Dec. 26th: This day we celebrated Christmas in Gondolo, a village about 4 miles away. They told us to come at 9 am for a church service. We arrived right on time. The men went off to sit and drink coffee with the men and the women sat under a huge tree and drank coffee and tea. When we first arrived, they had just slaughtered the pig and wanted us to admire it and take pictures, so we did. Around 1 p.m. one of the church leaders came to tell me that a woman nearby had gone into labor and was having complications. I strapped Josh to my back and asked Victoria to watch Isaac and Evan (Eli was still in town doing visitation among the Mabaan church elders.) About a mile from the church, we finally made it to the hut where the woman was. The anxious husband and father were pacing outside. I ducked inside and saw 5 other women squatting in the dark and the woman in labor on the bed. I greeted them in Arabic and went over to check on the mama. She had already given birth to a darling baby girl, but 2 months premature. The baby was very tiny but breathing well and crying so I knew she was OK. However, they had not cut the cord and the placenta was stuck inside still. All of you know I am not a nurse, even though everyone here seems to think I am. I wasn’t sure what to do but encouraged her to get up and squat and try to push. We did that but she fainted two times. Each time she passed out, one of the women got a mouth full of water and spewed it all over her body to wake her up. It worked every time. I was behind her supporting her body and there was a woman holding the still-attached baby. I was praying the whole time and suddenly remembered that there was an Uduk lady at the church celebration who was a midwife in town, so we sent for her. By the time Lucy, the midwife arrived, the baby had been out for 3 hours. She was still doing fine but getting cold. We had her wrapped, but she needed body heat. Thankfully Lucy knew just what to do and cut the cord (with me watching so I’ll know what to do next time). Lucy did all she knew how to do to get the placenta out, but it was stuck, so Lori brought the quad bike and took her and her husband to the clinic in town. She refused to take her baby on the bike and left her with another woman to nurse.
By now it was almost 4. I was hungry and thirsty since I hadn’t eaten all day and it was about 100 degrees out. I got back to the church right as the service was ending. The head count was 279 so floods of people came down the path to the place where we would eat together.
Isaac and Evan were starting to fall apart since it had been a long day and they hadn’t eaten anything except for some nuts and raisins I brought. Around 5:00 sat down to eat. We had a wonderful meal of goat, pork, and kisra. We tried to eat kind of fast because we knew we had to walk home which would take more than an hour with all our kids. Isaac already had 3 blisters on one foot from sand rubbing in his sandals. I said a quick prayer and asked God to somehow carry us home. By now we were all hot, dusty, and very tired. Miraculously Isaac walked all the way home – all four miles. I carried Evan on my shoulders and had Joshua on my back. I’m not sure how I did it – God did it.
We got home just as the sun was disappearing around 7. Eli was setting up the movie screen to show “The Nativity.” I knew I wouldn’t last much longer, so I brought the boys home, bathed all three, and put them straight to bed. I followed suit.
As you can see, this Christmas week was quite eventful. We had a lot of new experiences and learned a lot from our Sudanese friends.Edna and baby Sandy from the Ganza tribe. It has been fun to pass on some of our children's clothes and see them around the village.