For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

These are the Apostle Paul's words while in prison for preaching the Gospel.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

babies..sickness..human sacrifice..

This is how my weekend went:
Friday- There were just a few patients so I made some 'cookies' for everyone. I cut a chipati into strips, cooked them over charcoal then put sugar on top. Charles (the guy who lives on the compound to keep us girls safe) took us three exploring on the east side of the island. Its about the most gorgeous place I've ever seen. When we got back I skipped dinner because I wasnt feeling the best.
Saturday- Worked in the clinic until early afternoon when abdominal pain, diarrhea and fever kicked in. I was up most of the night with that.
Sunday- My temp was 102 after a dose of Tylenol. I was determined to go to Jinja because I wanted cold juice but I could harldy walk much less carry my backpack so Joy made me stay in bed. I just want to say that it is no fun being sick here.
Monday- At 0730 the nurse aid, Magret, was calling for me to come see a pregnant patient. I wanted to say come back when the clinic opens at 0830. Its a good thing I didnt because the beautiful baby girl came at 0750. The only complication was Sarah did a manual removal of the placenta but that went good. While this baby was being born there were two other patients outside waiting for a prenatal checkup. The afternoon was spent laying in bed inbetween seeing patients. At 1500, a patient that had come that morning to be checked came to deliver. She delivered a healthy baby boy at 1930.
Both mothers are muslim so we were able to show them Christ's love and mercy through our actions which they noticed and were able to talk about.

      The new nurse, Sarah, is doing great! All three of us spend time praying and singing together every day. The clinic has a peaceful and loving "feel" in it now. Both Magret and Sarah are good at counseling which is very exciting. We have women coming every week asking for an abortion so a lot of talking and praying takes place. We are daily praying against the spirit of murder. Among the 5 islands there were dozens of abortions and about four adults murdered last month. Human sacrifice is very common.

      I am feeling much better. Praise the Lord! I am on mainland getting supplies but am heading back today.  Please pray that I will stay focused on touching the lives on Namiti during my last week here.
     Looking forward to seeing you all! Love ya!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


This past week has been rather difficult but God is good and everything is being handled. Andy, Keeky, Momma O, and I met with a nurse, Sarah, for an interview. Sarah made one of the top grades in her nursing boards in all of Uganda. She is an orphan that Keeky's nursing school teacher supported to go through nursing school. She is born again, loving, and very determined. She plans on becoming a surgeon. I am taking her to Namiti Island today.
    I am coming to realize what a big spiritual battle there is for the islands. If this clinic succeeds that makes the witch doctors fail. If the people have answers about physical and spiritual health they wont need to go to a witch doctor for demon power or to curse someone else. They wont have to live in fear under satanic control. Satan is not happy about this clinic and I can feel it every day. BUT my God is God. He has victory. There will be freedom and healing on these islands through much prayer and hard work. I have to remind myself of Isaiah 61. Jesus heals the broken hearted, sets the captives free, and gives beauty for ashes.
PRAISE HIM! What a mighty God we serve!
   Thank you for all your prayers. Please pray more and more for victory on Namiti Island.
Love you all!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

laughter and tears..

phew. I dont even know where to start. Life on the island has been full of laughter, tears, blood, needles, sickness, healing, singing, smiles, good times, bad times...

  The last few weeks have not been easy. The Ugandan nurse that is our clinical leader has tested my ability to be patient and communicate in love. Basically we disagree on how to treat just about every patient. Even the patients disagree with me at times. I can explain myself again and again but it just doesnt seem to connect. I know it is a lack of education so I have to have patience and be willing to teach, again and again. For example, they want an antibiotic shot for a viral cold, or malaria meds for dehydration.

There havnt been any babies this past week but I've been able to suture two somewhat difficult lacs. While I was suturing a guys finger, one of the nurses was over my shoulder shouting about what I should or shouldnt do. She was totally wrong. I explained to her multiple times why I was doing it that way. But no, it just turned into an argument. I have been struggling with knowing when to speak up and when to hold back. It is not easy either way.

Someone told me I needed to write about the first Ugandan birth I helped with. I didnt write about it at first because I dont want people to think of the Islanders as less than people but it is simply a lack of Biblical teaching in their life.
The 18 year old girl had been in labor all day. The water had been broken about 6 hours. She was in a small mud hut used for cooking. There were more than a dozen women gathered around. Most of them were grabbing the woman, pulling at her legs and arms, slapping her, gagging her, and yelling. Im sure that I looked funny with my eyes wide and mouth dropped open in absolute shock. Its hard enough having a baby without being hit or gagged. When the beautiful baby boy was born there was no suction, blanket, warmer, or even clean cord clamps. Not even 30 minutes later they were demanding that it was time for the patient to leave. She got up and walked to a small boat, climbed in and started drinking a Cocacola. The next time I hear an American woman complain about labor..

  One of the biggest blessings during my time here has been getting to know Pastor Samson's wife, Joy. Her name explains her perfectly. She works hard, has little, but loves a lot. She always has an extra bed for the homeless, a place at the table for the hungry, and the love of Jesus for the brokenhearted. She has to bake cupcakes over a fire multiple times a week to make money for the kids school fees. Her husband, Pastor Samson, is a days travel away in Kampala going to University. She has a couple of extra kids living with her because their father left them and their mother has AIDS. I could go on and on about all that she does, but she does it all with laughter and love.

Thank you for all of your  encouraging notes. I know you guys are praying so thank you a million!

I will try to blog more tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I bet you dont have a goat knocking on your bathroom door...

I'm going to make this a quick update. I'm on mainland for just 2 days. Attending a class about labor and delivery.

4th of July was fun. I made No Bake cookies and had some Starbucks coffee and Beef Jerky to share with my ugandan family. They loved it.

The clinic is still very frustrating. Trying to introduce some protocols written by my 'boss' but that didnt go over very well with the other nurses. I am learning a great deal about communication. lol.

Last night was spent with "Momma Karina" (meaning she is my mother) and her 6 kids. We sang and danced. Then had a time of prayer. I prayed for each kid then they all prayed for me. It was so sweet!!

Today was a 5 hour boat ride to Jinja, an hour in the market, then time at SHIM's office.

Learning more and more on finding joy and strength in Christ. I can not do this on my own. I am weak but He is strong. All things are possible through Him!


Thursday, June 30, 2011



   Not knowing the language. In the clinic, it is hard to get good answers to my questions which is important in making an accurate diagnosis. Betty helps a lot and we might get a translator.
When spending time with the people, they are very kind and speak English as much as possible but the majority of time I dont know why someone is yelling or laughing. I just get frustrated with myself for not knowing the language. Learning the language is no small task. There are at least 3 languages spoken on this one island.
    The lack of medical supplies. It is upsetting to myself and the patient when I have to say "I know what will help you but we are out. Please come back next week when I get back with supplies from Kampala. Sorry, sorry!"
    The medical field here is kinda like what it was in the U.S. when my parents were kids, is my guess. They use lots and lots of antibiotics. Betty tells me that Penicillin shots make the people happy because they feel like they received good treatment. I'm not here to give a PCN shot when they dont need it just to make the person happy. I'm also not here to argue. A good explanation helps but again, the language barrier can be an issue.


    The people on Namiti island have been so good to me. Pastor Samson, his wife Joyce, and their 6 kids (ages 11 and under) have become my family. I get lots of hugs and kisses every day. The night before I came back to mainland, we laughed, sang, ate, danced, and told stories for several hours.
    God has been my strength! He keeps me strong physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have yet to experience any serious illness.
    The clinic is up and running. The people are excited. We get a lot of patients that return and thank us for the treatment.
    The nurse Betty and I are growing in our ability to work together and communicate. She has decided to sell me for 10 cows. I agreed to it but want some pigs thrown in. She is a fun-loving, story telling (I'm talking hour long stories), Christian lady. She wont turn patients away so that means we see patients way past closing time. She really cares for her patients.
     My parents donated some money for the clinic so I was able to get more supplies from Kampala yesterday. What a blessing! I am going to Lingira island today then back to Namiti on Saturday.


   Its not always easy. I have to daily fight with my selfish side and not dwell on what I dont like. The verse that speaks of losing your life for Christ's sake and you will find it has proven to be true these past few weeks. As long as I am thinking of loving God then loving others, I am full of energy, peace, and joy. I have also  been singing the hymn "Turn your eyes upon Jesus"
  Thank you for your love and prayers. PLEASE FERVENTLY PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF BUVUMA ISLANDS.


Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

Karina asked me, her mom, to update her  blog.  I will try to relate the facts, but it will lack her unique personality :)

"Friends used to tease me about going to Africa and delivering babies in mud huts.  Well, I got to do that Wed. night for the first time.  The family, then, told her to get up (from the dirt floor) and get in the boat so they could all go home.

On Thursday, Nurse Betty and I traveled to Namiti Island (the location of the new clinic I'm helping to open) and cleaned and cleaned the clinic....termites, lizards, dead bats, etc.

We opened the clinic on Friday, and I learned that nursing training in the States is very different than in Africa.  Antibiotics and anti-malarial meds are given for anything and everything.  I was so frustrated by Sat. I just wanted to cry and go home.  But, instead, ofcourse, I prayed.  The Lord began to speak to my heart about my purpose here.  It isn't to see to it that everything is done the 'right' way like I thought it was, but to learn to love and serve.  A huge burden was lifted from my shoulders, and I feel so free and at peace.

On Sunday, I was told that we were going to the church near the clinic, but that they only prayed and sang for three hours.  When I told them how long the worship services were at home, they said that we must not pray much.

We found a pregnant l5-year-old on the ground outside the clinic Sunday night in a lot of pain.  She was about to lose her baby at 5 mos. gestation.  While we were getting a bed ready for her to spend the night the baby dropped onto the concrete floor but was alive.  I wrapped it up and held it while it struggled to breathe.  When the parents showed up we learned that the father (the muslim leader of the island) had been giving his daughter abortive injections.  The girl said the he was not an abusive father (like so many were) but truly cared for her.  I held the baby for about an hour, then sent it home with the family where it died later that night.

Today, I've been visiting with my pastor's family near the clinic.  They are so wonderful to me.

Thanks to a solar panel we have a few hours of electricity at night and early morning!"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

   The trip to Kampala went good. Its taking a bit of effort on my part to adjust to the African clock. Without going into too much detail, instead of leaving at 0730 we left at 1000 because of small but important things that needed to be done first. It was great spending time with my driver Anthony. He was studying to become a priest but met one of the missionaries, Pastor Terry, and became a born again Christian. He is now preparing to get a masters in economics.
   One praise is that when I went to pick up our order of med supplies they were not going to let me take it because I didnt have an ID with me. I had to talk with the boss. He was like "Oh I've seen you before. Its fine. Let her take the things." I guess it helps people remember you when you wear the same dirty clothes.
   On the drive back God spoke to me about idols in my heart and the need to live out a deeper understanding of love and service. It is fun to serve and love up to a certain point but when it becomes a bore and starts to hurt, that is when the Biblical vs wordly definitions start to kick in. What is love? What is service? How far will I go to daily live them out?
   We leave for Lingira island today. Karina, Andrew, and the kids are moving back to their home on Lingira. There will also be a team from Virginia with us. On Thursday, I will be going to Namiti island with the Ugandan nurse Betty. I will be out there for 2 to 5 weeks. There is no internet there so sorry in advance for the lack of updates and pictures.
    Thank you all so much for all of the prayers and encouraging words. Please continue to pray for the people on Namiti island. Also, pray that I will not only adjust to the culture but will thrive in it. The language barrier is tough since only a few women speak small amounts of English on Namiti. It will be lonely but God is longsuffering with me and is always there for me. God is so GOOD!
Love you and miss you!