Happy new year from Freetown! January has been a busy month it – feels like I have been back here for a long time now, here are a few of the main events:
· Both I and Enable the Children have successfully re-located to an apartment in town (photo left is moving day featuring Abu, Rehab Assistant, Falla, who works for mercy ships & helped us move, and Abdul, our driver). I have moved in with 2 American girls who have been incredibly helpful and supportive to me personally at to Enable the Children as an organisation.
Thank you for all the prayers with regards to moving house. I'm absolutely certain that this is where God wants me and am once more astounded by God's goodness and provision to me in this move.
· The visits to the disabled children and their families continue to go well – Abu and Abdul did an amazing job at keeping the team going in the absence of the rest of the team during December.
· Amara, the boy with spinal TB, continues to improve and was recently photographed riding a bike.
· We have been experimenting with some Occupational Therapy specific projects, including a one handed kitchen aid (made with the carpenter) and we are currently negotiating widening the doorway & building a ramp up to a girl called Mamasu's house to enable her to get out of her house independently. Mamasu is a full-time wheelchair user as the result of cerebral palsy affecting her legs.
· This month has felt like a time where we have needed to offer encouragement, hope and prayer to mums who feel isolated and unsupported; we have had the opportunity to pray with 2 mums in particular, Fatmata the mum of a little girl with hydrocephalus, and a 12 month old boy (called Greatman) with cerebral palsy's
mum as they both expressed feelings of hopelessness at their situation.
Enable the Children Team update:
As a team we are greatly missing our team founder Vez, who has now returned to the UK to continue the work there. In her absence, Abu and I are trying to jointly creatively solve some of the many issues that come up, most not at all therapy related!
Photo of Enable the Children team (from left to right is Vez,
Abu, Abdul, myself and Josephine)
is thankfully now on the mend following a hospital trip and a
course of medication.
Josephine is still learning lots and starting to take a more
active role in therapy sessions and do parts of the initial
Since returning here I have found great comfort in this verse from James 1 in the message:
"If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father, He loves to help...ask boldly, believing,
without a 2nd thought."I am grateful that God is able to do all. I sometimes feel out of my depth and but God is completely carrying me through and answering my many "help, what do I do?" type prayers in ways that can only be Him.
· Returning to work with the guests at the City of Rest has been good. One of the highlights has been a relaxation and anxiety management group that I have started with the ladies there. Also last week we had a slightly chaotic but very fun craft group with about 20 guests on the theme of rainbows and God's promises.
· Things are changing at the mercy ships land base as they undergo the founding of a much needed birthing centre in the next 2 months. My role at mercy ships will continue to be primarily therapy assessment for children referred by the mercy ships outpatient clinic and a craft group with the women who have had Fistula surgery.
I would really appreciate more of your prayers for:
· Wisdom for the many decisions that crop up for the day-to-day running of the team. These can be related to anything from maintenance on the car, to requests for money to just culturally knowing what is appropriate to do or say.
· Our families that struggle with the often thankless task of raising a disabled child, in a culture where sickness is seen as from the devil because of something the family or child have done. Please particularly pray for Fatmata and Greatman's mum.