Wednesday, March 31, 2010

5 days...

The count down continues, only 5 days until we leave. Goodbyes and packing consume all of my time.....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


A few of you have asked for our address so here it is. We will never turn down care packages! Just a few words though about mailing us stuff - Theft or "lost in the mail" is a possibility so please be careful about sending things of much vaule. Also as you fill out the slip at the post office that lists what a package contains please write the total value at $0 so that we don't have to pay taxes on it at our end. Thanks!
Mailing Address:
Jennifer Kragt/Beckie Carlson
P.O. Box 446
Soroti, Uganda

Monday, March 29, 2010


Beckie and I at Remembrance Church sunday morning.....

  • Do you acknowledge that you can do nothing without the strength of God, and do you pledge yourselves to following His will and commands as you serve the people in Uganda ?   Yes
  • Do you agree to demonstrate your love for Christ by serving, using your spiritual gifts and committing yourselves to help International Teams fulfill the Great Commission?  With God's help I do
 I stand before you and before God and I pledge these things.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


  • Sorting and packing medical supplies. It's a hobby I'm cultivating. But the good news is I'm almost done....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Urgent Care

I usually try not to post about my experiences out at Urgent Care but I laughed several times tonight and I want to share the humor. One of my first patients was 7 years old and came in with his mother who evidantly didn't speak english. So here is how triage went-
Me: What brings you in tonight?
Pt's mother: Eh?
Me: It says here he has a loose tooth. What can I do for you?
Pt's mother: Eh?
Me to the patient: Did you get hit in the face?
Patient: Nope
Me: Lets take a look....oh! This is just a baby tooth.
Patient: Yep
Me: So..... what you really needed was the tooth fairy.
Patient and his mother: Eh?
Me: Never mind. The doctor will be in to see you shortly.

Or this patient-
Me: So you stubbed you toe yesterday?
Patient: Yeah. And my 5 mg of methadone every 8 hours isn't cutting the pain.
Me: Eh?

Or this last one-
Me: So what brings you in today?
Patient: I'm sick.
Me: Really? Duh. Can you give me a little more information?
Patient: I'm coughing and stuff.
Me: Come on. Any fever or chills?
Patient: No
Me: Sore throat?
Patient: No
Me: Nausea or vomiting or diarrhea?
Patient: No
Me: So... tell me more about the cough.
Patient: For like 3 days.
Me: You have had the cough about 3 day?
Patient: Yeah.
Me: Do you bring anything up when you cough?
Patient: I guess, sometimes.
Me: Um.... So what you really need is just to go to a pharmacy and get an over the counter cough medicine, stop smoking, and not have wasted our time here. The doctor will be in to see you shortly.
Patient: Can you tell him that I had to miss work to come here so I need a work excuse. Tomorrow and the next day too?
Me: There it is. The real reason that you are here. O.K.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

13 days!

We bought our tickets!!! April 5th.  Thanks everyone for your prayers. God really answered. We were asking to know for sure that today was the day to make the step. We have had a little resistance from ITeams last week as we are not quite at 100% but really felt like the time is now for several reasons. But we prayed first thing this morning that God would make it perfectly clear and by mid morning, unprovoked, ITeams emailed us the go ahead. Thank you Jesus! So now we have 13 days to do our last things and be ready to go. Whoa!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

15 days...

Time to update... so much seems to be going on right now. I think we are purchasing our tickets monday. But we need your prayers. Please pray with us as it seems like there is some spiritual warfare going on.  We are nearly done fundraising but have to be at 100% and the team is ready for us to join them the first full week in April.  May would be our next chance if we don't make it then.  One more prayer request- Little Luka is still in the hospital in Kenya. He is doing better but he and his family still need our prayers.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I’m really sorry to admit this but somehow I missed the miracle. I think I was so focused on learning all I could on L&D that I missed just how amazing new life really is. But last night I got to slow down just a little and enjoy. It really is a wonderful thing when the parents are together and stable, having thought through parenthood, are equipped and supported, ready, the right age and prepared. When labor goes smoothly and in the quiet of the morning a new life joins two loving parents. A life that was created from nothing and has had the breath of God breathed into it. Just figuratively, literally it was a tiny dark blue ambubag that put the first breaths of life into him but it was God that formed these amazing little lungs that in a matter of minutes can switch from being filled with fluid to processing air in a life sustaining way. A tiny, blue, lifeless, slippery form becomes a pink breathing baby in a matter of minutes. Miraculous. You can actually see the circulation from an umbilical cord shut down as his tiny heart takes over the work that it will do for the next 70+ years. It makes the first 7,200 beats successfully in the first hour of life outside the womb. He responds to touch, and sound. He is ready to eat and he can communicate that need clearly. He is already easily comforted by his mother more than anyone else. Astonishing. Wow God. Thanks for letting me see birth this way instead of just as a medical challenge with problems to prevent. I’m sorry that I missed the miracle earlier and I ask that you help me never miss it again!


Time for an update- sorry, I've been busy with non-fundraising stuff... it was kind of nice and kind of necessary to take a small mental break from it all. Beckie and I had a friend staying with us for a few days.  She is preparing to go to the Middle East, also with International Teams. We did some backpacking and cooking and recharged together a little. Beckie's sister was also here so all the more reason to take a little break. But break the break is over. Next week we get back to it!
I have some prayer requests I would like to share:
1. The youngest child of the team that we are about to be joining is very sick and needed to be transported out of Uganda, is currently on dialysis and in an ICU in Kenya.  Please pray for him and his family!

2. Beckie and I are praying hard now about leaving April 5th. This is the third time we have had to push back our date and we really want to be there!  Please join us in praying that our fundraising would be completed and that we could get our tickets and go!

3. More than wanting to go though, we want to want what God wants. (Weird sentence, let me rephrase- We desire to long after the heart of God) Please pray that I'm not striving so hard to be in Africa that I'm missing what God wants of me right now.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Just a little history about Uganda for those who are interested:

Uganda gained its independence from Britain in 1962. An attempt to delicately balance the political power between tribes ended in 1967 when a northerner (Obote) took complete control, favoring his own tribe. Anarchy increased until Idi Amin seized power in 1971. The crazed dictatorship of Amin brutalized the country as the army pillaged and murdered with impunity. Christianity suffered restrictions and intense persecution. Amin’s invasion of northern Tanzania in 1978 provoked a vigorous response and in 1979 Tanzanian and Ugandan exiled troops deposed the military regime, restoring Obote to power. Continued inter-tribal warfare and government incompetence racked the country. Museveni gained power in 1986 and has gradually brought a measure of stability. Uganda now has a paternalistic partial democracy, but with a large army wielding considerable influence. Ever since Museveni took over there has been armed resistance against the government in northern parts of Uganda.

- from Operation World

Sunday, March 7, 2010


(*Warning- this post contains a lot of “nurse speak”. Sorry to my non-medical readers. )

Whoa! Just left L&D and my brain is about to explode... In the last 12 hours I’ve been involved in 2 forceps deliveries, 3 normal vaginal deliveries, 1 bleeding VBAC 8/7, an urgent c-section with an 1,000 EBL, an IUFD at 25 weeks, a 36 week baby who was 4 lbs., several triaged and sent home and 3 patients who’s primary language was not English. I feel marginally more prepared, but it is a small margin. Once again a huge thanks to all of the nurses (and tech!) who are such good teachers!! 

On a slightly different note the fundraising has reached 90%.  Thank you so much to all of you who are praying for Beckie and I. We are looking very seriously at purchasing tickets that will put us in Uganda on April 6th.....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Prayer request

I'm going to share with you something I've been praying about and ask you to join me in prayer about it. Beckie and I could use one more church supporting us. Remembrance, our home church,  is doing a wonderful job but we would love to share our passion for what is going on in Uganda with one other church. Would you be willing to pray with us that God would open this door?


I just read a statistic that said that we fork out more than 30% of our income on stuff we don't need. Advertisers get us to do it by pushing mental buttons. Here are a few that jumped out at me:
• Status- we buy things that are visible to others in order to impress them.
• Beautify our homes- we get a feeling of identity and worth from our home's appearance but rarely is the "stuff" necessary.
• Entertainment- We buy (or rent) to reduce boredom and generate excitement.
• Gifts- frequently when we buy a gift for others we also purchase something for ourselves (and occasionally spend more on ourselves than the one receiving the gift).
• Quality of life- the product says it will improve our knowledge/ health/ satisfaction/ security/ success.
There are several more of these "justifiers" that advertisers work hard to use to push buttons in our psyche. But really these reasons are nonsense. I’m just challenging all of us to not listen to the lies and question our motives.
 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. - 1 Timothy 6:6-7