Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Visitors from Canada

Last week we had the privilege of hosting Dan Sheffield, Jared Siebert, and Mary-Elsie Wolfe. Jared and Mary-Elsie now have Nigerien names: Garba and Mariama-Salamatou. We enjoy sharing our lives with others from home and giving them an opportunity taste what life is like here. However it was not all fun and games as we had meetings with different church leaders and other business to accomplish as well.
I think we packed a lot into the six days they were here but enjoyed every minute of it. The church here was also appreciative of their ministry.
Some of you have asked for an update on my (Dave’s) health and it’s probably about time I said something. We enjoyed our week in Ghana. We spent time with the psychologist at the Mobile Member Care Team. Most of my systems were stress related and we spent time discussing some strategies both for managing and reducing some of
the stressors in our life. The primary stressors I had been experiencing were directly tied to the symptoms themselves, i.e. as I had chest pain (a stress symptom) and the doctors suggested this could be heart related my stress would go up, producing other stress symptoms like heart pounding, increased blood pressure, etc… Now that heart problems have been eliminated from being a primary concern, my basic stress levels have dropped but the residual effects are still there. Stress is cumulative. In other words, things from two months ago may no longer be on your mind but our bodies continue to carry that stress and it takes time for the effects of it to fade away. That’s why when a doctor/psychologist evaluates your stress levels they ask about events of the last six month to a year of your life—your body/psyche is still carrying the effects of those things and they affect your experience of stress today. Fortunately there are some things we can do to help our bodies and minds to better deal with the stress. So for the time being I have to avoid caffeine (which can produce heart palpitations), get more physical exercise, as well as some other relaxation techniques to help scale down some of the cumulative stress that I’ve managed to build up with my experiences of Nigerien health care… I am still experiencing those symptoms but I am no longer getting stressed about them

The next big stressor in our life is buying a piece of property. We’ve just entered into negotiations for a property in our neighbourhood. Please pray that the details will work out for a price and getting money transferred in a timely manner.

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