News From the Hoggs

The African Report Newsletter: Jerry V. Hogg, 462 Amanda Circle, Knoxville, TN 37922 Email: Apr-May 2015 Sponsored by: Sunset Church of Christ, Sunset International Bible Institute, 3723 34th Street, Lubbock, TX 79410 “TIME HEALS MOST THINGS” We have come to find that, given most situations, we can either learn to live with our aches and pains, or we find a “cure” for some of our ailments! Of course, we rely on God’s healing touch to help us get through the most painful experiences of our lives, physical, and emotional. Some things we just learn to live with, or endure. No matter how hard we try, some things in life just do not improve to our satisfaction. In the “dead of night” or the “wee hours” when we cannot go back to sleep, things run through our minds about the past, sometimes we try to imagine a different scenario, ‘wish I’d said this” or “done that” and maybe things would have turned out differently for me. my family, my children, etc. But, we’ll never know, because we cannot go back and undo the past, can we? We must live in the present, do the best we can with what we have at hand today, thank God for our many blessings, and move on. HEALING AND STATUS Days come and go so quickly, and the work gets done. One thing we have found here is that we do not have endless lists of doctor appointments as we did back home in Tennessee. Ann spent 6 days in the local hospital’s “High-Care” unit the second week of April (8-13) with high blood pressure and fairly high numbers of her blood sugar. She had drips and needles inserted in both arms to monitor all that. It all began on a Tuesday afternoon (7th) with a very dizzy headache and vomiting. We did not know what was happening, for she had never had this before. The dizziness was there all night and the next day - then I decided to get her to a doctor. We did not have a doctor here, but called the Hornes and they referred us to one they had gone to. Our beloved Dr. Saville, whom we (and the Hornes) have gone to for years, died a couple of years ago, and we had no need to find another one until now. Anyway, we called and got an appointment that same afternoon. When we first got to the office and registered at the desk, they called Ann’s name and took her back to see the “Sister”. (Here, the RN is called that, and she’s the most qualified person on staff, other than the doctor.) She had Ann to lie down, and they hooked up a drip to her arm and began administering an anti-biotic and a pain medication. Neither of us has ever had a drip in a doctor’s office before, so we both thought something terrible must be wrong. We wondered if all patients got such immediate treatment? Come to find out, they could see that, with her history of being a diabetic, and initially checking her blood pressure, that high category of care was needed immediately. Then, they began discussions about getting her to the hospital right away. They suggested taking her by ambulance, but I thought I could drive her there in my van, and she thought she could do that. So, the doctor’s office called ahead and made the arrangements and off we went. I think we gave the doctor’s staff a fright that day! It gave us a fright, too. AT THE HOSPITAL Ann was first seen in the ER and placed into a cubicle while I filled out the paperwork and answered their many questions about her history. It didn’t take long until the doctor-in-charge decided she needed to be admitted to the Criticality “High-Care” ward. They did a CT scan of her head to see if perhaps she’d had another stroke. According to their report there was no damage, only scars from the stroke in May 2014. Other specialists were called in, a Radiologist to read the scans, a Cardiologist to do a EKG and a scope of her heart to check for possible damage. He only came the second day and did a thorough exam, and concluded: NO damage to the heart – that is always good news. In the High-Care Unit, Ann had excellent care, there was 1 nurse for every 2 patients-around the clock. The only complaint she had was they woke her up at 3:00 a.m. with a cup of hot tea, then it was bath-time ... so early in the morning. One of her daytime nurses was an Indian chap. He was well qualified to do his job. He asked Ann one day about 11:00 a.m. “If” she’d like for him to give her a bath? She told him, “No, thank you, but I had my bath at 3:00 a.m. this morning.” A good and honest reply. She has had one follow-up doctor’s appointment since her release on the 13th for prescriptions and to verify her medications. She still has dizzy spells when she says the room is going around, but few stomach upsets since coming home. She has made progress in her walking, and for doing chores around the house, but I am doing all of the meal preparations, laundry and shopping. She makes the bed with a little help, folds most of the laundry, & does some typing and editing of my notes and correspondence. She tires easily and does require a lot of rest. But, she is looking better and seems to get around better. It just takes time to recover from the effects of a stroke. OPERATION: ANTI-FREEZE In a land that normally is warmed by the sun, no homes or businesses are equipped with any type of heating units. African folks literally ‘live’ by the sun, but it DOES get cold here. We Americans, especially, feel the intense cold when the sun goes down at the end of the day. Most Africans (women, esp.) just wrap-up in their blankets, with a baby on their back to warm up. A couple of years ago, our Benoni Youth group came up with the phase “Operation: Anti-Freeze” to help provide blankets for the school children that were being fed daily in the Squatter Camps near the SABC campus. They asked each family to bring (or buy) a blanket for the needy folks who struggle to live in the metal shacks, with no heat of any kind. These blankets were stacked on the pulpit area at Benoni until there was quite a few accumulated. Then, the youth went with their dads, some of whom were deacons, to distribute these welcomed blankets to the kids. This year, they began this project earlier (in May) in order to make the distribution BEFORE the cold winds from the South began. We wrote to a family in Kentucky, who has helped us before in this project, if they wanted to join us again in providing blankets. They responded with favor and kindness, and sent a donation for the blankets. With this assistance, Tom & Linda King, along with Lance Archer, and others were able to negotiate a special bargain with a local clothing store, to get the blankets and jackets for the kids at a good discount. Also, Al & Donna Horne had received a big parcel of hand-knitted “beanies” (toboggans) to give to those who desperately needed them. In addition to the blankets, jackets, and beanies, we also added: a pair of warm socks, gloves, and scarves that some of the ladies here knitted. This year a private school in Boksburg where one of the elder’s wife is the Principal, donated 600 oranges and small cartons of orange juice to distribute in the camp. Thanks goes to many this year for helping feed and clothe these poor kids! I went out to the poor housing area that day for this distribution. REPAIRING WATER-WELLS! Peter Mostert, a SABC graduate, has been making a trip to Africa once or twice a year from his home in California to help repair and/or restore water wells in villages all over Southern Africa. Peter was born in Zambia, moved to South Africa as a teenager with his parents, then they immigrated to New Zealand where he finished school. It was in NZ where they came in contact with some Sunset missionaries who taught and baptized this family. In the mid-‘70's after the mom died in NZ, Peter and his dad, Jerry (now also deceased) moved to South Africa to attend SABC. Peter went on to Abilene to finish his degree(s), and there he met Leslye (from Montana). They married and came back to work in SA in 1981 with their young son, also Peter. Their 2 children are grown now, one is a doctor. This year, Leslye came with Peter to work in Zambia repairing the water wells. They have done a magnificent job in helping many folks have clean water to drink and use for their family. As you can imagine, Peter is welcomed by everyone in the villages where they traveled, including the Paramount Chief, by offering this humanitarian project to the village. I was supposed to meet Peter in Zimbabwe the end of May, but due to Ann’s illness, felt I shouldn’t travel that far away. If she got very ill and needed to go to the hospital, there would be no one who could sign to get her admitted, or pay the costs for her treatment! I was happy to hear that Peter & Leslye made that successful trip to Zambia and found brothers there (and others) who helped them to restore the water wells. Peter has found, as I did during the Malawi famine, that if you offer them a humanitarian service like that, folks will then listen to the Gospel message. NEVER A GOOD TIME! Many things happen that we do not expect or plan for. Old age creeps up on us when we least expect it. Ann and I never planned on retiring from our mission work this soon. She has always been right here beside me, helping me do what must be done, in every project, planning every trip, packing, preparing items that must be taken, printing tracts and brochures, hymn books in different languages, etc. Oh! We’ve done so many things over the years. We are just not ready to ‘hang it up’, but one day, we know we must do that.... but not now. Lord willing, we’ll “keep on ‘keeping on’” as one of my Sunset teachers used to say so often! Pray that we will have the strength and health to do that! “God is good, all the time! And, all the time, God is good!” To quote a dear sister in Zimbabwe, who had just lost her house in an explosion. Until next time ... hang in there! Do the right thing, and we believe strongly God will look out for you. Thank you so much for all the interest and support we get from so many in so many places. You are part of this work in ways that is difficult to describe in words. God bless each one who cares about spreading His message in this land. Love you dearly, – Jerry & Ann Hogg