Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Friends, Food, Family

T. has been introduced to computer games on this trip (educational of course)
and here he is teaching a passel of Tanzanian kids how to "right click!"
He loves the computer...maybe too much... 
So he says to me,"Can I get a new game, Mom? I mastered this one."

After a run-in with a blade of grass that got stuck in his eye for about 10 minutes,
T. insisted on wearing this cold pack around his head like a wounded solider.
Oh, and a movie.  Which according to him "always helps eyes feel better."

Thanks to Uncle Matt we have a beautiful blue bicycle that gives T.
and Daddy tons of freedom!

Boys and trucks and girls and dolls...but don't be fooled.  Moments earlier they were switched.

After a long day of playing with the kids, T. falls asleep with a twizzler in his hand.
You gotta be tired to do that!

Our own little shamba. (Garden)

Super Clips Africa: Before

After: POLL: Did I take a cool shaggy hipster and turn him into a nerd???
Can you believe this kid said he was bored later this day???
It's hard to see but he has a huge smile on his face...
Big T was demolishing a mud house in order to prepare the ground for the
new 200 capacity dining room for the children and school.

Another newly discovered source of freedom: Victor!
The compound dog who is normally tied to a dog house on the opposite side of
the property is now a good friend to T. and W.
When taken for a walk NOBODY messes with these white kids!

Homemade granola

Homemade Injera
(Ethiopian flat bread--much easier to make than I ever guessed! And really yummy!)

Whole Wheat Monk Bread...and I will not show you a picture of the
horrible soft pretzels I tried to make. Absolutely terrible.

PIZZA! Did you know Kraft parmesan cheese is a decent substitute for
"real" cheese when you have a craving for pizza?

Speaking of is T. offering up his best guess as to the
gender of our new little one coming in July...he says,
"BOY!" and the doctor agrees!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Tribute to Daniel Fountain, a great man, my hero.

Dr. Dan Fountain has gone to glory.  It is so hard to wrap my head around.  I have spent much of the past 24 hours feeling bewildered, disoriented, profoundly sad.  He was my great mentor, teacher, and friend.  My kids called him "Grandpa" Dan.  Sometimes I got emails from him that he had written for his family, signed, "Dad."  What a privilege it has been to sit as his feet this past decade.

No other person has shaped who I am more than Dan.  I have quite literally hundreds of pages of notes written while sitting at his feet.  I can hardly set pen to paper without thinking of him--all that he has taught me, how he has encouraged me, how he has been an example to me.  I can quote word for word so many things that he has said to me.  He has given me words of encouragement along the way that I will never forget--monuments along the path of my journey.  All of the time--especially when I am teaching--I find myself saying to others, "Dan Fountain, my mentor, says..."

It is somewhat disconcerting how difficult this is for me.  I really do feel disoriented--like I can't think straight.  The scientific side of my brain has been telling me for some time that this day was coming.  Dan was in his eighties, and he had been in and out of the hospital for a year.  I know those odds are not good.  But I held on to him.  I know that Dan is certainly more alive now than he has ever been.  But I miss him terribly.  He has been for me an immovable landmark--an ebenezer stone.  To lose that milestone is more disorienting that I would have expected.  I am in a fog.  But Dan was not the lighthouse, he was just the lighthouse keeper.  Jesus is the lighthouse that guides us to safe harbor.  Dan pointed the way.  God has called me to do the same.  What a privilege to have been his apprentice.  And there are dozens, if not hundreds, more like me.  What a legacy!

Today there is great rejoicing in heaven.  A real hero has come home.  He has been told, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."  Dan, we are so proud of you.  Thank you for investing in us.  We strive to follow in your footsteps.  I can't wait to see you again, over yonder shore...

~ Ty

Friday, February 8, 2013

"And that's why I'm a doctor..."

Written by Jessica M., 4th year medical student, who is here for a month with her husband, Stephen.

Ty and W. at the clinic.

It was a quiet morning, and Ty had decided that little W could walk with us up to the clinic for morning devotions. As we sat down to sing though, we saw with delight that the baby we had been greatly concerned about for a week was back. We stopped what we were doing, and went into the exam room, and Stephen and I began to take off the gauze that we had applied the day before. The baby whimpered and began to cry. 

W asked “Daddy, what’s wrong with the baby?”

Ty looked down at W and explained that the baby girl had gotten badly burned.

“Awww, poor baby”, said W sympathetically.

He explained that she had gotten too close to a pot of hot porridge and that we were helping to take care of her and help her get better. 

As Ty held his own little girl in his arms, he gently explained to her “And that’s why I’m a doctor…”

His proclamation struck me with full force-What a profoundly true statement! Being here to take care of a little girl who got too close to a scalding pot of porridge is why we are in medicine. Being here to help her mom through the tedious job of caring for a badly burned infant and through the guilt associated with it is why we have come. We are here to extend compassion to those who are hurting and suffering, and to do it with Jesus’ love in our hearts and on our lips. We are student doctors so that we can one day be doctors, maybe the only ones within an hour’s walking distance in a community such as this one. We are here because Jesus cares about little girls who get burned, and old men with malaria, and children with wounds. He cares, and He cares through our hands at work, doing what we have been trained to do.

I am humbled at the talent we’ve been given, and the mighty reminder to invest it in our Father’s kingdom for his glory. May it be so!

Monday, February 4, 2013


"Hello!  My name is Megan K. and I am a sophomore pre-med student.  I go to Wofford College, which is a school with a January or J-term or Interm.  With this special schedule, I had the opportunity to take the month of January to travel before spring semester classes started.  God really blessed that time because I was privileged enough to go on a medical mission trip to Tanzania. I went to the City of Hope to volunteer in the medical clinic and help as needed and have time free from distractions to spend with the Lord.  Those were my expectations of the trip, but as it turns out God taught me much more than I expected.

Learning.  I have been learning since I walked through the City Of Hope gates.  Learning about African culture, learning to be taught by the holy spirit, learning about forming relationships and the importance of putting people above projects, learning how to cook with minimal resources, learning about treating diseases and infection without electricity or running water, learning to be joyful in suffering, learning that mission work is hard and far from glamorous, learning that T.I.A. or “This Is Africa” and nothing goes according to plan, learning that busyness can be problematic and prevent proper rest, but most importantly learning that the Lord will present me with opportunities to further His kingdom and pursue a lifestyle pleasing
to Him.

My first emotions on the trip were frustration and impatience, but God bestowed a new blessing on the group each day even if the day did not go according to plan—and I thank Him for that!  Comparing the initial goals and motivation for this trip with the actual experience, I have been pleasantly surprised that the two were not the same.  My first day was bogged down by the mindset that I was a pre-med student interested in missions who was there to learn only about medicine and how to spend more time with the Lord.   I was so eager to jump into medicine and do something productive and purposeful, but luckily God made me wait.

Eventually I was exposed to a lot of medicine and came face to face with the patients and their wounds and infections, but to tell you the truth the more valuable skills and lessons I learned were from the mission house “family” members and Africans around me.   These people not only welcomed my fumbling questions and confusion but also offered advice and encouragement to support and help me discern how the Lord calls His servants.  Eagerly, I soaked up everything these wonderful people were pouring into me because they are godly role models who have already experienced the things that I will experience in the next few stages of my life.  Glory to God for bringing these Christ followers together and inviting me to join their close-knit group.

The City of Hope is a special place and feels like paradise, but your time here can be unfruitful unless your heart is in the right place and you learn to appreciate that the Lord has more control over your life because He knows better—He does all things for your own good!"

Me and Jessica (also 4th year) and some girls from the children's home.

My 20th birthday!! Made from the coconut, coconut cream pie!!

Stephen, 4th year medical student, teaching me.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

5 Years Old

Today we celebrate 5 years of blessings from T!

6:30 AM FINALLY! My birthday!!!

The day began with baking 2 cakes.  W and I licked the batter before breakfast!

Mommy called me the "chocolate warrior."

First birthday present from Grandma and Grandpa H.  An awesome RC car.  Still not even 8 AM!

By noon we were carving and decorating the cake.

Can you tell what it's going to be yet??

Final product and the inspiration!!
7 PM after lots of very patient waiting I finally get to eat it!
8 PM opened presents from Grandma and Grandpa J. We had a GREAT day and I was so tired I asked to go to bed.