So first, I’d like to say thank you to all those praying for us. We don’t have good internet access to confirm for ourselves, but we understand that there are many of you passing around our blog address and spreading the news on Facebook to pray for Zane. We covet your prayers and believe strongly that your prayers, no matter where you are and no matter where we are, make a difference. As a child, I always imagined a giant granary-type silo, the kind you see strewn across the midwest, floating in the sky on a cloud, with white-robed winged angels, one on each side, each with a hand on the door. Then I would imagine a prayer reaching them and they fling the doors open and blessings (somehow in my child-like imagination, blessings came out like corn kernels) flooding out onto the earth below. (I think my brain mixed the movie ‘Witness’ with some Ellen G. White.) Actually, I suppose this is how I still occasionally view prayers. Child-like faith. It’s not a bad thing.
Zane still spends most of his day happily playing, crawling, babbling, putting inappropriate objects in his mouth, subjecting himself to his brother’s mischief and doing other normal eight-month-old activities. But he’s lost a couple pounds and keeps having these fevers. Today was 101.5. Yesterday was 103. Danae is threatening to take Zane home if he’s not better next week. It’s been about a month, so I suppose that’s reasonable. Although I still don’t know what they’d do differently. I can’t imagine too many US pediatricians being willing to start an eight-month-old on IV quinine.
Anyway, please continue your prayers that Zane will be better by then so we won’t need to make that decision.
While I’m writing, I’d like to thank Sandia View Academy, Fully Accredited Adventist Education, for their care package. (This is THE ‘SVA’ by the way, not to be confused with Shennendoah Valley Academy, shout-out to Paul Pelley, or Spring Valley Academy, shout-out to Harriet Snyder.) Wendi Clapp, teacher extraordinaire, coordinated the students there sending us words of encouragement. They are not the first to encourage us, nor the first to send us a care package, but receiving 26 hand-written letters is awesome. Texting is gr8, email is HYPERLINK "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com, but a hand-written letter is just so personal. To show my gratitude, I want to write you back a hand-written letter. But I won’t. It’s just too hard. And the post office is like 42 kilometers away. So I’ll give you a blog shout-out. (Are the kids still giving ‘shout-outs’ these days?)
Jeremy, I totally agree with the Devil putting stumbling blocks in our way. And I agree that it’s a sign that he doesn’t like what we’re doing. Like last night, we held evangelistic meetings here. The daughter (#1) of one elder (#2), a teenager, went up and bit the wife (#3) of another elder (#4). #3 then figured she could throw down on #1 and proceeded to do so. Then another daughter (#5) of #2 joined in to defend #1 against #3. Eventually, #2 himself started beating on #3. So it’s #1, #2 and #5 beating up #3. And don’t forget that #2 is a man now beating up a woman. And these are all church members there to support the evangelistic campaign. And this was, I’m not even making this up, during an altar call for those who want to be baptized as new members. I’m not sure if we’re going for the join-our-church-or-we’ll-beat-you-into-submission tactic or the join-our-church-slash-fight-club recruitment routine. Anyway, thanks for understanding, Jeremy.
Naomi, I love getting kudos. And I give you kudos for giving kudos. Kudos rock. My friend once vomited Combos, which kind of sound like Kudos, but are intergalactic (as far as I can tell) cheese-type substance wrapped in pretzel. He blames the Combos, but really, I think he barfed from a lack of Kudos. And seasickness. And don’t worry, I won’t tell Ms Clapp that you think chemistry is blehhh. That’s just between us.
Miranda, total bummer about the fatigue. You know what I’ve found helps? Like pounding five Red Bulls right before Ms Clapp’s class. Trust me, you can’t regret this decision. If she tries to scrape you off the ceiling with a fly swatter, just tell her it was my idea. And I couldn’t agree more that God helps us, regardless of our age. Which reminds me... did you know that Danae is like totally way older than I am? True story.
Rebeca, you’re so right. Opening the Bible does help. Lyol’s got cute little Bibles in French and English that he likes to read. Awesome missionary.
Areli, send me your resume when you finish college. We need some good nurses. Nursing is an awesome career. You can go anywhere! Both of our mothers are nurses. It’s such a great chance to reach people when they’re sick and scared and hurting. I often wish I was a nurse, because they have more time to spend actually getting to know the patient. I’m jealous.
Ariana, I think you’re awesome too. I’m proud of you. I’m sure your family is too. I’d give you the same speech your grandpa would. I think he sounds like a pretty wise guy. Oh, and your aunt’s right, labor hurts. Bad. According to Danae. I wouldn’t know. Hey, you know what’s cool? We’ll get to live in a mansion in Heaven. Awesome. And I don’t think you’d make a very good doctor... your handwriting is too neat. It took me years to learn how to write sloppily enough to be a doctor.
Janelle, I have a secret for you. I once got woozy during a surgery. I actually had to leave. But now, don’t worry, I can cut people open without feeling bad. In fact, I enjoy it. It’s fun. Wait. That doesn’t sound right. You know what I mean. Right? Janelle? Hey, come back!
Amanda, With God, all things are possible indeed! That’s how we got through medical school! Sincerely, Olen.
Luis, pretty sweet that you are building bridges in physical science class. I suppose you’re right, we could say that we’re building bridges between life and death. But all the patients we see are alive. If they were dead, they wouldn’t come to the hospital. So if we’re building them a bridge to get from one state to another, that would mean that we must be building them bridges from life to death. Although palliative care is an under-appreciated field of medicine, it’s not really what we’re trying to do with most of our patients. But sweet that you speak three languages! And you’re right, the stars are awesome here! No light pollution!
Katie, thanks so much for your prayers. Keep ‘em coming! Sorry Chemistry isn’t really your thing. Do think it’s like totally blehhh too? Or was that just Naomi? Oh shoot. I wasn’t supposed to tell anybody that Naomi though Chemistry was blehhh. Pretend I never said that. Very cool that you have good, caring, understanding teachers. My Chemistry teacher was Mr White. He was awesome, except he made us memorize the first three lines of the periodic table the first day!
Samantha, we actually started playing volleyball here! We have a net and a ball and everything. I think you’d really like it. And no worries, you still have a few more months before you need to choose between being a general surgeon or a cardiothoracic surgeon. And if that doesn’t work out, I bet you could be a professional origami artist, judging by the folds on your paper.
Robert, 23rd Psalm is a classic. Love it!
Jean-Luc, total bummer about your chinese water dragon. I’m praying for all your other lizards. I hope it wasn’t some communicable disease like amphibitis or something. I wish I had been there for you, but really, I don’t think I would have been much help at his passing. I think CPR on a lizard might have just caused his eyeballs to fly right out of his head or something. We’ve got a lot of lizards around here, I suppose I should start paying attention to them in case one croaks or something. Of course, if he croaked, he’d probably be a frog, not a lizard.
Phillip, I loved your inspirational story about starting the fourth quarter of your basketball game with ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Bummer that you lost the game, though. Sometimes we just don’t know why bad things happen to good people.
Olivia, no way! Clapp’s in charge of drama too? Ok, here’s my idea... let’s turn our blog into a full-length play, with like at least four or five different acts. Good idea, right? Let’s do it! We just need to convince her that it was her idea from the start. Olen (heart)
And to my friend who wrote the twelve-page dissertation but forget to leave his name, nice. Is Ms Clapp giving extra-credit by the page, or what? How did the mission trip go? Eighteen sermons? That’s awesome! That’s like more sermons than I’ve preached in my entire life! And I’m a missionary! Was it the ShareHim stuff? And I love your bus stop evangelism! I wouldn’t worry too much about electromagnetic pulses and blackouts. Here where we live, I think that must have happened about 200 years ago or so. They’re still surviving.
Dear Mr and Mrs Arkusinski. Congratulations on your marriage. We have your wedding picture up in Lyol’s room. When I did Marriage and Family, there were way more girls in the class than boys. So I had two wives. Rahel Davidson and Julie Dalson. I was definitely the envy of the class. Rahel and I got divorced, but not until we had a son, which we named, of course, Lyol. I remarried Julie. Anyway, it was all very amicable. Lyol, however, struck a remarkable resemblance to a ten-pound sack of flour.
Raiden, you want to know what Ms Clapp was like in college? One word: Emo.
JT, you’re totally right: There will always be people willing to metaphorically sacrifice themselves. But you know what’s not a sacrifice? That we have about 3,498 metaphorical mangos on our metaphorical trees. There’s no way that we can even metaphorically eat them all! So we’re trying to literally eat them all. It’s awesome!
Kristen, I like your name. I bet my sister doesn’t, though. Her name is Kristin. She spells it differently. (Or ‘the right way,’ is how she would put it.) Which reminds me, we have a literal and metaphorical ton of mangos. Incredible.
Aimee, I love your quote of Romans 15:4,5. Want a mango? I have a lot. Like, more than I can literally eat. I’ll give you one. Metaphorically. Man, these are good mangos. Did I mention that I’m actually typing with one hand while I eat mangos with the other?
There were also a few letters written to Lyol, so I’ll now turn the computer over to my three-year-old son to answer them...
Eliab, your dad went to Africa for a month as a pastor? So he was like a missionary for that month? That’s so cool. I guess we have missionary parents in common. But seriously, dude? You don’t like fruit? We have mangos, papayas, guavas, limes, lemons, oranges... still nothing? Seriously?
Matthew, life is going to get harder soon? Dude, you’re like such a Debbie Downer, man. I’m glad you had fun on crazy hair day of spirit week. Last time we did that, I put red paint in my hair while my mom wasn’t looking. Well, actually, I guess that wasn’t technically during spirit week. It was just a random Tuesday.
Russell, rollerblading? What’s that? I need to drive 42km before I can get to the nearest patch of concrete.