Rabies, CPR, and Christmas (27/12/13)
Dec27

Rabies, CPR, and Christmas (27/12/13)

We had a good Christmas here in Kijabe…Visiting docs and friends joining us to celebrate, Mardi’s parents here from Australia, and a slight cooling down in the weather that reminded me of Michigan Christmases past:  memories of white Christmases, crisp and freezing air, and muffled footfalls in the snow during the traditional Christmas eve run with my brother in law. Christmas morning began with a tradition started by...

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Beautiful chaos / messy hope (24/12/13)
Dec24

Beautiful chaos / messy hope (24/12/13)

It’s Christmas Eve day…and while the last six weeks have been filled with unexpected turns and roundabouts, many little rays of sunlight continue to pierce the fog of activity in the last few days… 1.  Mardi’s folks arrived from Australia for a three week visit…it is great to have them here, and to have someone to look after the kids while we climb Mt Kilimanjaro with friends from Florida next week. 2....

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Caroling on the paeds ward (19/12/13)
Dec19

Caroling on the paeds ward (19/12/13)

Today was a busy day:  an unplanned trip to Nairobi for a 3 hour-turned-5 1/2 hour hospital visit for Riley and Mardi, Mardi managing a bursting-at-the-seams hospital struggling to cope with the current public hospital strike, me drafting a recommendation and evaluation report for the Hospital to award the construction contract for our new 600 cubic meter (159,000 gallons) steel water tank before Christmas (hooray!), developing...

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Of hormone test results and health care strikes (16/12/13)
Dec16

Of hormone test results and health care strikes (16/12/13)

We’ve had so much good news in the last few weeks—the mass on Riley’s pituitary gland doesn’t appear to be a tumor but a benign cyst, we’re not going to need to leave Kenya immediately for brain surgery—that I was a little unprepared when we received the results of her growth hormone testing today. Good news: the test was conclusive. Bad news: Riley has extremely low levels of growth hormone; meaning the pituitary gland isn’t sending...

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Prayer log:  December
Nov28

Prayer log: December

Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts…we rely on them.  Here’s the top things on our minds for the next month, and some feedback from answered prayers from our last month. Thank you for praying for us, and/or just being concerned with what is important to us! Looking back… We are grateful: 1. That the mass on Riley’s pituitary gland appears to be a cyst, not a tumor.  That she did so well during her...

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Being sustainable (26/11/13)
Nov27

Being sustainable (26/11/13)

This is Patrick.  Two weeks ago he was an 11-year-old running around his village, playing football, going to school.  But slowly, he noticed some tingling in his fingers and toes – then he couldn’t pick up firewood properly.  He became weaker and weaker, and his family decided it was time to go to the hospital.  The pediatric team quickly realised he had a condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome – the body’s...

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A disruptive life, and the Thiririka Vineyard Church (25/11/13)
Nov26

A disruptive life, and the Thiririka Vineyard Church (25/11/13)

Some months ago, I was invited to preach this Sunday morning at a new church plant, the Thiririka Vineyard Church in Kinale, at a thanksgiving service they were having to celebrate their new building.  I receive many invitations to speak at local churches, and rarely accept them as we are already quite busy doing our current work in Kijabe.  (Aside:  we have learned in our nearly three years here to be ruthless about making sure we...

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Joy amidst the tumult (23/11/13)
Nov23

Joy amidst the tumult (23/11/13)

It’s not all been storms and big news this week…after receiving the news that the mass on Riley’s pituitary gland appeared to be a only a cyst and not a tumor, and with my amoebic dysentery on the wane following some (crazy) powerful antibiotics, we wanted to celebrate.  The best thing we could think of was to start the Advent season a little early and set up the Christmas tree.  Hope and anticipation…yes, please....

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Update on Riley:  Answered prayers (19/11/13)
Nov19

Update on Riley: Answered prayers (19/11/13)

Dear family, partners, and friends Firstly, the update:  We heard back from Leland’s neuroradiologist friend a few hours ago, and both he and Leland concur – the abnormality in Riley’s pituitary does not appear to be a tumor.  They believe it is probably something else, a rare growth called a “Rathke’s cleft (pars intermedia) cyst”, a benign, fluid-filled sac about the size of half a penny.  If...

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Update on Riley (18/11/13)
Nov18

Update on Riley (18/11/13)

Summary As we mentioned in our last blog post, our six year old daughter Riley’s growth has been poor for the last year. On Friday she had an MRI of her brain and pituitary gland (the gland that produces growth hormone) to help troubleshoot this. We are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Leland Albright here in Kijabe. An expert pediatric neurosurgeon of 35 years who retired to volunteer in Kijabe Hospital, he has reviewed the MRI...

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