chroNICHOLLS | The chroNICHOLLS of Tanzania

15 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on chroNICHOLLS | The chroNICHOLLS of Tanzania

Mitsubishi Delica Van

The chroNICHOLLS of Tanzania

Better days

Not long after we first arrived in Tanzania, back in 2007, I wrote a pretty personal song that described how I’d been feeling for a while. There’s a part of the song that goes, “If I’m wrong tell me now, hear my cry when I’m down, lift me up, your love is better than life; but why is your voice, once so clear, so quiet now, it#8217;s not that I don#8217;t listen, I just don#8217;t hear.”  I had had years of good ministry and walking with God and feeling close to him, and then it seemed like God went quiet and distant.

I didn’t stop believing; I just stopped hearing. It was probably sometime in the following months that Kelly and I, unbeknownst to us, contracted brucellosis, a disease carried by animals and passed to humans usually through unpasteurized milk or meat.

Over the last few years we’ve seen our health gradually deteriorate. I’ve especially had strong symptoms, such as arthritic join pain and chronic sciatic back pain, fatigue and overheating, among many other things, but we didn’t know why. Around May last year we were definitely at our lowest point.

There was a time when I said to Kelly, “I think I’m dying. I’m not sure I’ll make it past 40.”

A couple months later we were doing routine health checks in Nairobi and decided to check for brucellosis, and both our tests came back positive. At the time we didn’t know much about the disease, but as we learned more we realised that this could be what’s responsible for our poor health.  So we started treatment.

After treating it twice, Kelly successfully got rid of it, but I still had it. I went through a third and much more severe treatment in March this year that, according to the microbiologist in Nairobi, had never failed to eradicate brucellosis. About a month after finishing treatment I went back to Nairobi to get re-tested.

Because of a number of different things going on, we had decided that if I was still positive then we’d leave Tanzania and head home to Australia for at least 6 months to seek treatment. It wasn’t good timing to be leaving the field – our translation department was going through big changes and I was supposed to take over the role of department head in October, plus we had our annual branch conference coming up, and I was quite involved in that too, but we decided to put out a ‘fleece’ and see where God wanted us.

Amazingly the results were negative! I was all clear.

Mitsubishi Delica Van

In June, after the conference, we decided to get further tests done while we were still in Nairobi. This time I was positive to brucellosis. As depressing as a positive diagnosis is, it was comforting to know that we’d sought out God’s will and felt that he clearly wanted us to stay in Tanzania. And so I treated, yet again.

Treatment takes about 6 weeks, and for the second half of treatment and probably a month following the medicines make you feel miserable, sick, tired and very overheated.

That finished in August, and since then I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to get my blood tested again. That opportunity came on the weekend because a colleague was leaving Musoma for furlough, and was able to take my blood sample to Nairobi to get tested.

Last Friday I was lying in bed, listening to music, and thinking about getting re-tested for brucellosis. I was thinking about what I’d do if the test came back positive yet again, and saying to God, “Will it ever end? I don’t think I can do this again.” I asked God what was going to happen, and my consciousness switched back to the song that was playing and I heard the words, “For the joy set before me, I will endure.” I had one of those moments when I realised that God was talking to me, and I thought, “So this is it? This is your will for me?” While still meditating on this the next song came on and I heard, “Hold on, don’t lose hope, ‘cause the better days are before you now.”

I got the results back today and they’re positive. It was hard news to take. But I’m finding comfort in the fact that God prepared me for it, and that I’m right where he wants me to be. And that makes it much easier to deal with. A friend reminded me yesterday of C.S.

Lewis’ quote that “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains.” I still don’t know what God is ultimately communicating to me through all of this, but if this is my cross to endure, then it’s a light one compared to what Jesus bore, and the end result is ‘joy’. For us who have hope in our Creator, the better days are before us, and that’s where I’m headed.

Mitsubishi Delica Van
Mitsubishi Delica Van
Mitsubishi Delica Van
Mitsubishi Delica Van

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