Friday, July 18, 2014

Surgeon in the Making

Isaac received approval letter for his Residency in Surgery!!! (the 3 year program)
For a long time I’ve been praying for a place to open up for residency. We see that this is an opportunity

My love for surgery and the need for people to have surgery in village has lead me to the need for more training in the area of surgery. The greatest challenge working in village is that when people need emergency surgery, I am either left with a choice of fixing them or referring them to hospitals far way for them to make it. Such cases need a competent surgeon to adequately care for their needs and save their life. 

I'm so happy to have the privileged of learning more in this field so I can confidently perform these risky surgeries to serve the people of Eastern Uganda.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Malaria & Diarrhea

Malaria and diarrhea are killers in many parts of the world. Isaac and I experienced them at the same time. Isaac, knowing how it feels to get malaria quickly went to a Lab and they confirm he had malaria. He purchased the medicine and began treatment right away. After only 2 days he was feeling better. I was seen by my doctor (Isaac) at the first signs of diarrhea and he put me on medicine, a changed diet, and mandatory rest. Our pastor happened to be around and prayed for me and gave me a ginger, lemon, charcoal drink to help.

It’s amazing to me how these diseases that many die from on daily bases have no power against early diagnosis and treatment. It is something that pushes us to set up a hospital in the community where people need it most. 

Medical Outreach

Isaac and I have wanted to put together a medical outreach to the village of Kiwanyi but we couldn't think about how to accomplish such a big task. We knew we needed extra hands to help in the process of seeing so many people. We were so happy when Sara said she was coming. Sara just finished her first year of medical school and was willing to jump in with both feet. Ramses is a man from Chad. He got his degree of nursing at the same school as Isaac. 

With Sara and Ramses on the team we felt we could adequately serve the people of Kiwanyi. What we didn't know is that we would serve the people from surrounding villages as well. People came from far and wide to see the doctor for free. One woman carried her child over 20km (12miles) to see the doctor.

We made up 80 red number tickets to help control the line. We passed out 217 tickets the first day! We were told that the clinic normally serves 100 patients in a month and we only did 2 days.
I took people's blood pressure and pulse with a machine I had along with weight and temperature. Ramses then took respiratory rate, and retook blood pressure and pulse if there was a concern. The patient then received a green number card to wait and see the doctor. At the end of the two days Isaac had seen 172 patients!

Many patients were finding out about their health concerns for the first time. These patients had a variety of ailments but the most dominate group were ones with hypertension, diabetes, and peptic ulcers. We also saw patients with eye cataracts, sickle cell anemia, hernias, Down Syndrome, benign prostate hypertrophy, malnourished children and women, a woman with a breast lump, and many surgical cases. Most people complained of skeletal and muscular pain. This is because of their age and the difficult work they do as subsistence farmers growing their own crops to eat.

We found that many of these issues could be elevated or be treated before they become a serious medical concerns if proper healthcare, early diagnosis and education were available within the community.

It was great to be able to find out more information about how building a hospital will help this community.


We received a message from an SPU friend, Sara, a few months back asking about the possibility of her coming to see us. We planned for her to come in June during her school vacation. She told us that her main goal in coming was to just be with us. Isaac and I were excited about having her come and help with the new baby as well. When Elijah died Sara sent us such a sweet message asking us if it would be ok if she still came. I remember her writing that she just wanted to sit on the couch and cry with us if that is what we needed to do. It was such a comfort knowing that she wasn’t expecting much from us and we could just be ourselves.

It’s amazing how God knows just what we need. Sara was there to help us with prepping our house for leaving to the US, she was there to help us laugh at our funny neighbor, and helped us chase the mouse out of our kitchen. She was there to watch a movie with, cook meals, take walks, laugh about funny cultural differences, and put on mud masks. It was such a joy having another person in our seemingly quiet house.


Big Party

After riding back on the 16 hour bus ride from Burundi we threw ourselves into a week long volunteering fest. Our church, Watoto, was celebrating 30 years of ministry and 20 years of childcare ministries where thousands of people came to celebrate with.

For each of the 8 days there were different events going on.

Isaac was a section leader of the medical volunteers. 

Rachel was placed on the hospitality team. Israel Houghton & New Breed came to give a concert and Rachel helped set up the green room and dressing room for them. She didn’t get to see the concert but she heard it from the dressing room. At the end of the concert Rachel was part of the crew who set off hundreds of Chinese lanterns. What an experience to have something fly right out of your hands.