Tuesday, January 15, 2019


On Friday morning I woke hearing wailing coming from the village. David and I assumed someone had died. Soon afterward a neighbor came to ask us for help as some of our elderly neighbors had a swarm of bees enter their home. David went with a can of Doom (the local bug spray) and found several people trying to get the bees away from them. Once the bees were gone we found that the woman was covered with stingers, hundreds of them. Her husband had dozens. We decided that David would go to school and I would drive them and a few other neighbors to the hospital. Esther asked me what to write on the board for my students to do until I returned. She is so helpful and responsible and such a blessing to our family. 

The women who were coming with me to the hospital to help care for them told me to tie something over my hair in case some of the bees followed us into the van. While I drove to the hospital I could hear that the couple was in a great deal of pain. When we arrived at the hospital the nurse quickly gave them injections of cortisone and pain medicine. The woman kept telling us that she was dying. They are elderly and not in great health in general, so I didn’t know if she would survive this attack. As the nurse took care of these medicines and set up an IV drip, she asked the other caregivers and me to remove the stingers. We read Psalm 23 as we began removing the stingers. The woman knew parts of it by heart and was able to even recite some of it with me and help me with the pronunciation of some of the Luganda words. I was so thankful that the pain medicine had started helping. Her face and head had the most stings, although they were all over her body. Just from her lip to her nose I removed over 20 stingers. That is such a sensitive area that it was difficult to convince her to let me remove them, but the nurse said that it was important. I stayed long enough to help remove all of the stingers, to get her cleaned and dressed in a hospital robe and to apply a topical cream. We arranged for their care because at hospitals here it is the responsibility of the family and friends to provide food and any care other than the medical needs.

 I needed to get back to the school to teach my Pre-Calculus and Algebra 1 and 2 classes.  I was a bit frazzled, but I returned to find that my Pre-Calculus students had already worked together to understand the lesson. I’m thankful for my hard-working, cooperative students. 

After school, David decided to suit up in the bee suit he had gotten from someone who had kept bees here. He wanted to go and make sure our neighbor’s house was safe and bee free before we brought them back from the hospital. He only found about 50 bees near a pile of rubbish, but earlier in the day there had been thousands. 

When the the elderly couple had finished receiving treatment at the hospital that evening, I took two of my boys with me to pick them up. I was amazed that the woman was up and able to walk out of the hospital. I had carried her in that morning while she was telling us that she was dying. Her face was still very swollen, but she was significantly improved. I thank God that he has provided us with a vehicle  to use in these emergency situations. I also thank God for the medicines that were available and quickly administered at a nearby hospital. And I thank God for the many neighbors who came to help these two. When I arrived that morning, I found four other neighbors all working to try to get the bees off this couple. I love the way so many came to their aid, even putting themselves in danger. I thank God for providing us with a bee suit months in advance so that David could go and make certain that their house was clear for them to return home. 

While this Friday did not go at all as I had thought or planned, it was a good reminder that God has all our days in His plans. My years in Uganda have taught me that things rarely go as I expected, and that is fine. Since God has my life in his hands, I don’t need to worry so much about the details. I’m thankful for the way He worked things out for the day and provided for this couple. This day reminds me of Psalm 139:16
“All the days ordained for me, were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
I’m glad I didn’t know what Friday was going to hold, otherwise I would have worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it all. But God provided just what we needed! I pray that these suprisingly unusual days will teach me to trust Him with each day that He has ordained for me.