Saturday, July 25, 2015

Provision: chick-fil-a style

I am always amazed at God's  provision for me, even in simple desires - like Chick-fil-A!
We don't get to eat that delicious chicken often - well, never.  
But, today, I had fried chicken and found a pack of Chick-Fil-A sauce!  (A team member had brought it). Almost as good as the real thing!  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Deliveries this week: Wheelchair, 50 mosquito nets and a cow!

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 have here.

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, 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!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Praise report!

It is amazing  what food, love and God's healing power can do!
A week ago, this was Baby Solivia. 

We were checking constantly to see if she was still breathing. Waking up at all hours of the night to feed her. Praying fervently for God's healing. 

God answered our prayers.  Solivia was sitting in the floor singing "Baby Jesus I love you" this morning!

Look at that smile!  Praise the Lord for His  healing!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Please Feed Me!

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


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Starving! (Part Two)

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 said!  Big surprise.

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 hours.  Period.
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 it.
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.