Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wow! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks; hence why I have not blogged in forever. Sorry. I have had 9 kiddos in my house for the past few weeks, and it’s been pretty insane. But also so fun! There’s been lots of bodily functions, sleepless night, and lots, and lots of crying going on in this household. Our littlest guests have been: Rachel, Rusty, Tracy (all sisters), Christina, Bethsheir, Winith, Judith (twins), Esther, and of course Faith! It’s been challenging having many sick children here who do not speak English, know how to sit at a table to eat, or use a toilet. Oh, it’s been a good time! Rachel, Rusty, and Tracy all got dropped off at about 9:30 at night (which is not uncommon, a large portion of my nights I get people coming to the gate with medical needs up till about 10:00) they had scabies, so we removed their clothes, bathed them right away, and started them on treatment. Before bed, Rachel made it know that she had to “fuka” (pee), and looked at me like I had horns coming out of my head when I showed her the toilet. She looked really hard at it for a few then made an attempt… It was one of the most hilarious things I have seen in my life! Once she had made it successfully into a sitting position she looked up at me, and gave me the biggest grin I’ve probably ever seen. She was SO proud of herself! Unfortunately the other girls did not catch on so quickly…

Along with all the munchkins, I have some new volunteers in the house as well: Heidi (Helping to start the Bible club program), Elly (my cousin!), and our 2 visitors: Rachel & Airelle! But along with the coming of new help my right hand man (well, lady), Shana is headed home for Canada this week, and my heart hurts a little bit. Shana has been with me since I got here, and has helped get everything on this side started, and it’ll be so sad to say goodbye. Shana has not only been an incredible blessing to Serving His Children, but has been a huge encouragement and good friend to me as well! But I’m blessed to have new volunteers, and excited for the coming months!

Last week we started Bible Clubs, and that’s been super fun! We always have any/all children over for “playtime” on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons, so we just added bible class to those days; it’s great because we already have many kids here on the compound, and I already somewhat know them! Heidi and Elly are doing a great job being creative with their teaching tactics; the kids love it! Especially the music! Some of the older girls are asking a lot of good questions and seem to be very curious, so it’s super exciting to see God working in their hearts!

Feeding has been great! Instead of numbers shooting up, they have actually decreased since school let out. I found out that it’s because we feed all of the kids at the local school, Lake Site Primary and most of their students walk for a good long hour or so in the morning to get to school, so when they’re on holiday it is too far for them to walk for lunch. We’re sitting at about 900 these days.

All around life has gotten back to normal, well, as normal as it can be… All the sickys are now back home, except for Faith. It was sad to see them go because I had a lot of fun with them, but at the same time, I was a little relived. We had a couple major, major fit throwers, and I mean I don’t really blame them; I would through fits for the white girl who was shoving nasty tasting meds down my throat, and sticking needles in me. But they are now home, Happy, and Healthy!

Oh, quick Faith update: She is doing really well, being put on ARVs in the next few weeks. Her white blood count is dangerously low though. For a child of her age she should be at about 25%. 14% is considered critical, and hers is 7.8%. The doctors said if she has not been found when she was, she would be dead in less than 6 months. Thank you God for bring her to my doorstep. Both she and her Mom are now enrolled in an HIV relief program in Jinja where they can receive free treatment; In Uganda ALL aids treatment is free. Thanks America!

Well, I guess that’s about it. Though I sat down to write this blog at 2pm, I was continually interrupted (surprise), so It’s now almost 2am, and Faith will probably expect me to be up with her by 6 to change her dirtiness; I think I should probably go to bad for a bit. I tried to post pictures, but the internet is being “Ugandan”, and refusing to be timely, so check back in a few days….

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while; most days I don’t feel like my life is very exciting, so I don’t want to bore you. You’d be surprised. I think a lot of times people have this thought that being a missionary is glorious, adventuress, and fun. While sometime that’s true, most of the time that’s not the case. I spend many of the hours that fill my day holding dirty children, cooking, and cleaning up LOTS of vomit. I don’t think I’ve ever seen/had to mop up so much vomit in my life-actually, I know I haven’t. Life here is indescribable. On those days I don’t feel like I’m doing anything worthwhile, or really making a difference. Come on, how many of you just read that and thought “ huh, that sounds like a good time.”? It’s easy to love the days when you feed 950 hungry kids, not so much the “ throw up days” the days you have to be the messenger with the news no one wants to hear, or when you have to be the mean white person what shoves pills in kids mouths. But I’m learning to LOVE everyday no matter what I do/accomplish. If all I do in a day is hold a bowl for one of my sick kids to throw up in, well then they had someone to hold a bowl for them, sit with them, and comfort them, and they didn’t have to throw up in a trash pile by themselves. But, I’m going on a trail here, sorry.

Today I want to ask for prayers, but also tell you how God has already started to answer my prayers... Most of you probably read the last post about Faith, so I won’t retell it, but I’m ask you to be in prayer for her and her little family. Faith did get better and went home. Though about 4 days later she was back again, and way worse than the last time she showed up. I really thought she wasn’t going to be around long; she was so, so bad. She was refusing food and had all the same symptoms from before; I brought her back to the clinic, and surprise, she has malaria again. It seemed strange to me that she would have gotten Malaria again so soon after finishing her round of treatment? So, I had her tested for HIV. It was positive. It was heart breaking to hear the results. She’s only 2, and has so much life to live; it seemed that all that was being taken away in just 5 minutes. And since she is so young there was almost no chance that her Mom did not have it too.

So the other day I took Faith’s Mom and older sister to be tested as well. It was advised that I did not tell them what they were being tested for otherwise they could refuse, take off and leave Faith, or who knows? So off we went to the clinic... After waiting for the HIV staff to show up, and filling out the necessary paperwork, blood was drown and we were left to wait for the test to process. The hardest part. I can’t imagine what was going thought Mama Faith’s head. Finally the results came out, and they first gave them to me and Shana. Because they didn’t even really know what they were giving blood for, I thought it best for us to be the ones to tell them their results. So, as we sat there on the yard of the Walukaba clinic, I had to do one of the hardest things in my life- tell a Mother that not only did her youngest child have a deadly disease that will eventually take her life, but so does she. The only light in the situation was that Whitney (Faith’s older sister) does not have! Thank you Jesus!! The only thing said was “so, I have? And Faith has? Whitney does not have.” It was heart wrenching. Ya know in America when you find out you have to have something strange going on in your body, or you even have to have a minor surgery, you are surrounded be your family, and are loving told the situation and given some options. Here, you get a piece of pink paper that has the stamp “positive” on the front. It
makes you wonder why?

So at the moment Faith is living here, her Mom and sister live with another family. They are not Ugandan, they are from Kenya, so they cannot speak luganda, and that makes life all the more difficult for them here. They came here to Uganda in search of a cousin (that they still have not found). Faith’s Dad was killed in a tribal war last fall, and then in the spring of this year their house was burnt to the ground; they have nothing, so they came here hoping to find their relative. They really have nothing; I mean that when I say it. They are the poorest of poor.
Here in Uganda ARVs (the meds for HIV) are free, you just have to be enrolled in program, so their meds won’t cost them anything. Thanks America! But the place where Faith’s family lives is just a horrible situation, and that’s why Faith is continuing to stay with me. I have been praying about how to best help them, and I know one of the first things is to get them out of that house. But renting a house for someone cost money, and that I am not exactly floating in. Ask and you shall be given right? Well, the other day I had some volunteers at a local orphanage visit the feeding program, and, long story short they had some money left over from their support and they gave it to me saying “I don’t know if this is weird, but I would just love this money to go to someone who need s a house or something. So, I don’t know if you know anyone who needs something like that, but, here ya go!” WOW GOD! Really? The money they gave me is enough to rent a house for almost the next 3 years!! God is good isn’t he? Anyways, this week I suppose I’ll be looking for a small hose for this beautiful family to live in!

Please be in prayer for the health, and well being of Faith and her Mom, that they would be able to stay healthy as long as possible, and that they would come to know the Lord. I want them to live with Christ’s abounding Joy! The times will only get harder with time... Thank you!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Finally had a chance to post these pictures of Faith; sorry it’s taken so long. Faith is now home and doing well, I just saw her today!

Faith on her first night here
(She doesn’t just look sad in this picture, I didn't even think she had teeth until I had to force feed her)

3 days later...