Dear Family and Friends, 9 May, 2009
Must try to report on a whirlwind trip home for two months. What a wonderful trip it was! I know that I say this each time but really, this was the best trip home ever! It was wonderful to connect with family and friends again and with the Body of Christ in St Louis. We had special times of laughing, crying, and praying together that will hold me through the rough times that will come during these next months that I am again far away. The physical distance between us is far but my heart is there with you.
The Lord did miraculous things this time of putting his children together in the right time and at the right place. His ways and His timing are completely perfect. Through new friends and then the introduction of more new friends, the Lord gave us a matching funds offer of $30,000 and an outstanding fund raiser evening in St Louis where almost all of the matching offer was given. Truly, God is so good! He has blessed us beyond even what we could imagine.
I have returned to Burkina, rested and refreshed, and ready to return to the work with all my heart. Only our God can work in our hearts like this.
This year, I left the projects here completely in the hands of four local workers who have been working with us for several years now. Liz and Brittany were here and they are both great helps, but since they are still new, I left all of the decision making responsibility in the hands of Adiara, Jean, Ernest, and Innocent for the orphanage, the school, the sponsorship program, and the clinic.
I want to report to you that on my return I found everything completely in order! In the orphanage, the children have been well cared for and well fed. In our school, the teachers, and the children have continued to thrive. The sponsored children have been cared for and looked after. And, the clinic project has continued to move forward. The money that I left for the two months of operating expenses completely balanced. And, the grounds had been properly cared for and maintained.
I am thankful to the Lord for the progress that He has helped us to make in training up these young leaders who carry much responsibility now in our projects. Please continue to pray for them and for me as we move into this next phase of working together and moving the work forward.
Just yesterday we received the news that one of the little boys in our fifth grade class fell from a tree and broke his leg. His mother refused to send him to the hospital because she knew that she did not have the money for any treatment that he might need. Instead, she sent him to her home village about 10 kilometers away for 'traditional treatment'.
In the past we have had several severely handicapped children come to our gate asking for help. In talking with the parents we learn that many years ago, their broken bone was treated by traditional methods and it had left the child unable to walk or to only walk with much difficulty.
So, tomorrow we will go out to the village of Francois to see if the family will allow us to at least bring him to Ouayaghuia for an x-ray. With that, we can determine what can and should be done so that the bone has the best chance of healing properly.
Also this week, the mother of one of our little ones, Estelle, age 20 months, appeared at our gate, about 8 months pregnant. Big sigh! The mother's name is Mariam and she is now 17 years old and nearly ready to give birth to her second child.
Mariam has been working in the gold mines about 10 kilometers from Yako for some time and most recently has been sleeping at the bus station in Yako. Mariam is sick and was asking us for help. She identified the father of this new baby and Adiara began to use her negotiating skills and persuasion skills with the named father to get him to take responsibility for Mariam and this new baby. And, the man said that 'yes' this is his baby and allowed Mariam to move into his courtyard. He is a young man but he made some huge steps towards maturity and adulthood in accepting his responsibility in this coming child.
On Monday, we will be making a trip to Ouayaghuia to get x-rays done on Francois' leg and a sonogram and blood work done for Mariam because this is a high risk pregnancy.
I am sorry that I do not have some photos to show you of these stories but I will try to give you the next chapter in each story real soon and include photos.
Love and blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma