condition to be looking for blood. One of the nurses graciously donated a unit of blood. Elaine also was a match so she donated a unit also. With two units of blood we decided to take her to the operating room. James, our nurse anesthetist, did a great job of managing her in the operating room. We proceeded with surgery and as we expected she did have a ruptured uterus. The baby had died and was floating in a pool of blood in the abdominal cavity. Elaine, the visiting medical student, assisted with the surgery. Having just donated blood, seeing a lot of blood at surgery did not sit well with her, and she fainted onto the OR table. I was able to grab her surgery gown across the table and gently let her down to the floor. She rested while I finished the surgery. The patient survived the operation. By this time, Dr Tim, a visiting dentist who had grown up at BMC had heard about the patients condition had donated another unit and the family was able to round up some more. At BMC, the blood we give is whole blood, rather than Packed Red blood cells which are given routinely in the states as they store easier. In this case, this helped, as whole blood contains clotting factors which help stop bleeding. 
By God's grace, Bernice did well and this picture is of her follow up visit to the hospital. We used this opportunity of others giving her blood, to tell her of the good news of Jesus giving His blood for us. She told us she was already a believer. We told her that God must have great plans for her after healing her from this sickness. 
Of note, Elaine did fine. She recovered and like a good medical student finished her on call rounds that night. Never a dull moment at BMC.


Christmas Photos

Thanks for all your Christmas photos.  They are great!  We have not sent out any Christmas or Easter cards in several years, for anyone wondering.  Our blog is the closest I'm getting right now.

I brought four cloth-covered bulletin boards with us this time to use for our Christmas card photos from all you dear folks!  I hung them up last night.  (Since we have concrete walls covered with plaster we have to use a drill with a masonry bit to hang pictures here.)  I am having such fun looking at all of your smiling faces as I hang you on the wall!  I have Christmas photos all the way back from 2008 that I am using if I don't have anything more current for each family.  Some of these cards have been to Ghana, America, Cameroon, and back to Ghana!  What good reminders these are to be praying for you.

We LOVE getting your cards and photos.  I posted our address a few posts back, but please ask if you need it and I'll be happy to post it again.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

No More Diapers!

Last week, on Thursday, I started potty training Annaleigh.  She, like the rest of our kids, is doing super.  She's catching on amazingly quickly.  How nice it is to have no more diapers.  I have to say I do not miss them at all!

What a nice week we've had.  Today starts a new year.  Isn't it nice to get a fresh start.  His mercies are new every morning.  I would think that is true all the more for the beginning of a new year.