Monday, May 7, 2012


I haven’t even been back 2 weeks and all I feel like doing is complaining.  It’s never been so hard for me before.  But there are so many if’s now.  

If Zane’s fevers would stay away.  This is the root of my worries.  So it’s no wonder we are being attacked in this area.  I could be sick and not worry so much, but when your children are sick, it’s a different story.  You try to do the right thing.  I honestly think he’s fighting a virus from our trip out here, but still, you worry.  Part of me wants to pack up.

If special people would quit offering non-helpful advice.  You still get annoyed when people that you DON’T EVEN KNOW write to you and tell you maybe “it’s time to move somewhere else.”  There is a special place for those kinds of people.  And I don’t particularly care to hear from that person ever again.  It makes me want to password lock our blog. 

If it were not so DIRTY here!  Everywhere is dirty.  There is no escape!  In our house, the cleanest of places around here, it’s still dirty.  (Well, Wendy’s house has way cleaner floors!)  I came back home last Friday night.  Our house was clean ‘for here.’  You could tell that Zachee had cleaned the windows and floors.  He even cleaned the windows in our bedroom.  Still, there was dust.  I had gotten too used to the clean-ness at my mother-in-law’s house in Maryland.  It’s sooo dirty here!  Don’t even get me started talking about the hospital!

If it were not so hot!  It is stinkin’ hot right now.  I’ve even missed 3 weeks of the hottest time of the year here.  But it’s still stinkin’ hot!  It makes you lazy and unproductive!  

If it would just rain!  Apparently it’s already rained 3 times this year.  But it’s still so hot!  It’s threatened to rain three times this week already.  Last night I REALLY thought it would pour.  There was even beautiful lightening and dark clouds, but it just got all windy and spit several drops.  The wind is beautiful and somewhat of a relief I must say though. 

If I didn’t get this severe diarrhea!  Yesterday I was struck with cholera-like diarrhea.  I probably went 30 or so times.  Then, just as I thought I was getting better, I vomited severely.  Olen was sick last week with some fatigue sickness.  Everything was quite vague, but he looked awful.  

If my garden would grow.  It’s just so hot and dry here.  I pay Bria 2 dollars a day 5 days a week to water and make the garden grow.  But it still looks pretty desolate.  I don’t think it’s her fault. 

If the neonates would stop dying here!  I still have the picture from Sunday night of two perfectly-healthy-looking but dead baby boys lying on the table next to each other.  The first was there when I arrived just as it delivered; the second was a shoulder dystocia that had been stuck for over 5 minutes.  It may have been dead before I arrived, and it took me only a minute to deliver him.  Try as I might, CPR would not revive him.  Those two beautiful boys are forever etched in my mind.  Is what I’m doing even making a difference?  It seems like they just KEEP dying!

If we could teach to prepare for emergencies.  Another night this past week, I couldn’t find any DeLees (suction devices for neonates) to suction out the newborn’s lungs that were filled with meconium (poop stained amniotic fluid).  The ambu-bag that was there was broken.  The newborn wasn’t breathing well.  So I wiped the mouth off with alcohol and did resuscitative breathing.  Praise God she’s still living and went home after 3 days of IV antibiotics for her fever.  It seems sometimes like NOTHING has changed in the year and a half we’ve been here!  I had this problem when I first got here (no materials to use for emergencies) and it STILL exists!  

If the poor were not so poor.  Well, it’s really poor here.  Louise, the lady that does my laundry actually does quite well for here.  But she’s still very poor.  She makes 25 dollars a month.  Her husband is blind, and can’t work.  Louise and her large family have ONE mud hut, and a second one being built right now.  




I could go on and on.

If...then, maybe I could have some peace of mind.

So this blog is getting quite negative.  

I pause.  

I walk outside to my garden.  Yes, my dry and quite desolate garden.  My wonderful dad has watered the small watermelon patch, the 4 surviving grape vines, the squash plants that aren’t producing, the Oze’ (kind of like spinach), the 2 foot tall avocado tree with all of the leaves eaten off, and the 4 new trees that my sister gave me.   I take a closer look to see what’s still growing.  

I’m holding Zane who currently doesn’t have a fever.  I’m looking at 4 small mango trees that my mom has grown from seed.  They are now 6 inches tall.  I’m about to leave when I notice something else.  

It’s a pineapple plant!  

I planted 3 small pineapple tops several months ago and thought they’d all died.  They continued to get water because they were next to the mangos and watermelons.  There is a new bright green shoot coming out of one of them!  

If any of you are gardeners, you know of the joy you get when things grow that are not supposed to.  

I’m reminded of the Pineapple Story, the missionary who grew pineapples.  He finally gave all of his problems to God.  Yes, missionaries have problems too.  They don’t even deal with them the right way most of the time, but God is still forgiving and takes us back time after time again.  

I’ve never before grown a pineapple plant, but maybe God wants me to give it to Him and watch Him take control of that...and everything else in my life as well.   


  1. Aimee Morgan LalicMay 7, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Hi Danae! I don't have any words of advice for you...just know that we are praying for you and your family :-) You are doing wonderful work!

  2. I'm praying that God's grace and mercies will be poured out in your home and in your ministry that His love will be made evident.

    P.S. Please post a "wish-list" of items needed for both.

  3. I am a student at Southern Adventist University. While looking for a place to go as a student missionary, I found your blog, and have read through it. You are doing an amazing thing in Tchad, something few people would ever do. Please don't give up hope or the ministry that you are doing - though it may not seem as though you are making a difference, I know that surely you must be. All that you can give is of yourself, you can do nothing more, but that is all that God asks of us - he will take care of the rest. You are in my prayers. (Psalm 107:6)

  4. During my first "term" in Africa, I used my blog to get out information to family and friends in America. But over time, I used my blog to get out information to myself as a way to stay sane. Some blogs were beautiful and glowing with positivity. Others were downright sad and depressing. I received copious amount of criticism for the negative blogs. I even got it in person from an individual who visited for a week and didn't appreciate that I turned over my personal feelings to a public blog. She told me that a blog is like a journal and journal are supposed to be kept private. But she never lived in Africa for more than one week a year. So I excused her criticism for ignorance... and kept blogging! I love reading your words. Negative or positive... keep writing. I've been there and I understand. You have to write for sanity's sake. And even though I am a complete stranger to you-- feel supported!

  5. I wholeheartedly and completely agree with Shae! It's those who don't know who are most likely to criticize. Danae, I've never met you but I freakin' love you. Stay amazing. Ups and downs are normal. Sending you a HUGE hug from TN.
    - Nelly

  6. Danae, I hope the pineapple keeps growing as do your little boys into great men! Have a great day!

  7. I have never met you but I so admire you!!! I cannot imagine what you go through! You ARE doing a wonderful job. Blessings Nancy Crosby

  8. What wonderful bloggers you and Olen are, Danae! The truth has to get out there some way - and you're our only connection to your truth. Jesus said that when we know the truth, it will set us free. The best way is to admit you can do nothing, and I know you're both at that point! Then, when we can do nothing, God can do something - anything - everything. I don't know what that will be, but many of us are entreating God for you as we've seldom done previously. The work at Bere is under attack by the enemy of God - he doesn't want to see it succeed, and he is trying to drive off God's people who are working to establish a platform for God. Like Daniel, we are going to persevere in prayer for you for days and weeks and months and years. May God bring His and your prayers and dreams to pass. HUGS!

  9. You and your family are constantly in my prayers, Danae. When I read your blog, I am truly humbled. I just hope that Zane's fevers stay away so that you can have a little peace of mind. I remember being in labor and watching the late decels on the monitor and you offering such kind words while working feverishly and I saw something so special in you. God called you to this work and I know that He will not abandon nor forsake you. We love you and your First Spfld Church family is always thinking of and praying for you!!

  10. Your blog has reminded me time and again just how real the Great Controversy is. I appreciate how you and Olen grapple with the hard questions. I am reminded of the hardships missionaries in my family dealt with, and I am in awe once again at all the things that happen when we ask God to direct our lives.

  11. I suspect that if Satan thought you were supposed to go somewhere else, he would try to make Tchad as comfortable as possible for you.

    You and your family represent a huge threat to his kingdom, and are champions on God's side. Feelings are just feelings, and feeling weak means you're ready to tap into the greatest Power in the universe.

    Prayers go up for your mission every day!