Duct Tape, Chocolate Eclairs, and Goodbye

Duct Tape, Chocolate Eclairs, and Goodbye

June 14, 2011

Tuesday  was our last
day at the carepoints. The day was a free play day, just hanging out with the
kids. We loved and loved and loved those children. We played with bubbles,
watched them color, read books with them, held them and laughed with them.
Mandy Flanders took the opportunity to hang with the girls of the D-team and
thus got her hair braided into African cornrows.  Before we tell you of our good-byes, we have
some rather important things to share with you.

The first item that we must not neglect is the all-around
praise that Jesse Powell received as Mr. Duct Tape. The valuable lesson to
learn here is to never leave home without it. A loose list has been compiled of
Mr. Duct Tape’s wise help with duct tape: fixed two shower heads, taped windows
closed in the conference room, taped several finger cuts, taped leg cuts, fixed
a trailer hitch, taped together  the
burning bush for Bible story, taped bubble machine to fence, available to tape
old-fashioned key holes for privacy, taped balls after they were punctured,
taped children’s shoes together.  We
feel  sure that he snuck in a few more
unique uses while we weren’t looking.

On the medical front, we must praise God that other than
Tobani’s seizure, there were no serious treatments. Perhaps the most important
cases Dr. Ikeler handled were the two cases of malnutrition. These children
were accompanied to the hospital with Dr. Ikeler and a missionary staff member.
During this time, hospital staff spoke with Amy (missionary) about how to
better engage and teach these mothers about nutrition. In addition, they were
introduced to the beautiful blessing of Plumpy Nut, a heavily fortified peanut
butter like substance, which can quickly give these malnourished children a
good boost. Among other  issues Dr.
Ikeler dealt with were a cut hand (no stitches),  an ailing ear, a high fever (the baby got
better over night),  an infection
for  a baby (treated), and treatment of
Tobani’s constant runny nose

Speaking of Tobani, let us introduce him to you. Tobani is
special. He is Mike Ikeler’s Special Friend. For those of you that have been
following the blogs, he is in one of the first pictures we posted. He has
several health issues, chief among them, his nose runs profusely and constantly
and he is mute.  He has captured our
hearts. Everyone knows him. Everyone loves him. During the afternoon of this bonding
day, Jesse Powell and Braxton Willis were inside the church when Tobani walked
in. Now the church has  a concrete floor.
In addition, the ground outside is mostly dirt. The crowd of children and
adults hourly bring in loads of dirt into that building.  To Braxton and Jesse’s surprise, Tobani  picked up a push broom and commenced to sweep
the entire place. Due to many constraints, the writer regrets that this story
cannot be told in Jesse’s exact words. But Tobani worked as if on a mission.
When he finished sweeping out the place, he then started moving the benches
into certain positions. It became apparent that Tobani was moving the benches
into place for Bible story time. Now, for lunch, the team had finished off our
meal with –it almost shouldn’t be said—chocolate éclairs. And there was Tobani
working hard. By this time, there were several people watching in amazement as
Tobani worked feverlishly to  do his
self-appointed job. The thought occurred to someone that since Tobani was
working, he should be paid. How to pay him? Ah! Give him an eclair! This treat
was placed in Tobani’s hand and he did not know what to do with it. He simply
looked at it. Then a team member tore off a piece and told him to put it in his
mouth, which he did. At this moment a huge grin crossed his face. In utter
delight, he finally split that thing open like a hot dot  bun and
commenced to  eat that filling,
with as much mess as one can imagine. The proverbial custard mustache appeared.
It was a beautiful thing.

Eventually, the time wound down and the moment arrived that
it was time to say good-bye to the children. This moment was not easy. But what
can be said is that God was with both us and the children. As our van moved
down the long dirt road, many children waved and then ran, trying to follow us,
huge smiles upon their faces. Inside our van, many were struggling with the
pain of good-bye; but let it also be noted that God was giving us the strength
to look forward.

That night, we had dinner and prayer with the team newly
arrived from Colorado. Warm regards were all around. Then we headed home for a
much needed rest. With the exception of The Great Bookbag Boondoggle, our time
at the carepoints had been near perfect. This was a God-thing. Little did we
know we so needed our rest. For the next
time period would give us a bit of a challenge. This blog shall leave
you hanging…..To be continued…..

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