What my little heart desires.....

well, besides SNOW. i know, i know...some of you are tired of it. Quite frankily, you NEVER hear me saying it, but I'm really over all this heat...it's getting the better of me. I'm really looking foward to a little cold weather......please snow, please snow, please snow.....

Ok, on to what my heart really desires:

Lately, I've been quite enamored with some textbooks and manuals.....gasp. I know. but, i have. and no, it does NOT include the "s" word (school). I think it's in an effort to gain a little more knowledge and to be a better nurse here. A few of you are probably confused, as I've only admitted that I'm staying through the end of August and what with my break and all, that's only another 6 months. I am fully aware of how dumb this sounds. Here's a secret.....God only tells me what I need to know, when I need to know it....cause I'm stubborn and quite frankly, can't handle it! So while I have NO clue how long I'll be here at Zimpeto, in Mozambique, or on the field.....I do have a super big desire to increase my library of helpful books. Also, I'm looking into a 2 wk crash medical intensive course for people in the field of developing countries that just so happens to fit into my break in September of this year.....that said, I can only guess, where this is going.......

So now that you are all very interested in sharing this journey with me....I'd love to share the books I really want to use in equipping me to help these kids the best I can. If you are interested in perhaps funding a book or part of one for me.....or you are just interested to know what they heck I need help with.....click onto my Amazon wishlist below (of course, the latest edition is what my heart desires, since medicne changes rapidly, but it does not NEED to be NEW!):

My Amazon.com Wish List

PS....I'll be in the STATES until March 10th at which time, I could, very easily, pack these puppies in my baggage and whisk them away to Africa. And amazon has free shipping often times. Just saying.....of course.....I love paperbacks especially, as they decrease the weight of the book. Books are HEAVY! but I have to say, I'll take newest edition over weight anyday. ok, just another tidbit for you.


Update on Antonino

I have an update/prayer request for you.

Antonino who just came to us from another center needs prayers over these next few months. Please scroll down to see a picture of him under the post titled "new kids." When I admit any kid, i do a full head to toe assessment-ears, eyes, throat, listening with a stethoscope everywhere, Vital signs, any kind of sores & wounds, weight, lymph nodes, basically the works. Anyway, the moment i put my stethoscope to his chest I knew he had a heart problem. He has a very large murmur. I took him to our clinic doctor that very day (who's studying to be an anesthesiologist-score one for having some competence in the heart area) and he agreed and immediately wanted a whole battery of tests done....or said i could take him to the private heart hospital in town. Well, i chose option B as they actually bring in western doctors and do open heart surgery blitzes, know things, and i would eat off their floor it's so clean.....so that being said.....to ICOR we go. We got an appt but it was the friday before last when I left for some down time, the other nurse erin was enroute back to the base and that left our Brazilian nurse(and only other western nurse on the base at the time) to take him to the consult. She doesn't have much experience with pediatric heart problems and couldn't remember the name of what they think he has by the time she arrived back home with him. But what we do know is....they think it is VERY serious and are waiting for the top heart specialist to come back from vacation at the beginning of March before they do anything. So he has another appointment while I'm away in the states on the 2nd of March. I have noticed that when he's playing very hard, he tends to get a little blue around the lips (which means his heart isn't able to keep up with his body and he's not getting quite enough oxygen) and that he's capillary refill (when you squeeze your fingernail-how long it takes to go back to pink again) is sluggish (which means his heart can't pump enough blood to all his extremities because it's working overtime to keep up with him)......but everything returns to baseline when he's resting. He's turning 6 in march, so he's lived with this condition undiagnosed or treated for a long time. That being said, we are just praying over him until the next appointment as well as any surgery he might have to undergo later! We are also praising God that we got him when we did and that we are getting some good help in treating him! Please join us in prayer. He is such a sweet spunky little boy that is very much full of life and charisma!

Feliz Aniversario! (Happy Birthday)

Happy Birthday!
Guess who's ONE YEARS old??!!??

Dionisio! (ps...those are tears of joy, of course! and NO! i did not do his hair...the tias did as they said it was his special day....just thought i would clarify now!)

And, guess who's still not crawling or standing without you supporting his entire full body weight? This one's easier now....Dionisio! But he is laying on his belly and pushing up and holding up his head and reaching for objects. And he can sit, unsupported, and play and reach for objects. He does also attempt to play my games when i make him put his feet on the ground and try to stand or jump. He's doing a million times better and has not been sick one day since moving to the Bercario (Praise God!)....subtract out days for teething...he hates teeth. So we had a birthday party for him. He's teething. He was moody, scared, and quite frightened by all the hoop-lah! at one point, he started shreeking and shaking......poor boy! anyways, he's 1 yr now and we're excited by his progress even if he is really far behind.

Thanks for the glasses Jessica! He hates sunglasses. Is anyone suprised.

Look who's half smiling for the camera....I swear someday, i WILL get him to smile on film He really does smile and laugh and play and go crazy. Just NEVER when a camera is around. It's like a switch he flips the minute he sees one. Stinker.

Still trying to get the glasses off his head.....Also, let's all note the size of these babies (from L to R): Lucia is 10 months. Dionisio is 1 year. Lucilia is 4 months. Lucilia is the NORMAL and appropriate sized child. Also, D, just looks like a big baby, he is the size of a 1 yr old when you make him stand up and act like a big boy. He just hates you for it.

All the tias (minus 1) that work in the Bercario. They LOVE these babies and were so excited to celebrate. They are very proud of each of the progress the tots make and can't wait to tell you about it. It's too sweet.

Cutting the cake. It's a tradition-don't give me nasty comments about big knives and small babies. i know, i feel the same way. they don't understand. you must cut all the cake on your birthday or special celebration day, even if you are a baby. no exceptions. ps, i look like death, because 10 minutes after this picture i stumbled into my bed and didn't move for the next 2 days. i have witnesses. I was miserable. i'm just a good faker. i was about to die. i actually thought i might at one point. (no worries, i'm much much better now!)

Look who is LOVING his birthday cake....or hating me for making him eat it. Don't worry, he won't need counseling for THIS....other things, i'm sure, but in the end, he ate about 5 bites before refusing it with his hand and shaking of the head. You HAVE to eat your birthday cake, you just have to. it's kinda obligatory. :) and yes, lucilia really wanted some of this cake (can't you tell-she's the GOOD eater)....and yes, i gave her a taste of the iciing.


My calendar in PENCIL

Ok, so i've penciled out a tentative plan for my time home....more like where I'll be and when. Now to fill in the days is another story. I operate on a first invite, first go basis. No bribes accepted. Look at the dates below (note: all other time will be spent in SC with my family and friends in that area/driving distance).

Feb. 2: Leave Maputo in an aeroplane. :)
Feb. 3: Arrive very safely but stupidly tired in Atlanta at 8:30am (i don't sleep on planes....19 total hours in the air).
Feb. 13-22: Nashville
Feb. 22: Maybe crash in Birminham for the night...Audry??
Feb. 23-27: Mandeville, LA
March 6-8: Family only time
March 10: Leave for London as 11:50p from ATL
March 11-15: London with Jackie.....praying for a 1 year Mozambican Visa
March 15: Leave for Maputo in another giant aeroplane.
March 16-August 26th: Maputo, Mozambique

I am reserving the right to change this at any time.....note it is typed in pencil. it's the first rough draft......just saying.

Also, if you have a small Bible Study group, ect that you would like me to come share at, I'd love to. I don't do huge groups. I just don't. Major stage fright, but I love smaller groups. Also, I love coffee. I am looking foward to many dates with many friends to share yummy food, time, and good company; catching up on your lives and sharing what God's been doing here in Mozambique. Email me with dates, times, availability, ect.

Oh I really can't wait. Thanks for all the prayers you have lifted up for me in the past 8 months, but especially these last 2 harder months. I am indebted beyond belief. Please begin praying over these prayer requests:
  • My last days here as I prepare everything for my abcess and those that will be covering my area and responsibilities
  • planning out my time out home and how it will be spent; how I can glorify God in this
  • for rest and refreshment while I'm at home
  • for health and safe travels throughout
  • adjustment to the Western world and life at home
  • for the words to share my experiences, what I've seen, what He's placed on my heart, and the hurts I've seen
  • the short video I'm preparing to help show the ministry I've been doing here in Mozambique


Coming Home

Oh I'm so excited....so finally my tickets are finalized and I will be back in the States on Feb. 3rd. Let the cheering commence! So I don't have much time to plan the time I'll spend at home, but I know that everything will fall into place. I will start pencilling in things tomorrow and send out emails trying to detail things asap! Thanks to all of you who have been praying over all these details and tickets. I really appreciate it! The tentative plan is to be there until March 10ish....I will be booking my tickets back in a day or so....

And, I'm back from the beach and refreshed for the small number of days I have left until my time at home! I will have pictures soon, but it was a sweet, quiet, restorative time! Thanks for all the prayers surrounding this weekend.

I cannot wait to share everything that God has been doing here in Mozambique. Please pray with me as I'm planning my time at home-for clarity, wisdom, and discernment and how the time she be spent. Also, that He'll give me grace in these last few days!


#7 is Adilson

We're going for some kinda record here....7 news kids in the BH in 7 days. Also, we have had a total of 19 new kids in the center in the same amount of time. Praise God for bringing us His children and letting us take care of them. We are blessed....and very full!

Meet Adilson, our newest addition. He arrived Wednesday. He turned 2 years on Monday. His dad is a man from Pemba , but noone knows him. His mom died recently from AIDS. His aunt was taking care of him, but her husband did not want him in the house....also they were very scared of him and afraid that he would give them HIV. They made him stay outside 24 hours a day and made him eat off the floor for fear that if they ate out of the same cups and bowls as him, they would catch it. He was taken to be tested a day before he we brought him in....He is hiv + and slightly malnourished. We will be taking him to be retested and hopefully started on medications. Right now we are just loving on this precious baby and praying over him! We are blessed to have him and know we found him in time-to start feeding him appropriately, to love him as he is meant to be loved, and to give him good medical care and treatment for HIV. If it was a few months later, he may not be so well off. We are very thankful for HIS timing.
As for me, I'm still waiting on word about exact dates to be home-prayers please and I will be taking a respite this friday-monday with 3 other missionaries at a nearby beach. I am praying for restoration, peace, rejuvenation, refreshment, and the outpouring of HIS love while I am there. I'm parched. I hope to be seeing everyone soon and that the next update is to tell you when I'll be home.....till then.....


Criancas Novas (new kids)

So here's a picture montage of all the new kids we received last week:




Antonio (but we are calling him Antonino)

The above 5 came from another center really close to us. Our directors and a few other missionaries here have been praying for this center and to have these kids for 3 years now. We have recieved around 7 children from them in the past for medical reasons and God allowed us to keep these kids-they were treated very badly, not taken care of or fed properly and were very sick when we got them. Well, there's a new director at that center who has a heart to clean it up and make it into a center just for disabled adults. This is such a blessing as we really need that here. He has fired most of the staff and hired new. He is closing to all the children and we are recieving most all of them. We took in 12 last week. The above 5 came to us in the BH. Now we don't know most of their ages, but as they ran around all unruly and did as they pleased at the other center. We are kinda stabilizing them here and allowing them to adjust, get good medical care, and a steady supply of food! I found blood in almost all of their ears. Anita's was filled-both of them.....hmmmm......Antonino had a whooping heart murmur and I'm awaiting a heart consult at the private heart hospital in town for him. Aldo has CP and is around 3. He's always happy and cheery. He cannot sit up on his own, feed himself, or even crawl. We have a long ways to go with him! We are not sure yet how long they will stay in the BH as they are between 4-6 years. Some maybe a few weeks, some a few months....only time will tell in how they are adjusting. There are 3 in the BH and 1 in Tracey's that used to live at this center and they all remembered each other....it has stirred up some bad memories for a few of them and it's definately a transition period for all.

To make room for them....Nilton and Sam moved on up to Tracey's house, Yuran to Vella's house (a small house for a few younger boys that need some extra TLC), and Joao went straight to Laura's dorm (The youngest boys camarata).

This next boy is named Jose. He is 2ish, but looks like a 3 year old. He has 2 other sisters and an older brother here at the center with him. Their mother died in December and their father is unable to care for an 8, 6, 4, and 2 year old by himself. We are taking them for a time as he gets himself settled and they grow a little older. Jose is so cute when he gets to see his brothers and sisters again! They are precious.

Please pray for these little ones and the staff taking care of them as they transition to a new home and form new friendships with all the other BH tots. Also, I am awaiting the arrival of a very sick little 2 year old today that will probably go straight into the hospital. I will give more details when I recieve him and assess him and find out the whole story, but please begin praying for him.


Where has the time gone.....

Well, you've probably all been wondering what I've been doing lately, as I've been a little slow in the blog posting department.......well, maybe you aren't wondering...but you're about to find out anyway. 
The other western nurse that helps me in the BH giving meds and who runs the HIV program has been gone for the last 10 days and will come back on Rriday for a grand total of 14 long days without her!  Man am I spent!  Tired doesn't begin to describe it really.  I've been working a minimum of 10 hours every day since she left with nonstop craziness during that time.  She's been praying that it would be a peaceful 2 wks for me while i'm gone since i'm now doing her and my stuff....well, let me list all the things that have happened or gone wrong:
  • Lucia (hiv + malnourished 9 month old) had a fever for 5, count them 5 days just because.  The last 48 hours of it got as high as 104 degrees with me alternating ibuproven and tylenol every 3 hours at her maximum dose...but it consistently stayed above 101 the entire time.  All the time, she continued to play and eat well.  Then they changed her HIV meds and she started throwing up all the time...thanks GATV.  then she adjusted and went right back to happy Lucia.  Praise God.
  • Dionisio started cutting his 1 yr molars.  if you knew him, this would be eventful. He is one crabby cookie when he's cutting teeth.....mean, angry, pouty, feverish, screaming baby! and he hates taking the meds that would relieve his pain...i'm not sure which battle is the harder to fight.  hmmmm
  • Lots of kids broke out in these wierd sores on their face......they were put on anitibiotics and then passed it on to other kids......
  • julio in particular got these said feridas all over his face....so i gave him the medicine.....3 days later......screaming, itching, and more screaming ensued.  he started breaking out in hives all over his hands and up his arms.  So i stopped the meds and gave him lots of good ole benadryl (thanks to whatever visited donated it)....the next day...BAM!  he started getting these giant blisters on his legs that were painful......
  • did i mention that the julio ordeal was right in the middle of me admitting 6 (no typo here) tots to the BH in less than 24 hrs (5 at one time).  Yup, we have expanded our family.  I moved 3 out and 5 into the BH in one day.....that's way too much info to handle in my little brain.  One had a terrible cough...antibiotics for that one.....another one had blood all in her ears.....antibiotics for that one and i'll look again this week for more answers.  another one had an undiagnosed large heart murmur.  great....we now are awaiting an appt with the heart institute in town.......
  • lots of kids came and went on visitations which is just fun medically to check them back in and make sure they didn't bring anything back with them or were "safe" while they were at home.....
  • oh and Antonio had surgery today (finally) to have his adenoids removed...he's sleeping in my room as we speak......and i'm not thoroughly convinced that they actually performed the surgery.......time shall tell i suppose.  if they did he is the happiest post-op 20 month old i've ever met.....
I know there was more.....but I'm too tired to think right now.  So I'm going away this wkend...Friday through Monday to a beach here in Mozambique.  I cannot wait, because I am certainly, almost useless at the present.  and very emotional i might add.  I'm trying to get everything finalzied for coming home in just a few weeks...mainly, my ticket home....but NOTHING is working out right.  I am beyond frustrated.  and nothing is worse than being super hot (115 without airconditioning), very very tired, overworked, and ready to come home as you were supposed to and to have to deal with the possibility that it might not work out at all like you planned, if and when it does.  So, I still don't have any dates for any of you wondering why such the delay on no answers.  Believe me, I'm far more frustrated than you.  I'll let everyone know the minute I do.  I promise.  right after I do lots of thankyou prayers and a happy dance...maybe even sing a little ditty too.  sorry you'll miss out on all that!  Prayers for my sanity, rest, peace, and all the details to be worked out in HIS will and timing are very welcome at the present!  I'm hoping to be home by the first week in Feb........ok, offf to bed with me......

Windows Live™: Keep your life in sync. See how it works.


Feliz Ano Novo!

First, I have just finished watching a video that is pretty amazing. It is a video another missionary that I work with made, documenting her last year here at Zimpeto. I urge you to hop over to her site right now and watch it (click on Nancy-Zimpeto on the right side-bar). You won't be disappointed!

Well, Happy New Year everyone!!!! Feliz Ano Novo! We celebrated with a little over 100 children here at the center as all the others went home to some sort of family for this holiday. I know you are thinking, that's a third of your kids.....it's hard to explain, but not all of them are true orphans. They are just orphaned in other aspects. We all really enjoyed blessing these kids that had no where else to turn to celebrate another year God is giving them. Here are some of the pictures of the nights events to help explain our celebration!

Almost 3 month old Lucilia and I shared a good laugh.

I introduced the new swing complete with lights, music, pooh & piglet pull toys, and a battery operated swinging mechanism bought with money ya'll donated! Lucia likes it. Whoo hoo. They all do.

Chefe Dionisio ate all his food for lunch....and i occasionally stretch the truth. He moved it around in his mouth until he got tired of it and spit every spoon full out. And this for all the hard work I've been putting in to MAKE him and Lucia baby food. Stinker.

After dinner, we all gathered in the prayer hut and watched a funny movie and then cartoons later as they had a late night snack.

Then, there was bead making;

writing of goals for 2009;


face painting;

the marshmellow game (aka chubby bunny);

the making and decorating of celebration hats;


hot potato;

and the pass the ball without your hands game.

We grilled sausages and handed out refrescos (soda) for all the kids a little before midnight.

And then, we shot off fireworks at midnight. Some of the kids enjoyed them....others were petrified as it brought back some terrifying memories for them.

Feliz Ano Novo!

Happy New Year!

I pray you will allow God to do amazing things through you to further His kingdom in the coming days and that you open your hands and fully recieve all the blessings He wants to rain upon you. He is good and wonderful and I'm personally thankful I've been given the opportunity to start another year serving Him! Praise God!