Friday, July 23, 2010

VBS, Mama Hannah and thoughts of mortality...

Dear friends,

I wrote this entry for over an hour and it just deleted itself! THAT is FRUSTRATING. My friend David says that the second time it will be faster since you already practiced...

VBS ended tonight. We did 4 mornings and ended tonight. There was a huge croud tonight of parents, church family and 275 kids. I did the missions focus on Ghana. We had a different giving project every day. Seeds, Christmas party of kids in our adopted village in northern Ghana, a sewing machine to be a small business for someone and finally a group of 4 animals- cow, pig, sheep and goat. They met each giving goal and tonight topped it off and brought in $565 more to get the animals. The family pastor got slimed with gooey stuff and the kids loved it!

I go by Mama Hannah from Ghana during VBS. I wear Ghanaian clothes and act goofy and love on the kids. I set up the Ghana Hut on the church lawn. There are instruments to play which we brought back from there last summer. I teach them about the culture and give them activities to do each day. I already wrote extensively about this and just can't do it again. I really love the connection I have with the kids. I guess I am kind of "famous" in a VBS kind of way, and they are all feeling special when I interact with them. I love that they are learning about cultures and people living in different places.

He is being tested tomorrow for this phase of his training. He said that only 40% pass this time. If he weren't to pass, he would ahve to redo 2 1/2 months of training. He interigates one of his instructors and then has to write a report on what he learned. Mistakes can be easily made. Jesse said that on Monday he passed his practice test- finally. That is encouraging. I am praying hard and am eager to hear what happens tomorrow! I am sure he would appreciate any prayers you would like to send his way.

Our friend Lance and his tumor...
While we were in CO, Lance discovered that he has a brain tumor. He has had two surgeries and the lastest is that he has a year at the outside and his cancer is very agressive. He finally got to come home I think yesterday. As Lance and his wife and college aged daughter process his prognosis and treatment plan, those of us in our/his growth group are also processing our steps of help and encouragement. We all have different gifts and are doing different things. This is new for all of us, so we are all kind of in shock. We are praying for him and welcome your prayers for him too. Besides Lance, another friend of mine just found out she has a breast cancer recurrance. And my neighbor 2 doors down has metastasis all over and has been fighting cancer for years. I don't think she is doing well. I need to go see her.

Here is where I am thinking aobut mortality...It might sound self-centered, but as these things happen to those around me, the thought pops up in my consciousness that it could likely happen to me also. It already has twice- 11 years ago and 4 years ago. I check for new lumps and try to discern if they are new, or are they just the same old or new scar tissue? This could happen to me at any time, but really I have plenty to do in my life right now. I can dwell on these thoughts, or try to stuff them neatly back into the back of my mind, where they don't overwhelm me. I have to make a choice frequently about what to do with this reality. I told Lance before I knew his pathology was so bad, to not borrow trouble from tomorrow. His tomorrow is now here and it is time for him to deal with it. My today is OK, so that is where I have to choose to keep my focus. This probably sounds like rambling, but I know this is true for so many cancer survivors. This struggle with the what if's. It is in some ways both harder and easier to know what would happen if it did come back. You know the treatments and side effects and there is comfort in the familiar. But there is also knowing what is coming, and not wanting to experience it again. But then comes 2 Corinthians 1 where we can empathize and comfort because of our past experience. I think that is the way I would rather focus. My help for these friends can be practical since I know what it is like.

Friends arriving
Tomorrow Mike and Linda are arriving for a visit. We are excited about this! The guest room is ready and plans are on the burner. We enjoy company and we have known these guys for over a quarter century! So that is what I am going to focus on for now. And picking raspberries and strawberries and tomatoes in the back yard.

I am going to post this before it deletes again. I hope you are having a great summer! Blessings, Mama Hannah

No comments: