Gratitude

This morning I am trying to practice the presence of God by giving thanks for good things– the smell of my hair product, an old pair of earrings that I like, cream in my coffee, our child getting himself up to go to school, the sunshine in the trees… I’m doing this as I give thanks for the life of Margaret Smith, my mom who I loved and who loved me. Many of you reading this were loved by Mom too. She died eight years ago today. She taught us to enjoy things and give thanks. Here’s Sarah’s Bible assignment that she’s been faithfully memorizing for these first two weeks of school:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17

I want you to know that I thank God for you, blog follower. Thank you for being a part of our lives and for caring for us.

A Nice Article From Abilene Christian University – Go Wildcats!

From Peru to East Africa, Caires Find Ways to Serve the Underserved

Click the above link to read a generous article from our alma mater, Abilene Christian University. We are thankful for our education, and we are thankful for all the good work being done by graduates of a great institution. It was nice to have the article written about us, and what is even better is how I run into ACU graduates all over the world doing mission work. ACU is a school that is instilling its students with a sense of purpose. Go Wildcats!

Happy Thoughts

Things I’m thankful for this morning:

Trash bags– I found some biodegradable rubbish bin liners (as they call them here) and I’m happy to put them to use!

King Arthur Flour website recipes– try the cinnamon scones

David comes back to Kenya tomorrow!

Lovely memories of the birds, the acacia trees, the sunset on the lake, from a family weekend on Lake Naivasha

The many types of birds who live here that lift our spirits with their carefree flying and jubilant songs

The kindly painter who told me that I made good chai (I nearly doubled the sugar yesterday!)

The friendly joking and laughing of the construction guys working at our house

Bright fires on chilly nights

Will is content with his job and has been commended lately for his teaching

The Lord’s reminder of all the wonderful people (specifically from ACU) who encouraged us to do missions

Sibling pairs who are friends with our girls

New kids coming to school next year and all the possibilities therein

Peter’s enthusiasm for the guitar

Coco soundtrack, especially the Spanish version

Two families who visited this summer– we appreciate you!

Cry, the Beloved Country

The repetition of the phrase “I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Carol truly grandmothering our kids

Each time one of the kids says “Thank you”

Talking to Katherine on the phone

Annie’s braces

IMG_6279

Black and White Casqued Hornbill

IMG_0253

The Shirk girls are over

IMG_0195

Will at work delivering babies

Image 17-08-2019 at 9.36 AM

Annie’s braces

11EDF632-39F4-4C2F-9BD4-A97CDB63D2AD

David on his way to the States nearly a month ago

IMG_4225

Katherine the Great

IMG_0083

The Reids visit us and Hell’s Gate

IMG_0206

New construction at Flamingo House

IMG_0226

Sunset on Lake Naivasha

IMG_0225

Glamping with the girls

IMG_0237

Acacia trees on Lake Naivasha

004937F7-5637-41AF-B2CB-46CD4B8A613D

The Shewmakers visit and we ascend Mt. Longonot

 

 

 

 

Parental Prayer Request

In a few hours, we will put David on a plane headed to the USA. His grandparents have generously offered to fly him to Dallas to work on his driver’s license, spend time with them, and maybe even make a few college visits. Thanks, Abo and Carol!

His family will miss him though and we’re all a little nervous about this solo international travel. Please pray with us that he will make it safely to London, not fall asleep and miss his connection, and then fly on from London to Dallas without problems. Thanks for praying for all the things, small and large, that we post here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 3.31.16 PM.png

The Moments Before

This is what it looks like in the middle of the night right before doing surgery on a woman with an ectopic pregnancy. This mother of three came to our hospital with severe lower abdominal pain, a very fast heart beat, and low blood pressure. When we examined her abdomen it was very tender in the lower pelvic region. We did a quick ultrasound confirming our suspicion that she had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. This is a surgical emergency. I walked quickly to the operating rooms and woke up the surgical staff, but I could not find the anesthetist. It turns out he was trying to help revive a 28 week baby who had been born two days earlier. I found him because the pediatrician called as I was sitting the in the OR and asked me how a different, critical patient in the ICU was doing. This other patient was admitted for severe HELLP syndrome. This is basically a multi-organ failure during pregnancy resulting in anemia, liver failure, clotting failure, and in this patient’s case she had developed blood clots in her lungs. I said she was stable, asking why she would want to know. It turned out this unfortunate woman’s baby had died. My on call anesthesia tech had been helping try to resuscitate the baby. Ari (the pediatrician) wanted to assess how the mother was doing in the ICU before she let her know her baby had died. I ran up to ICU to check on her, and I watched as Ari in the most gentle manner shared the bad news of our sick patient’s baby’s death. I walked quickly back to the OR, scrubbed in and opened up the abdomen of our ectopic pregnancy patient. The pelvis overflowed with blood and clots, but with suction the uterus was seen and the large ectopic pregnancy (this is a pregnancy outside of the uterus) was seen in the area where the fallopian tube enters the uterus. We took care of the dead ectopically positioned pregnancy, started a transfusion for the mother, and then closed up. I went home only to be woken to the news that another patient had a severe perineal tear from her early morning delivery. Back to the hospital I rushed to sew up this bleeding tear in the operating room. Today I have a lighter load, doing lectures in the ICU. I am so glad, because it was a tiring night. Oh, and its my birthday! A great start to year number 49. Yes that means I am 48 years old today. I cannot believe it.