I knew it would be a full day, so I got up when my alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. I made my cup of coffee and grabbed my piece of mint brownie from the fridge. (side note, I enjoy eating something sweet with my coffee first thing in the morning even if it’s not a legit dessert time.). It’s 7:00, so it’s time for breakfast and radio roll call. We check in daily with one of our colleagues who lives in the city; it’s more of a safety check to make sure all is going ok with the different interior stations.
It’s the scheduled time to meet with the ten Moi ladies who teach different ladies’ Bible studies in the different small villages. We try to meet monthly to pray together and update each other on how our groups are going. If you just look on the outside, these ladies are a motley crew. Some still wear their bark skirts with no tops (they always wear beads though as that means you’ve got “your make-up on” for the day). They don’t really feel bathing is essential. What is important is to get food from their gardens every day, so their family has food to eat. No extra time to waste on bathing and washing clothes. So, they certainly don’t look the prim and proper type. But, I wish you could see their hearts. They are passionate about God’s Word. They are passionate about teaching their children about the Gospel. They are passionate about teaching other ladies. They are passionately waiting the second coming of Christ; they live in a rough world. My heart is blown away by their love for the Lord. I want to be like them.
After we’re done, I hike up to where our airstrip is located as I want to check on a Moi lady who had been bit by a snake the day before. They cut some slashes on her leg to bleed out the “bad” blood. That’s an old superstition, but likely not a bad idea for a snake bite. At least they only gave 3 gashes this time with a bamboo knife! The lady seems to be doing ok. Just weak. Others are taking care of her baby.
Then I wait at the airstrip with the many other Moi as the little mission plane is on its way. The new pilot will get checked out today, so he can start landing on our high-risk airstrip. The winds and the mountain blocking the approach makes it high-risk. He does 6 landings and does great! Praise the Lord for missionary pilots. Then he offloads all our supplies I ordered from the coastal town. Things like rice, soap, salt, oil, flour, etc. (We have no stores in here; it’s just a jungle.) Then it’s time for the pilot to take off, so we help a Moi family board the plane. The mother’s been crippled with some strange disease in her knees for like 3 weeks. We’ve tried different things to help her but nothing has worked, so we’re sending her to the coastal hospital to get xrays. Lord willing, we get answers. My heart aches for her because she’s seriously one of the hardest working ladies here. Strong as an ox usually.
It’s 2:00 by the time the plane leaves so I run home to make lunch. Rice, squash leaves, and a frozen beef dish that I had stored for a day such as this. By the time we ate and got the dishes cleared away, it was time for me to hike down to Biumanitadi, the village that’s only about a 15 minute hike from our house. It’s my turn to meet with the ladies down there for Bible study. As I approach the village, I hear wailing. I wonder what happened? I arrive and they quickly tell me that one of our older Moi men was hiking with the group headed over to the big Moi festival 3 days hike away, and just fell over dead. His daughter was wailing the most, of course, but everyone else is expected to wail too to show their sorrow. I don’t know how to wail like they do, but I am in tears as I watch my friend morn the death of her father. Where will they bury him? Could they carry the body all this way up and down the slippery steep trails? Or if they bury him over there where he died, how will she get over to see his body and bury her father? Each time a new group of ladies show up at the house, the wailing begins again. I tell the ladies we need to cancel our Bible study and just morn with the family. We hike back up to our village area as the daughter says she wants to go up to her mother’s for the evening. As we hike up the trail, we talk about God’s goodness bringing salvation to this mountain area. Now Dodonopiya is in the presence of the Lord! There is still wailing and mourning but not like it used to be when they had no hope of eternal life in heaven with God. It’s a beautiful change! I wait till dusk when most ladies have headed home. I ask Bumabea, the daughter, can we pray together before we go home. After another lady prays thanking God for taking Dodonopiya home to heaven, I ask if we can sing a song they’ve made about heaven. Bumabea smiles and starts singing in their chanting way about being with Jesus.
It’s getting dark by the time we get to the hamlet where we live. I look at each of these ladies that the Lord has placed in my life. I’m blessed. I’m thankful. They’ve taught me so much. They’ve taught me that our circumstances don’t bring happiness or sadness. It’s our response and perspective to each circumstance. They work hard and don’t struggle with wishing they had more “me-time” or self-care time. They know that life here on earth is hard work and challenging and risky at times, but there is so much hope for our eternal home.
I end my day with a warm shower. We have a solar heated water tank on our roof that has paid for itself many times over. I’m reminded that I have many comforts that my friends here don’t have. May I have a thankful heart. May they have a thankful heart. Actually, they do.