Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wheezing, Malaria, Burns, & Terrorism

Malaria, Wheezing, Burns, & Terrorism

There is no good place to begin since our last blog entry.  So much has happened.  We are tired, but we are recovering.  Many readers may have received email prayer requests and so this may be redundant but bear with me.

Not long after our last entry on 9/3/13 our youngest began to have significant wheezing (significant as defined by his parents in a rural African town).  We were on the phone with a dear doctor friend at home and with some medical folks from our company.  After several days of pretty heavy treatments nothing was getting better.  On the fifth day our company decided to fly Benny and me to Nairobi to see an allergist and try and get things under control.  We were in Nairobi one week waiting on Benny to improve with new medication.  Two days before we returned home, Sarah called me with news that Nehemiah and come down with Malaria.  They visited the hospital to confirm with blood work and he began treatments that day.

We finally were able to go back to our family in Iringa on a Friday.  We arrived in the morning, had a great lunch with our whole family and decided to visit a friend’s house out on the edge of town.  It was here that Nehemiah (our 3 year old) stumbled in a dark room and fell into or over a small charcoal stove that had a pot of boiling water on it (We, nor our host, realized that an adult sister was in the room cooking with this small charcoal stove).  That night, while he laid on my chest with burns on his backside, he took his final malaria treatment.  Poor little guy was having a rough go of it.

He suffered 2nd degree burns on his bottom, the back of his thighs and on one foot.  We rushed him to the local hospital and then the next day by the Lord’s provision we flew back to Nairobi with the entire family for Nehemiah to receive proper care for his burns.  We are 14 days past the accident now and Nehemiah is doing better each day.  He is eager to bust outside and burn some energy but we are trying to keep the reigns on him a little longer. 

We are so thankful for the Lord’s healing and the hundreds that have been praying for him.  We will be in Nairobi for a few more days as we make sure we are all rested and NLD is totally healed before we head back to Iringa for language training again.

Roughly one-mile away terrorists attacked a shopping mall and murdered over 60 people.  Sarah and her mom (Susan, Sarah’s sister Kelly, and a dear friend Martha Hester came to Nairobi to love on us and encourage us as we dealt with another trial) were getting in the cab headed over to Westgate (the mall attacked) when the taxi driver said he had heard there was shooting there and he took them to another mall with grocery store.  Again, we are thankful for the Lord’s timing and protection for our family, though our hearts hurt for the many that were slaughtered by the radical Islamic terrorists.   It has been surreal to have something to terrible to happen so close by.  We could see the black smoke billowing up from the explosions in the mall from our yard. 

So, boring our journey has not been!  It has been quite a ride so far in Africa.  Adventure would be a gross understatement, but through it all we are thankful to God that is has not been worse and that he has been our protector.  We are committed to our service and we look forward to what lies ahead.  We do thank many of you that have sent notes, emails, and prayers our way.  It has made all the difference.

Hoping October holds better days for our family and East Africa,

The Dinkins

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our first Sunday in Tanzania at church
    I am trying hard not to begin this post with some Swahili.  It is tempting to "show off" our new language skills, but I would inevitably make mistakes that someone would notice.  We have finished our first month of language school here in Iringa and it has been eventful.
     We have had a few setbacks, but thankfully by God's grace we have bounced back each time.  Benny suffered trough a terrible ear infection, we all took turns with some stomach issues (thank you Africa), I was in bed a couple of days with a bad back, and Nehemiah slammed his finger in our door and completely sheered off his right middle fingernail.  That required a trip to the local hospital to make sure it wasn't broken or didn't need more attention than we could give it with our $15 Wal-Mart first aid kit. After cleaning it, the surgeon inspected it and felt comfortable it would heal.  He said it would take up to a year for it to completely heal and look normal.  Please pray that the Lord would heal it totally and that we would be able to keep it clean and injury free while it does!
Haircut time
     Our language lessons are going well and we are making steady, if slow, progress on vocabulary and basic grammar.  We are finding out that the easy part is memorization and recognition of the written words but hearing and understanding the locals speak is whole different task.  Rainey seems to do this much better than Sarah and I.  I think her musical ear is really paying dividends.

   Sarah's chickens are doing well, we just had four small chicks hatch this past weekend.  Asa and Nehemiah are ecstatic about having more critters.  These will be on top of the kitten Rainey has adopted and the turtle that our language teacher brought the boys!
Rou painting the fingernails of a new friend
    We had the chance to visit Ruaha National Park this past Saturday.   It was truly amazing to take in God's creation in such a close-up fashion.  We saw 8 lions in three different groupings and two of the sightings we were able to drive within about 10 yards of them.  They were magnificent.  It was a little surreal, being so close and knowing that if you got out of the car you would be dead in minutes.  We also got up close and personal with a pile of elephants and giraffes and even saw some Kudu, which are usually pretty reclusive.  We hunted hard for cheetahs and leopards but struck out, but there is always next time.

     We have had opportunities to share our faith with some that speak English and have been encouraged by their responses.  We look forward to the day when our Swahili doesn't present boundaries with the people we come into contact with or the work we will be doing with the NGO.
Took this picture off of our back porch
     Rainey and Asa started Iringa International School on Monday and have had fun getting back in a school rhythm and meeting friends.  Their classmates are all African or European, but each of them have a few American teachers so they have enjoyed connecting with them.  Below are some more pictures of what we are up to and what life looks like on this side of the world.  If you would like more real-time pictures or updates on African happenings, follow Sarah, Rainey, or me on Twitter or Instagram, the buttons are above.
     Following Him,

     The Dinkins


Rou's adopted daughter, Gladys