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.
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.