Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Even Darker Days

Bundibugyo, Uganda
Volume 2, Issue 16
December 5, 2007

-Even Darker Days-
…when no news is good news…

The situation continues to deteriorate day by day, minute by minute. I saw all the patients at Nyahuka Health Center this morning, all 12 of them. By the time I was done there were only 3 remaining, the rest requesting discharge. At one time we had 41 patients in the pediatric ward alone. Staff is demoralized after Jonah’s death, and barely a health worker could be seen this morning. Over night the town has become a ghost town. As I walked through the main area I thought for sure I would see some tumbleweed go ambling by in the wind. I also thought about what it must have been like to be a leper, everyone fearing you and your disease. I’ve grown a lot in just a few days and God continues to teach me many things.

I don’t know what is in store for the rest of the day, but so far in the past 24 hours Dr. Jonah Kule, Joshua Kule (physician assistant), and the head nurse of Bundibugyo Hospital have all died.

Jennifer, Scott, and I have all had virtually sleepless nights and extremely stressful days. I think my two closest Ugandan friends Geoffrey and Lemech will also be leaving the district very soon. A lonely situation becomes even more solemn.

Kids still knock at my door, but now I am not quite so nice, often whisking them away or just shutting my door. I am thankful for the kids, but I need to refrain myself from having too much contact with them less I infect them. The days are much hotter now and the sun more intense, signs that the long awaited dry season is coming.

I wrote the following poem over a week ago, before the words Ebola in Bundibugyo were ever heard, but it rings more true now than ever.

eternal night

Into the darkness I stare,
how can it be, is it true, is there no one there?
The blackness, the void, the chasm so deep,
am I really alone, in body, in soul, at last I break down and solemnly weep
For injustice, in despair, I cry out, I long to hear,
but once again, no response, is there no listening ear?
Why O lord have you led me here,
such much poverty, harshness, despair?
How can I do your will, how can I find my way,
the path is unmarked, today can not be my day.
Yet, in this moment of silence, I am reminded that still you are near,
in my humanness I too often focus on regret, present needs, and fear.
How quickly do I forget that you have promised to hold me tight.
why am I always running, trying to hide from your sight?
O lord, I cry to you now, please forgive and forget
my sin, my ugliness, my reckless abandonment.
I need you, more than ever before, right now,
i am so lowly, so despicable, the thought that you could ever love me ,but how?
I cling to your word, your promise, let me dwell in your sight,
help me in my unbelief, free me now, help me to fight.
For in moments like this, crushed by satan’s might,
the darkness seems like eternal night.

-Scott J. Will

I just returned from the nightly Task Force Meeting, including representatives from CDC in Atlanta, WHO, Ministry of Health, and the Red Cross . It was encouraging. In less than a week since the announcement of Ebola a lot has happened and people from all over the world are arriving daily. God is still here, his presence still known. I rest in confidence that he has called me here.


eurorebs said...

Weeping with you and praying for you...
Your sister,

Greg said...

The Chestnut Hill Gang continues to lift you up in prayer. I am deeply sorry for the loss of your co-workers and friends. I pray that Christ will continue to hold you close, give you comfort and protect you. You are loved and missed. Your brother in Christ,

cashea said...

Though it seems bleak, there are glimpses of God's hand - preparing you (even the writing of that poem), guiding you to stay (even though you might wonder why he had you do that), perhaps inspiring people through the life of Dr. Jonah (I've been deeply moved), calling many people to pray.
I'll pray that you sleep well tonight.

Niko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

You have no idea of the lives you are touching by sharing your love for the Lord and for the people you serve in Uganda. In your sorrow, you are a warrior for our Lord.

Although, we are strangers, you and the Myhres have my deepest respect and my heartfelt prayers.

May you be blessed with refreshing sleep, a peaceful spirit and strength to carry you through the coming days.

Your Sister in Christ,
Lori (USA)

claire said...

We've not met yet, maybe someday. I lived in Bundi last summer. I am praising the Lord for your encouragement. The Lord still is present and working! Though the tears and suffering may cloud things, He will remain faithful.

I am thankful that you are there with Scott and Jennifer, I know you are a great encouragement to them.

We are praying fervently for you and everyone there, for rest, for strength and for protection. We are devastated here at home and weeping for this pain, but I trust that the Lord is sovereign.

Thank you for serving the people I love.

Cindy said...

Scott, we have never met, but my daughter will soon be a missionary with WHM and had hoped to go to Uganda; she was prevented from doing so by some medical issues, but the team in Uganda has a special place in her heart and mine. I have been reading your posts and the Myhres posts and want you to know that I consider you all some of the most courageous people I have ever witnessed. Your situation sounds like a living nightmare, and I cannot begin to imagine the strain on your mind, body, and spirit. I am so terribly sorry for the loss of Dr. Kule. I am asking God to give you strength, comfort, endurance, rest, and peace and asking that all of you there would feel His presence in a supernatural way. You all have my utmost respect and my deepest appreciation for the sacrifices you are making to bring God's light to one of the darkest parts of the world as you spread the love and hope of Christ.

Dave Paulk said...


Having you in our program was a personal and professional privilege. Your work and life have been a personal and professional inspiration to me and I pray for you and all the people over there. I am truly sorry for the loss of your friends. I cry for your loss.

Dave Paulk

Jessica said...

You are in my prayers constantly throughout the day. There are many people praying for you at my church, also friends from PA school and my family. God is in control, which is sometimes hard to truly grasp, but He is in control of everything in this world. I pray that God will give you all physical, mental, and spiritual rest. You are a hero to everyone who knows you. I thank God for people like you. The Ugandan people are blessed beyond measure that you are giving your time and talents to them.

Your sister in Christ,
Jess McGargle

Dave Smith said...


Know that even in your darkest hours, you are reaching people around the world who you may never meet but who love you for what you are doing on behalf of God's people.

Dave Smith
Winchester, VA