October 2011, Nashville, Tennessee ~
I pray this finds you in good favour with the Lord Jesus Christ. I am doing well; glad that fall is finally here. It has been a very long, torrid summer, but compared to parts of the U.S., we had it a lot better than a lot of people did.
At leasl we had periods of rain to cool things down somewhat. A lot of places didn't and are suffering terribly.
I have moved back to my old house on Division Street here in town. Until just recently, I had been living close by Nashville Memorial Hospital. I had a lot of surgeries; my latest one was several months back and am currently still healing. I am not in nearly as much pain; for that I am very grateful, indeed.
I now have a prosthetic nose and cheeks, which have greatly enhanced my facial appearance. I no longer look like an outsider: I look nearly normal, save for the slightly lighter colouration of the prosthetic nose and cheeks as compared to my real skin tone and the tracheotomy tube in my throat, in which I use to breathe/talk. Compared to what I had first looked like when I lost my face to a sandfly back in my native Africa, I am looking quite good.
I am veyr pleased with how things turned out for me. It has been a God-given miracle, and I give God all the praise and glory for sending people my way to fix my face.
Back in May (when I last wrote), I mentioned that my dear mother in Africa was coming for a visit. Well, she did and we had a marvellous time. When she saw my improved face, she cried buckets of tears and I cried right along with her because I was so happy to see her. The last time she had seen me was right after I had gotten bitten by the sandfly. She couldn't believe how good I looked. All she could do was stare at me and cry with joy.
Mother told me about what was going on back home. Such strife and tragedy in my former homeland! It is no wonder why I had left (plus some dear friends from America paid my way to come to get my face fixed and after being here for a while, I decided to move here). I am now an American citizen and am working on continuing my English and my writing.
I still want to be a professional writer someday and perhaps write a book about my experiences back in Africa and here in America.
In addition to my schooling, I am keeping busy with my church-related duties. I usher once a month and enjoy greeting the attendees (and visitors) when they walk into the building. I still help out with the homeless ministry and attend church twice a week (Sundays and Wednesdays). I wish I could sing with the choir, but I am too embarrassed about my face. I am feeling better about how it looks; I just don't like all the stares, finger-pointing, or comments from strangers.
People just don't understand what I have gone through to get my face repaired to the point to where it is now.
Next year I may go to Africa on a missions trip. I would love to visit Sudan and tell others about Jesus Christ and what He has done in my life. It is only by Jesus' grace and mercy that I have been able to accomplish what I have in my life. That is a future goal and am praying for a financial blessing so I can fulfill this goal.
Well, it is time for me to retire for the night. School tomorrow and church as well. It will be a very busy day for me. I will write in here again soon; please forgive me for the long lapse in my writing. Sometimes I am terrible about this. Until later, this is Bwame' Ottumbwa saying so long; may you be richly blessed beyond your imagination!
~Love, your friend in Tennessee, Bwame'. :)
~To be continued.~