And then there was a knock at the door.

And then there was a knock at the door.

Saturday night, August 28th

As I was recounting the events of the last few days in a letter to my sister I started to feel a little overwhelmed. In addition to the bus crash this week, our other bus which was doing double duty was broken down in Sawala leaving my sick friends stranded at the Lugoda Hospital and the Kibao clinic. Our passengers included some of our sickest. A mother who was coughing blood, a man with a huge ulcer in his foot, Siri who has cancer and AIDS and whose knee looked like a soccer ball and then the many who had been collecting their ARVs for themselves and for others. 9 o’clock on a Friday evening word came that the bus hadn’t made it back for its last load of passengers at Lugoda Hospital and I was at a loss with all of those people stranded there.

Godfrey managed to arrange with the nurses at the hospital to put our friends up there for the night. While I love my friends dearly, the Lord loves them even more -- and He never sleeps nor does He get tired or overwhelmed.

This morning though, I awoke with my mind trying to figure out what to do about Kiwale who is on to his way to death if we can’t get him to the hospital, about Leah who has diabetes which was diagnosed too late, about Thomas who just entered our lives with every sign of AIDS wrapped around his frail body, and about the girl Maria who was brought to my house on Friday who hasn’t spoken in 10 years. A myriad of illnesses, so many people, so many different backgrounds. And they all need help. They've come in desperation -- and their needs truly are desperate. And I've done all I can possibly do, and yet with my buses broken down ....

As I was feeling more than sad about the whole thing, I prayed what I pray when I am overwhelmed by the numbers and pain in our villages… And then there was a knock at the door. Sarah went to answer it, and I heard the name Ida. It started slowly to come together in my mind. The Lord heard my prayer before I even prayed it. He sent me a Landcruiser with a doctor and two nurses from the mission hospital at Ilembula which is about 5 hours away. They were here to see Ida’s daughters who are studying here at our school, but they also came to my door to see if there were any sick people that I might want them to see!!!! They could help me by traveling around with me to for two hours before they had to leave.

And that is what we did this afternoon. Kiwale has a huge ulcer in his thigh muscle that needed to be opened, Leah needed insulin immediately and maybe she can be saved, Thomas we were able to give him exactly what he needs until he can be tested for HIV, and for 20-year old Maria who hasn’t spoken in 10 years they were able to prescribe medicine for her that will be coming tomorrow. The exciting news after spending two hours with me running around to see these urgent cases is that they want to plan to come once every month to help with the village outreach – visiting those that would never get the chance to get all the way to their hospital.

The Lord is good. Good indeed.

They tell me it might take a month or longer to fix our bus. Anywhere else in the world our bus would probably just be written off and sent to the junk yard for scrap. But here in Tanzania there is hope of making that bus as good as new again. So please pray for the quick recovery of Huruma, for a cure for AIDS, and for the Lord to keep on answering prayers even before we can manage to pray them.

In His service,
Susan Vinton