It was a warm day yesterday--sounds like pretty similar temps to Little Rock, actually. John was scheduled to come home around 3:30 from his second four-day trip in two weeks, this one to a village several hours north where they have plans for a sizeable Christian university. Meanwhile back at the compound, our carpenter, Godfrey, was at our house with his quiet, usually-smiling sidekick, Lamik. They were installing razor wire around the rest of our compound, just for a little added safety with all of the traveling John does--especially with the two vacant lots that sidle up to our property.
Razor wire, cement walls studded with broken glass, etc. are common around here just to avoid theft. We, for example, personally feel like our car runs more efficiently with tires and a battery. So don't get yourself in a tizzy. We feel quite safe here. The concern increased somewhat with a few brave and remarkably effortless forays by our neighbor kids over our wall to "steal some mangoes," or so the story goes. Note, we are definitely trying to build relationships with our neighbors, and met another this morning. We are, however, under the conviction that our relationships can improve in the absence of petty theft.
Point of interest: Godfrey and Lamik insisted that they install the razor wire without gloves.
They kept trying to explain that the gloves got caught in the wire. But I'm thinking, doesn't that mean that your hands get caught in the wire instead? (Silly mzungu.)
But real concern gripped me when B. ran in from outside just before lunch. "Mom! Come quick! Lamik's hurt!" I abandoned the cupcakes I'd been making with Oliver, our female house help, for a baby shower, and ran out wiping my hands on my apron.
"Godfrey, is Lamik okay?"
Godfrey, who characteristically has a mysterious smirk on his face, was eerily calm atop his ladder. "No."
"He fell on the other side," he quietly continued, indicating the vacant lot next door. I noticed a brick missing at the top of our walls, which are so formidable that if you push on them, they wobble. Bananas or matooke from the trees on the other side were peeking over the top. That kind of height was quite a drop.
"Can he get up?"
Godfrey shook his head. "...No."
I ran inside to grab the gate keys, then booked it up the hill to eMi for Godfrey's instruction to grab Stephen, the human resources manager of all our local staff. When we both arrived, out of breath, Stephen hefted another ladder over the wall. I was amazed and relieved to find that after a couple of long minutes, a wincing Lamik appeared at the top of the wall. He had fallen on his back--a good five or six meters down.
Once he was finally laying on our side of the fence, trying to gather his strength to go to the hospital, I asked if we might pray for him. I swallowed tears, then brought him a basin to wash the blood from his hands. Eventually, we got him into Godfrey's car, now loaded down with a bed pillow, whatever I could scrounge up for lunch, and strict instructions to get Lamik whatever care he might need.
After a long afternoon, the three men returned to drop off Stephen. I was terribly relieved to see Lamik gingerly emerge from Godfrey's Caribe. He'd had two injections and some medication, he explained.
"And when you prayed for me, I felt instant...." His hands formed fists in a gesture of strength and fortitude. Relief, Stephen explained later. He told me that when you prayed, he felt relief.
I felt so many emotions in that moment: I was humbled, thankful--amazed, in awe. Later, I was also sheepish, because I don't recall intentionally praying filled with faith that God would take Lamik's pain and completely heal him on the spot (which He didn't choose to do, but obviously could have). Here I am, a "missionary" (ooh, aah!), and still mildly surprised when God does remarkable things because I ask Him, and despite who I am. May God increase my faith!
Godfrey was back to cracking jokes. "He missed the coffin today!" he laughed.
Today, when Godfrey and Co. arrived, I smiled at Lamik. "God certainly has a purpose for you, Lamik!"
He nodded, back to his easygoing grin and ready to go have some more fun with razor wire.