One of my jobs here in Uganda is to make people’s requests a
reality.We get many requests from the
United States. Special requests, outside of the usual ministry work that we
This week I delivered a wheelchair to Lena.The wheelchair was a gift from a family who
had lost a loved one.The loved one had
made a big impact on their children, so they wanted to make an impact on a
child here.Lena is a special needs
child.Her mother has to carry her to
and from the VOE School every day. This was not a problem when she was small,
but she is growing.The mother was so
happy to have a wheelchair!She started
clapping and shaking my hand over and over. Saying “Wevale, wevale” (Thank you,
I also delivered 50 mosquito nets.A women’s group wanted to make a difference
in the lives of some children here.They
sold items to raise the money to buy nets.Malaria is an awful sickness here that is spread by mosquitos.Malaria kills many children each year here in
Uganda.If it does not kill them, it
causes them to be very sick and miss school time, and reduce their resistance
to other sicknesses.Something as simple
as sleeping under a net reduces the child’s risk of malaria greatly.I was able to go to a local school, choose
two classes, 4th and 5th grade and hand out nets to them.It was a great surprise to them and the
children were very excited to receive them!
Finally, I delivered a cow this week!A mission team participant who came here last
year went back and told a group of homeless men where she volunteers at a
shelter about Uganda and the needs here.They were so moved that they saved their quarters, dimes and nickels to
raise enough money to buy a cow for a needy family here!Think about that!Homeless men giving what little they have to
help a family here in Uganda!We chose
Harriet and her 3 children to receive the cow.Harriet is the mother of Solivia, the child we have been caring for and
treating for severe malnutrition. The cow is 3 months pregnant. When the calf
is delivered they will have milk for the children and they will have a means of
generating money to support the family!
Hunger is a problem around the village and we have seen
plenty of cases these past few days!We
heard about two siblings, Jackson and Rita who had been recently treated for
malnutrition and then Jackson was sick with malaria.So, they brought him to us for help. We got
him treatment for malaria and then decided to get more involved.Jackson is 5 and Rita is 2 ½ years old.
Jackson is coming every morning to eat breakfast in our
home.He loves avocado, boiled eggs and
tea with lots of sugar.He eats bread,
but as a last resort.
Then, he goes to our school here at the VOE.He is in the baby class.At school he is receiving a snack of porridge
and a lunch of posho and beans.We are
hoping this will give him a jump start on his nutrition.We would like him to come live at the village
eventually, once the cottages are finished.
I am praying about how to help Rita.She is not school age, so we can’t do it the
same as Jackson.We cannot send food
home because other family members steal it from both of them- taking advantage
of the weak and defenseless!
Please pray for both children, that we will know how to
handle this situation.Pray God will give
us wisdom, the family dynamics are complicated.Pray we can reach their family with the Gospel
About 20 minutes after writing about Solivia, Brenda decided
we needed to take her to a hospital.I
drove to Jinja with Brenda, Harriet and Solivia.This was my first time driving to Jinja – a
drive of about two hours but you are constantly passing trucks, dodging trucks
that come head on at you, dodging bikes, goats, children, people, etc.I was nervous when we finally arrived at the
Jinja round about.
We had been told to go to Nile International Hospital.I remembered seeing a sign on the road. So,
we went to the sign and followed about 3 more signs in the failing light We
found the hospital finally and it was heavenly!I felt such relief.Clean,
modern, we were seen immediately.Great!
They did a liver and kidney
test.They determined that they could
not admit her because it was severe malnutrition with edema which they are not
equipped to treat.They told us to go to
the government hospital. [POP]There goes
our happy bubbles.
We told them we would rather not go to a government hospital,
we have not have success in the past. They assured us this was different.The nutrition ward was clean, orderly, run by
an American.They convinced us.
We got sketchy directions.I began driving in the dark.After some u-turns, asking directions, getting yelled at a few times,
may car horns, one man actually beating on the side of my truck as he yelled at
me, we found the hospital.[POP]The government hospital was not what they
The place was full of sick children.Crying children.Children receiving transfusions.Children lying naked on bare mats.Malnourished, sickly, sad children.Mothers with children lining the hallway
floor, getting ready to camp out for the night.
The hospital was full.There were no beds. The best they could do was give her a grass mat to
lie on the floor.No net, no sheet, no
blanket, no food, just a mat in the hallway.I was overwhelmed to see all the mothers who took that option because
they had no other option. They did not have two white women escorting them,
buying them food, willing to pay for better care. Their only option was the
free hospital that offers a grass mat on the floor.
We talked with the nurses on duty to find out what would be
done during the night if we admitted Solivia.They said that they would give her a protein fortified milk every three
After much deliberation, calling and having a translator
explain the options to the mother, we decided not to admit her to the hospital.
We took her to a guest house, where the four of us shared a room.
At 12:15 AM, we turned out the lights.At 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00 we woke up, checked to
see that the child was breathing. . . . . [WHEW!]Then we would give her about a tablespoon of
milk and let her sleep again.It would
take about 30 minutes to get her to drink that tablespoon but she would drink
We had breakfast around 8:00 then drove back to
Namuwombi – Village of Eden. We spoke with the family to give them two
options.1.Try a similar nutrition program in Mbale.2.Try
to feed and care for the child here, feeding every three hours.We wanted them to know there is a chance the
child will die and that it does not mean that we did not do everything we knew
to do.They assured us they
understood.They said, “We have had four
children die, before you people came around.” [SIGH, GASP]So, the child is sleeping on a mattress in
Brenda’s room.We are going to go on
shifts of watching and feeding.