Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prayer and praise

I was looking at a few blog posts I put up two years ago at this time and I'm so thankful for a few things:

  • My work permit that allows me to stay here. Two years ago I was having panic attacks because I'd been denied a visa (again!) and was trying to figure out how to stay. Now I have a work permit and I don't have to think about it again for two more years! Thank you Lord!
  • Better roads to Karamoja. Two years ago at this time I'd spent hours stuck in the mud coming or going. The roads are much better and I'm very happy for less adventure. 
    July 2012 Several trucks stuck in the road blocking the way. Waiting for 6 hours to get through.
I have some prayer request too:
  • I'm headed to Karamoja tomorrow and am thinking I'll stay through Sunday. Please pray for God's will to be done and His kingdom to come in that place. 
  • There is a big several day youth conference in our little church in Obulle and Ronnie and I are the key speakers for the 200 young people who have been invited. Please pray for fun (youth rarely get to have that here) and TRUTH!
    Obulle church where the youth conf will be held.  My friend Ronnie leading worship.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

....treating autoimmune diseases by deliberately infesting patients with parasitic worms, such as whipworm and hookworm....

Here is a deep, stimulating topic tonight, though not quite like the last post I put up....
I was doing some reading this afternoon and did you know there are "drug" trials going on using parasites on people with diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Colitis, Multiple Sclerosis, Hay Fever, etc...  (Autoimmune Disorders)?!?  I guess the thinking is that instead of having the body attack itself, give it a parasite to keep it busy. (That would be the extremely simplified, non medical version.) But these studies are pretty conclusively showing that it is working. It is called Helminthic therapy if you want slightly more precise and scientific explanations than the one I gave.
I guess I find that so fascinating because I live in a place where 75% of the population is infected with one type of parasite or another. And I never see any autoimmune diseases. Who would have thought it? Pin worms are good for you. (By the way, don't google pin worms, you will regret it. And you will notice this post with conspicuously without a picture. You are welcome.)
I wonder if I can get CEUs for this afternoons reading.....

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Running out of time

I've been feeling this for weeks now and I know some are going to read this and scoff but I'm feeling especially convicted today. We are running out of time. Christ is coming back for His church and I believe it will be soon. Maybe I'm totally wrong and 200 years from now (in heaven) I'll chuckle over it, but the fact is I don't believe I'll ever stand before God and he'll say that I shouldn't have lived like Jesus was coming back in my lifetime. But, that terrible run-on sentence aside, I really do believe the time is soon.
In Matthew 24 Jesus is sitting with his disciples and they ask him about how they will know when he is coming again.  He tells them that many will be deceived by false teaching. He warns of wars, famine, earthquakes, terrible persecution. Each coming like birth pains, which in my mind means they will only keep getting stronger and worse until the end.  (I encourage you to read it for yourself if you are not familiar with it. Matt 24) It seems to me that unless you have not watched the news at all you would have to agree that possibly this is happening. Christian persecution around the world is getting worse. That and wars and disease and immense suffering around the globe seems to just be getting worse:

Now, I'm not trying to be an alarmist. I'm just trying to remind all of us, myself included, that we may be running out of time. If I knew I would see Jesus tomorrow what would I do differently today? Would I waste as much time on facebook?  Would I hesitate to share with people I don't usually talk to? Would I re-evaluate how I use every minute of my day?

And in piling up all these articles I feel like I need to do something. If you feel the same I want to encourage you to hit your knees. We Christians need to feel burdened and we need to pray. Cry out to God for the salvation of Islamic Muslims. Pray on behalf of persecuted Christians in China, Nigeria and Iraq. Pray for those living in terror of death in West Africa, that they would trust God when no one else can save them. Pray for God's love to prevail in the Middle East and for justice for his chosen people. Pray most of all for God's salvation to come to the whole earth. Pray now because we are running out of time! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Five Star Hotel

I've slept in four different places in the last few days and I'm sitting here tonight realizing that the features that for me make a "perfect" hotel have changed A LOT in the past few years. I've decided I don't really "need" anything anymore as I can now fairly contentedly sleep in the back of my truck wherever I am. However, I have a few things that I really like. My five stars are as follows:
1. No smell in the room. Musty or dusty are very common. Even occasionally smelling like animals.
2. Hot water in the shower. Seems like few places I stay are guaranteed to have hot water.
3. Tolerable pillows. Ugandan pillows are terrible. Tolerable means something between 1 inch and 6 inches thick and a least a little soft. Seems most places here like one inch or nine inches and so hard I'd rather use a towel.
4. Bathroom with a western toilet (instead of squat toilet). See photo. Even better if the toilet doesn't get wet when the shower is on. Seems with most bathrooms with a squat the drain for the toilet is the same as the drain for the shower.
5. Bed with springs. I've only had this three times in four years.
If a room has all five of these, five stars in my book! I can do without but if I'm treating myself these are now the things I look for.
Last night's toilet


Tim, a team mate, wrote a bit about Kampala and posted some pictures. I'm on my way to Kampala right now, coming back from western Uganda. This is our second day of driving and we have one more before we arrive back in Soroti!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I've been out of my usual sphere down in western Uganda. Teammates, Dr. Daniel and his wife Rachel, were headed down to Bwindi to do a rabbit training program. (Not on how to train rabbits sadly, mostly on how to keep rabbits as livestock.  Much less entertaining, as you would expect.) I tagged along as a quick break and because seeing other parts of Uganda rocks- especially the tropical rainforest. 
The Batwa are pygmies who, until 1992, lived only deep in the rainforest. They've been displaced from the only place they knew how to survive and have had to begin again. The have never kept livestock and because they are so small they don't like keeping bigger animals like cows or pigs. But rabbits are perfect for them and very similar to the wild ones they used to hunt and eat.  This is all a very simplified explanation of who they are and why we were down there. We were working with a group called the BDP (Batwa Development Project) so if you want more info check out their page. 
Also, they have some better pictures than the few I have. 
I'm headed back to Soroti via Kampala tomorrow! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pearl of Africa

Need to apologize for not blogging much right now but I'm traveling and that always makes updates trickier. I needed to go to Kampala for some maintenance on the truck and then I headed down to western Uganda for just a few days. I'm enjoying the time away. I'm sleeping under a blanket at night and I love it!! I know that seems silly but it is really nice feeling a bit cold. It is 55 degrees right now compared with the roughly 70 it is in Soroti at night. Refreshing change. Crossed the equator today, I guess that means that I'm in the northern hemisphere so it is winter here now.
Uganda is called the pearl of Africa and there is no denying that it is a beautiful country. I love seeing new places in Uganda but I really don't like the actual travel that it takes to get to these beautiful places. It took us nearly 8 hours to travel from Kampala to Bwindi even though I think it is only a few hundred km. I read a quote the other day that seemed to fit well. "The road was so cracked and pitted the vehicle seemed to have square wheels." (-Theodore Dalrymple)  Very applicable on this trip.

But I'm here now and it is beautiful and I had a wonderful day visiting people and hiking around so I'm not complaining any more than that.