Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another burial of a child. If any of my Ugandan friends are reading this will you please invite me to some other social gatherings!? I've been to 9 burials already and I need some other things like a wedding or two to balance it out!

Dorothy  and the first post about her

This was a discouraging funeral. I thought Dorothy was doing so well and I hadn't heard anything in a while. But she was taken out to the village and it turns out she was really sick. She was only started on ARV's two weeks ago and by then it was far too late. The little body I saw today was horribly malnourished and neglected and  just made me want to cry.  I feel like I really let her down and the whole situation makes me sick and  I guess I can't even write about this yet....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Medical/Evangelism outreach to Karamoja

The next few posts are about the medical/ evangelism outreach to Karamoja. I’m taking them from my journal a day at a time and adding pictures and I anticipate it will take a few days to get it all put up. The posts in order are going to be here:
Rosemary is one of the VHT's from Nakayot village
Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Once again sitting at my computer thinking “What an adventure!” We all arrived back from Karamoja late last night (technically this morning, I think) and it has been an amazing two weeks up there. God moved in powerful ways.  Once again the CLIDE staff did a wonderful job being faithful with what God has called them to do.  Other Ugandan’s joined us from a variety of places and ministries and of course there were the American nurses and doctors. It was an adventure as always and I don’t even know where to begin.  As much as I’d love to sit here and type for a few hours I have a few other responsibilities I have to handle first. But don’t you worry. Many pictures and stories are soon to follow. And hopefully a few guest posts from Lacy about her first impressions of Africa (though I may have to edit out what she thought of me dragging her out to the “deep bush” within hours practically of her arrival in the country.)


Well, last day in Nakoyot. Took down tents first thing in the morning then we did the last few hours of medical clinic while the CLIDE crew packed up the rest of camp. Around noon we loaded up our 4 vehicles and set off to see how muddy and treacherous the road out was. Good news: the road was not too impassable. Bad news: the land rover quit working about 10 kilometers from camp. We proceeded to tow it the remaining 150 kilometers. It took more than 11 hours for several reasons. No one had a tow strap so we used rope which broke over and over again. We stopped in a few places thinking there would be parts or someone who could try their hand at repairing but no luck. Finally, after dark and stopping for the millionth time we purchased a piece of power line to tow the land rover with. It worked pretty well (only broke or came unattached 4 times) and we reached Soroti around 11pm. All the vehicles stayed together so there was camaraderie and lots of laug
The driver of the land rover hypothesizing why it quits every time he puts it in gear.
hing. By the time we unloaded and had a quick bite to eat it was Tuesday morning and an interesting ending to an amazing adventure.
The rest waiting in the shade 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Open position: church secretary

Nayayot has a growing church!! Two weeks ago there were less than 20 believers in a village of 9,000+ people. As of this morning the church now consists of 500+ !  But what do you do with a church that doesn’t have a pastor and more than 90% of its members are new believers?! Will you pray for a way to disciple these folks?  Witch craft is still present, alchoholism still has a strong pull, and Satan won't give them up easily but the Holy Spirit is working. Please pray for supernatural understanding of the step they have just taken. These new believers really don’t have any idea what new life in Christ means. They saw the blind receive sight and heard of Jesus’ free gift but they don’t know of daily decisions. They haven’t lived with Christians before.   
Please pray! I'd love to be here more and part of discipleship but I can't travel here alone and don't have a vehicle that can handle the roads. We need God to raise up a team for discipleship to continue the work!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


What an amazing day!!! We made out clinic mobile by packing all of our drugs and supplies in backpacks, then loaded people up and set off for Alakas

Through the valley with the sun beating down

About to start climbing up...
Up near the top of the mountain and coming back down

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Feeling pretty drained this morning. It has been a full couple of days with a few more full ones ahead.  As of yesterday evening we estimated we’ve seen 300+ patients. We thought we were going to have 3 physicians but only the one from the states is here. The Ugandan docs never joined us. That means I’ve needed to step in and see patients to keep up with the demand. I don’t like acting as a doctor. I really miss doing the nursing things but it is the way it has to be. Mostly I send him the complicated stuff and stick to the malaria, otitis media, parasites, UTI, ringworm, PID, pneumonia, gastritis…. Patient after patient. I would much rather spend more time with one sick one…. Ahhhh. Alright, enough complaining. I know that I’m just too tired. Last night I stayed up lat running through my talk on differential diagnosis on fever for today’s lecture. I’m really enjoying the morning teaching time. One of yesterday's topics was HIV and I did a “drama” to demonstrate the immune system which they seemed to really understand well and then a demo on transmission of HIV which made them laugh but I know they will remember it. But as much as I like teaching it makes me tired and then we head right into clinic all afternoon. There is so much going on to be excited about but tired….
Teaching how to read a thermometer

Dr. Will going through a head to toe assessment

Monday, July 18, 2011


This week’s (potential probable) schedule
                5:30 Up
                6:00 Worship and prayer for the day
                7:00 Breakfast
                8:00 Prep for the day
                9:00 Teaching VHTs by medical team, outreach teams head out to visit homes
                1:00 Break for lunch
                2:00 Medical team begins clinic, children’s team with multitude of kids, health teaching for those that are waiting.
                5:00 Music in village, worship and prayer on "stage" in the center by outreach team
                6:00 Wrap up in clinic
                7:00 Wash up and prep for next clinic
                8:00 Movie starts after dark in village
                9:00 Dinner
                10:00 Pack up movie and sound equipment from village
TIA (This Is Africa) so we’ll practically never follow this schedule but today it is what we set and kind of followed.   

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Hanging speakers in the tree for sunday morning worship

Bible story lesson

So many kids in sunday school

Saturday, July 16, 2011


This just isn't going to be enough water.
The American team will arrive sometime today, for now finishing up the preparation and learning a little k-jong! I love the fact that I am finally beginning to understand a (tiny!) little bit of the language.

One of our big challenges that we are tackeling as the advance team is water. This village currently has only one working bore hole and the ground reservoir that it draws from is really slow to fill. As it is, it doesn’t meet the needs of the villagers and they go without. We are about to add a huge group of people who are used to using much more water just for bathing than the locals use to meet all of their needs.  So we’ve got this tank but the valve isn’t holding and it is filthy inside.
Solution? Put a small child inside to clean it.

Got to get the valve to at least stay closed... 
 We will send a pickup truck every day (sometimes twice a day) with 3, 100 liter barrels 27 kilometers to get enough water to cook, drink, clean and wash.


We are still in Karamoja and I know many of you are praying for us. I also know that many of you pray for safety often, not just when I'm upcountry. 

Safety is not the absence of danger, it's the presence of the Lord.
 Bring on the danger that we may see the presence of the Lord!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday and Friday

Got a phone call at 10 am “Could we be ready to leave in an hour?” Considering I’d been packed for nearly two weeks and Lacy was practically still packed we said “Sure.” Headed over to the CLIDE office at 11 am and finally left Soroti at 4pm. Everything seems to be a challenge here. Anyway, we arrived to the peace village without too much problem on the way even though we had to travel in the dark. The road is pretty dry and passable. Lacy and I are currently laying in the dark in the hut. There are a few of the CLIDE guys sleeping outside and in the other hut but we are the only ladies so we have this one to ourselves. We had roasted cassava for supper tonight and will be sleeping by 10 pm. 
Lacy holding our cassava supper in our hut after we arrived in the evening. 
Its 9pm and we are trying to stay awake while waiting for the trucks to arrive from Soroti. It was our first full day in the peace village. As the “advance team” we are a small group setting up camp, tents, arranging for water and latrines and all the things that 70+ people will need to live here for a week. We are sunburned and unfortunately discovered all of the things that we thought were packed in the vehicle but will actually be coming with the next trip. (Like milk, bread, spoons, basins….) But “dry tea” (black tea without milk) and some mango leather that I packed at the last minute went a long way and it was fun to be working today.  We were up at 6:30 because the guys needed stuff from the hut we were sleeping in so we jumped right into the day. Midafternoon Lacy and I walked down the hill into the village and it was interesting to see it through “beginners” eyes again. (I’m sure Lacy will write about it!) We drew a crowd within seconds and had two women grabbing us and demanding food ( at least I think they wanted food) so we didn’t stay long. We had rice and beans around 8pm, had a nice cup shower in the bathing shelter by the light of the full moon and I spent some time jotting some notes on what I may be teaching the village health workers (VHTs) next week and now we'd like to call it a night but are still waiting. The trucks were supposed to be loaded this morning and driven up here this afternoon but they must have left late. There is no cell phone reception way out here so we wait and pray they are not broken down on the way or stuck in the mud somewhere. We’ll unload the second advance group's trucks when they get here then call it a night. 
The start of our camp in the background and the village in the more distant background.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Village VHT

 *Hopefully I'm in Karamoja right now. I wrote this post a few days ago but timed it to come up as we head north. Please be praying for us!!
 I’d like to introduce you to a woman named Dengel Betty. She lives in a remote village in Karamoja named Alakas. She is a Village Health worker and is a woman I’ll be working with in the coming months.  Her village is made up of about 59 families. I've heard it is accessible by road but I've yet to see this road. We arrived by a foot path that crosses some low mountains to reach the valley they live in. All of the people there get their water from a dirty mountain spring. There is no school, no medical care, nothing besides their homes and fields. The village meeting place is under a tree and life is hard.  

Betty is the one on my immediate left. As a Village Heath worker she has a small box of medicines  (the one her daughter is sitting on in the picture) and she does what she can for the people in her village. She has about a second grade education and walks more than a hour to get the precious limited meds that are given out every few months for her to use. She'll be at our training the next few weeks to learn more about assessment and vitals, fever in children, what to do in emergencies and most of all about how much God loves her and desires His best for her village. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A few more pictures

It is all fun and games until someone loses a tentacle. 
Zebra fish

That's my team! I'm so proud to be a part of this group. 
We leave Mombassa tomorrow morning. I'm ready to go. Feel rested and ready for the next adventure. We fly back to Kampala, pick up Lacy (a college student who will live with Beckie and I for the next month) and then trek back to Soroti. I'll be home for a quick two days then grab a bus to Karamoja and head out to the peace village for the next two weeks.

Its a war out there.

 I'm about to be deployed, headed to the front lines next week.  I used to get irritated by war analogies that Christians use. That is, until the battle became real for me. There are two sides and we really are fighting over people. There are casualties, ambushes, and counterattacks.  So I've embraced this description.  Jesus used it. The apostle Paul used it. And it is true. We are at war. Whether we like it or not. And if you are really a Christian you are enlisted or drafted but either way we need to fight. Eph 6: 10 tells us we will all be taking a stand against the enemy and we had better be ready. These analogies are in my mind this week because I’m about to be deployed and I’m trying to get ready. Next week we are headed out to set up an outpost in Karamoja. They enemy won’t like it because he thinks Karamoja is his territory. But he is misinformed and we’re out to take it back. We acknowledge that we will have to battle for it and engage evil.
 God desires the people of Karamoja to know Him with a fierce and fiery passion that no one and nothing had better get in the way of. They are in bondage that He is going to set them free from. He hates the way they are slaves to sin that He has already defeated. So He is sending us to tell them. That makes us soldiers. And we know that we will be conquers. More than conquerors as a matter of fact. (Romans 8:37). God is setting us up for success. He has already promised. So I want to be prepared.  
Thats it. Seems like a strange place to end.  These thoughts have been running through my mind for the past several days, they find their way into my prayer even though I don't really know exactly how to pray. I'm still processing and will be for a few more years I think. This is one of those posts that maybe I shouldn't put out quite yet but I'm going to anyway. 

Friday, July 8, 2011


Some new team mates arrived about 4 weeks ago and I've been meaning to write about them for a little but but haven't taken the time. Well, yesterday I got some GREAT pictures of them so I'm taking this as the perfect opportunity.
This is Jim, Margaret and Elliot (asleep on Margaret's lap)
Elliot enjoying his ice cream possibly more than any of the rest of us. 
They are just settling in and planning on being in Soroti for the long haul. It has been great getting to know them better this past week at this conference. This is their blog and as they take great pictures it is worth checking often to see what they are up to! To Uganda with bread and song

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

International Teams East Africa Conferance

50+ missionaries from Canada, UK, America, Ukraine, Kenya, South Africa and Costa Rica working in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Congo. We are talking about lots of things but the emerging African mission movement is a big part of our discussions. How is  it that 100+ years since Christianity came to Africa, African missionaries are so few?  How is it that churches that were planted by missionaries are not mission minded churches? Why are they not now sending out their own missionaries? AIM (African Inland Mission) began working in Kenya in 1895. It has planted more than 100 African Inland Churches. It boasts 100,000 members. And it has now sent out less than 40 missionaries. That is .04% of its members have become missionaries on a continent that still desperately needs them! We are also talking about some of the most marginalized (unreached) and it has been pointed out that often times pastors and church leaders fall into this category. (I’ve seen it over and over around Soroti- ask a pastor what is the good news? He can’t tell you.) How is it that a continent boasting of over 40% evangelical Christians has so many atrocities (like child sacrifice, bloody civil wars, massive genocides, and so many other things)?  Could it be that we as missionaries are doing thing wrong and our priorities have been over-focused on numbers instead of heart change?

Of course, it isn't all hard work and hard questions. We are having a little fun too. 

Grace and Lydia on the beach.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the nine-nine will read the Christian.

“Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” I Cor 11:1
A pretty direct command from the Apostle Paul. 
It’s easy to think “That’s great. He was one of the greatest missionaries to walk this planet. He could tell people to follow his example. His was a good example to follow as his life was above reproach”. But can you say it about yourself? Could you tell a young believer- “follow me as I follow Christ”? These are pretty bold words. But as followers of Christ we should be able to.  
Mostly I’m posing these questions to you because I’m posing them to myself. I’m called to live as Christ. My decisions, my words, my actions should all point to my Lord and Savior. So shouldn't I be able to point to my own life as a way to follow because it should all be pointing to Jesus?   I don’t think asking this is being self-righteous or being too confident in myself. Because I know I don’t have it all together. But I’m called to be confident in what God is doing in my life. Maybe it is sanctimonious. But I think that used to mean holy or sacred before it meant hypocritical.  
Is your life worthy of imitation?
Dwight Moody is quoted as saying “Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the nine-nine will read the Christian.”