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, 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!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

God Provides

   My first week in Namiti went great. There is a lot of work to be done to the clinic. The only supplies there are two metal beds and a few expired meds.
 I've been on the mainland this past week working on  details for the clinic and spending lots of time washing dishes (random, I know).
    We went to Kampala on friday for medical supplies and to get vaccs and labs for baby Jonathan. Lets just say that getting stuff done here is very difficult. We went to one of the best hospitals in Uganda. An Infection Control worker would have a Myocardial Infarction if they walked in there. Since things didnt go good in Kampala we have to go back on Tuesday, so going to the islands was pushed back a few days.
    The great news is nurse Betty signed the contract!! And a team from Virginia are bringing 8 suitcases of medical supplies that a hospital has donated. Every little bit helps when there is nothing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

In Uganda!

I am in Jinga, Uganda. Will be going to Lingira island tomorrow to SHIM's base. On Monday we will go to Namiti island for a 3 day Pastor and Parenting conference. My focus will be building relationships and better understanding the culture so that when we start the clinic in a few weeks I wont be too offensive with my strange western attitude...Lord, help me! I will also be able to see the building that we will start the clinic at. They say that there is a lot of cleaning and painting to do so it looks like I will be bonding with the paint brush and broom. I do request that you all pray for the Ugandan nurse that they are trying to make a contract with. If she agrees to their contract she will be in charge of the clinic. If she doesnt...well, there will be me and myself. So please pray hard.
Love you all!
p.s. They call Karina Smith "Keeky" because "Karina" is a bad word. So far they have decided to call me Anne..