My daughter Melissa, who is 23, has been in Meskine, Cameroon, Africa since September 11th. That is almost 9 weeks. It has been a hard 9 weeks. Hard on Melissa. Hard on her parents and sisters. Hard on my knees...
Melissa is at a mission hospital compound that is basically in the bush. Things are very primitive there. The hospital (and I use that term loosely) is so far behind in medical equipment and supplies, that she has seen things there that have utterly astounded and amazed her. The type of anesthesia they use there is not the kind we are accustomed to here in the United States. The people that they operate on are basically put in a very sleepy state, but they aren't completely out of it. I just can't even imagine.
Melissa told me about a little 6 year old boy who had a serious bone infection in his leg and they were operating on it to remove the infection. She said, "Mama, as I looked up at the little boy during the procedure, there were tears pouring down his face. He was clearly in pain and clearly not asleep" It just broke her heart and all she could do was go to him and talk gently and pray. I cried as she was telling me about it. It just got to my heart! The doctors assured her that the little boy would not remember the pain, but it was still heart wrenching for her to see. She has seen babies die that probably shouldn't have died. She has been exposed to a side of life that isn't pretty.
Melissa has been very sick since she has been there. She has probably been sick at least 6 weeks out of the 9. Some of those weeks she was VERY ill. There is nothing worse than getting a phone call and when you pick up the receiver, all you hear is crying and the words "mama". Especially when the child on the other end is in Africa. And you're not. Hard.
It has been great to be able to talk with her through 'skype'. Sometimes I can hear her well, sometimes I can't. But at least she CAN call me when she needs me. There are good phone calls and there are not so good phone calls. There are conversations we have that are uplifting and then there have been some that have been depressing. But through it all, God has been so good. He has carried and covered her. He has ministered to her heart and soul. He has been merciful. He has been God.
Melissa has grown in the Lord through this experience. She has been forced to see that she can make it when she thinks she can't. She has learned to lean on God in all things. She has learned that she can survive without her mommy. She has learned to trust completely in Jesus. She has learned that when nothing else is... He is...
There have been times, that she has questioned why the Lord took her all the way to Africa to keep her sick! She sees that Africa is NOT the place that she is to be. But she wondered why it would take 9 weeks for her to be shown that. Through it all, the Lord has whispered to her heart about being content. She said He speaks to her alot about the life of Paul. About doing the thing that God calls you to do without question.
The verse that she is holding tight to is this:
"But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:" (Philippians 4:10,11)
I am looking so forward to being able to really talk with her and hear all the details about what she has seen and experienced. I know that everything the Lord is teaching her is not being learned right now. I know that some of what He is teaching her will be gleaned later. He still has much to show her. He still has much work to do. But his servant, Melissa, I think is now listening.
I am proud of my daughter. I am proud of the work that the Lord has done, is doing and will do through her. I am ready for her to come home. I am ready for the next part of her awesome journey in the Lord to begin. But all I know right now is that November 17th at 4:34 PM, my sweet baby will step off that plane in Baton Rouge, and her mama will breathe a HUGE sigh of relief. My baby is coming home.
Thank you, Jesus.