Monday, June 17, 2013

Driving in the Bush

We went to Syonga school last week.  Brenda had a meeting.  We didn't have a driver so she asked me if I thought I could do it.  I thought about the route, no problem.  There are a few tight spots, but overall it is an easy road.  Dirt roads, sure, but I could handle it.

(Let me remind you that here in Uganda they drive on the LEFT side of the road.  I have been driving a good bit here, on the main, paved roads to the Village of Eden.  I am getting pretty confident, even driving the big 15 passenger van that is a stick (the gear stick is on my left and the gears are backwards))

So, we went to Syonga.  She had her meeting and then told me we had to go to the councilman's house.   Pastor Joseph asked Brenda, "Who is driving?"  She pointed at me and he started laughing.

I asked him what was so funny.  "Well, do you know how to drive in the bush?"

I assured him I had never done it but would give it a try.  He wished us luck and we were on our way with a social worker in the back seat directing me.

"The Bush" is just that!  You are driving in, around, over, through, between and hopefully not INTO the bushes.  You are taking a car down a path that is usually only trafficked by bare feet and bicycles.

We started out, I sat up and realized I was in for a challenge.  At one point our guide told me to back up because I had missed my road - it was actually a field I needed to cut across, not road, not even a foot path this time.

We eventually found the councilman's house, a very calm, peaceful place IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!

Now I can check off "Driving in the bush" from that bucket list, although I must admit it was never actually on there to begin with. . .

Yeah, I drove right through that


"Are you sure this is a road???"

"Back up, you missed your road. . . "

Councilman's House

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Follow Up of "Trying Times in Uganda" post

Monday, Jessica, Baby Brenda’s mother (see “Trying Times in Uganda” post for entire story), called us and asked us to come to her house.  She wanted to give us a gift.
We went back to her house on Tuesday and found her walking back from the well while balancing a large yellow, plastic can full of water on her head.  She began smiling from ear to ear when she saw us arriving!  She started saying, “Asanti sana, Asanti sana”  (“Welcome, welcome)  We went to her house and as she ran to the neighbor’s house to borrow chairs for her most honored guests.  She brought us into the house and let us sit down as she kneeled in front of us. (This is the custom for women from the rural areas.  It is their way of showing respect.)
Brenda receiving Tom from Scovia

Shortly, her oldest daughter, Scovia, brought in a huge Tom Turkey and handed it to Dr. Brenda!  This was our gift from their own farm!

Tom's impressive horn

Claudia is smiling like this because she is REALLY nervous!

Tom's side shot

We were so surprised.  A full grown male turkey costs around $22 U.S.  This was a huge gift for them to be giving to us.

I was especially grateful because it showed us that she understood that we had tried everything we could do to save her baby.  She was understanding and grateful for our help.

We put Tom Turkey in the trunk of the car and took it to the Village of Eden to live with the ducks at the fish pond.

That night one of our volunteers posted a picture of Tom Turkey on Facebook.  A few hours later someone had donated money for Tom to have a female companion!

Tina Turkey

Tina needs a make-over

Today we bought Tina Turkey and she will go to live with Tom tomorrow at the fish pond.  Our farm family is growing! (In my opinion Tom is much better looking than Tina, but maybe she just needs a make-over. . . )

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Multiplying Rabbits and Books

We have our first set of baby rabbits at the Village of Eden.  They are well, multiplying like rabbits!  Eventually, these furry little creatures will be served up to the orphans as an excellent source of protein.  (Although they will just be told it is meat. . . )

We are also watching our books multiply, but in another way.  Each team that arrives is bringing books that have been donated for the Village of Eden library.  Claudia and I have been cataloging and labeling the books.    The children are always excited to see the new books arriving because they know they will be for their use eventually.


What would you do if 750 children showed up for your Saturday Bible study??
Here at the Village of Eden it is a regular event.  Every Saturday around 750 children from 2 – 16 years old come to sing, play, dance and hear the Word of God.  These children are from all around the Village of Eden. 

Pray for this ministry that it would continue to be successful and make a positive impact  on the  communities surrounding the Village of Eden.

Claudia and children

Meet Juliet

I want to introduce you to a new friend of mine.  Her name is Juliet.  She came to the medical clinic at the Village of Eden.  We are treating her for some wounds on her legs. 

Juliet is 10 years old but does not have many friends.  She cannot run and play like the other children.  Juliet is also wary and afraid of strangers and new people.  This is all because Juliet was born with some disfigurations caused by a genetic disorder.
We have been treating her would daily and working to gain her trust.  On Saturday, we went and pickup up Juliet to take her to Esangalo Bible study at the Village of Eden.  She seemed to really enjoy the time with the other children, despite her fears.  The children also began warming up to her and including her in some of the games.

Pray that we will be able to share the love of Christ with Juliet and her family.  Pray that she will understand that Jesus loves her and sees her as a Beautiful Person.

Trying Times in Uganda

It has been a very busy 12 days here in Uganda.  So much so that is the is first time I have had a chance to sit down and think about what all has been going on.

Tuesday, May 21:
Claudia and I arrived in Entebbe.  Claudia is from Bolivia.  She has been praying for 6 years to come to Uganda!  Her excitement is contagious.  Everything is “wonderful” and “great”!

Me and Claudia

Thursday, & Friday, May 23 & 24:  We had a medical clinic at the Village of Eden.  We saw several hundred people during the clinic time.  They came to be seen by our doctors and then we shared the Gospel with them.  Two patients especially stuck out to me.
Patients waiting to be seen

The first was 2 month old Baby Brenda Nafu.  She came into the clinic with her mother, Jessica.  When we first saw the baby, we actually thought she was dead.  She was not moving and extremely emaciated.  We immediately sent her to the hospital.  They tested her and determined that she had malaria.  They treated her with IV’s and Quinine.  

The following afternoon, Saturday, Brenda and I went to check on her.  She was not breathing well.  She would stop breathing completely for long periods of time and then gasp for air.  She seemed to be in pain and very uncomfortable.  We determined that if she was going to make it she needed oxygen.  We tried to find an African man to accompany us but there was no one available because it was already around 6:00 at night.  We went by and picked up Steve Moon and began  a journey I will never forget.

Brenda began doing CPR.  We first went to Duboni hospital because we were told they had a Surgery Theatre; therefore, they have oxygen.  When we arrived, there was no electricity and the generator was not strong enough for the machine.  We then went farther on to Masaf Hospital.  It was around 7:30 now.  Masaf had oxygen and a strong generator but the battery was bad for starting it.  We called a head doctor who said he would send the ambulance.  We could take out the battery from the ambulance to start the generator.  We waited.  

Brenda continued doing CPR in the dark.  
Dr. Brenda doing CPR in the dark

Finally the doctor called.  The ambulance does not have enough fuel to arrive at the hospital.  We decided to take our battery out of the car and start the generator.  But, the man with the keys to the generator was gone and not answering the phone!  Everyone kept telling us, “You have to go to Kenya.”  Finally, at around 11:00 at night, three mzungu’s (white people), the mother and baby Brenda began trying to cross the border into Kenya.  (If you are not aware, this is not a safe thing to do, especially three Americans so late at night)  After pushing our way through immigration lines on both sides of the border and paying for visas  we finally crossed an hour later.  We then went to the hospital that was only about 5 minutes across the border.

Districk Hospital in Kenya

We checked Baby Brenda in and they put her on oxygen.  The District Hospital determined that she also had Pneumonia.  They began treating her.  Baby Brenda was sleeping peacefully and we felt hopeful that she would recover.  We waited around for a while and then left the mother and baby there in the children’s ward.  We crossed back over into Uganda and arrived at the Mission House around 2:00 in the morning.

Sunday, May 26:

After a wonderful service with the Helping Hands children’s choir, Brenda and I went with Pastor Moses back over to Kenya to check on mother and baby.  When we walked into the ward, Mama Jessica began crying.  She said that Baby Brenda had died an hour ago!  She said that she was afraid to tell the nurses because she did not want them to take the baby to the mortuary.  She had been pretending that the baby was still living for the past hour!  My heart broke for the mother’s grief and sorrow.  I cannot imagine the pain and desperation she must have felt during that time of being alone and uncertainties.

We arranged to take the body back to Uganda.  Once we crossed back over, with the mother in the back seat holding the body, we went to the local carpenter to order a casket.  They measured the body and told us to return in 2 hours.

Finishing the casket

We returned to the Mission House, laid the body on a bed and the mother laid beside it for the long 2 hour wait for the casket.

Finally, with the casket in the middle of the back seat, beside mother and baby, we drove out to the Village of Eden to return them to their home.

Monday, May 27:

We went to the funeral that afternoon.  When we arrived, we were the guests of honor and Dr. Brenda Kowalske was in charge of the service (much to her surprise).  The service was sad but we did take the opportunity to preach and share the Gospel with everyone present.  We shared that this was just a body.  Baby Brenda’s spirit was up in Heaven with God.  It was a very trying day for all of us.

The Funeral service - the men sat on benches.

The women sat behind us on the ground.

This picture was a "mistake" but it symbolizes everything to me.!
I pray that the people that were in Baby Brenda's life will come to know the One
who give Eternal Life!

The people were all very thankful to us.  They thanked us for trying so hard, for taking her to Kenya and for coming to the funeral. 

Pray that these people will come to know the Lord through Baby Brenda’s short life.  Pray that they will see there is no hope outside of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(note:  these