Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lusoga Bible

We are happy to announce that we are official owners of a copy of the Bible written in Lusoga!

Isaac and I were shocked to hear that his tribe didn't have the whole bible translated into their language. They had been using the Bible in Luganda (another tribe in Uganda with a similar language).

This will make explaining the gospel much easier, even to those who can't read, Isaac will spend less time translating and more time explaining.

Happy to have the Word of God more accessible to the people of Iganga.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Visitors Visitors

SAM_1357 We had so many people come to see the babies.

The meant hosting all of them! But it was worth it.


It was great to see Joseph and his family. His wife and I were pregnant at the same time. It was fun to bond over our size as we grew together. Their baby is now 6 months old.

It was great to be able to read some of the new books with the children when they came to visit.


The neighbor children also enjoy it when we come out to visit. They seldom come to visit us because they say that they are dirty, which is true but not my rule to keep them out. So we make many trips outside to visit them.




We do enjoy these crazy kids!

School Vacation

In Uganda many children attend boarding school from a very young age. This is because some of the best schools in the country aren't within walking distance. This results in multiple extended holidays during the school year. This holiday Isaac's nieces were asked where they would like to spend their vacation, in village with their grandmother or at Uncle Isaac's holding babies.

It doesn't take anyone long to figure out what two teenage girls decided. So Mable and Peninna came to spend their last two weeks of holiday with me and the boys.

It was such a blessing to have extra hands to hold babies, wash diapers, cook meals, do the laundry, etc.
We took them out to the mall their last weekend for a meal as a thank you. Mable was impressed that the owner of the restaurant was a well known Ugandan musician. She got a little star struck when she saw him sitting at the table next to us. :)

New Tires and More!

Thank you for all who donated to help us get new tires.
SAM_1396We were only in Uganda a week when Isaac took the car in for new tires. He went with one of our pastor's, so we went to a place for quality work and tires (many off brands in Uganda that are no good). They didn't buy the expensive ones $400 a piece but the next step down. We are very happy to have tires now that can travel in the rainy season.

We when we got back our timing belt was screaming! So Isaac went and had that fixed as well. It is a blessing to have the extra cash to make sure that our practical needs are met! Thank you all for the very practical donation. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

When in Rome, do as the Romans

When I was young I was always told, be careful who your friends are, you might end up like them. The power of association goes beyond just doing things like those around you but sometimes there are no other options then to follow suit. In this case I'm grateful for the healthcare I am able to access for my babies.

We went for a check up at the hospital where Isaac works. The boys were put in these "swings" and hung on a scale. Then they had to get a shot that is not offered in the states, the BCG. We ended up waiting quite a long time because the shot is given to newborns so the nurses were within the maternity ward giving out the shot.
The nurse told me that the shot wouldn't give a fever but would blister and scar the skin. I remember when I was teaching in Burundi and was reading a book about scars. The children started pointing out their BCG scar. It was funny because you could tell where a child was born depending on where the scar was found. Burundi and Rwanda, on the forearm, Kenya and Uganda on the shoulder. India and other Middle Eastern countries, no scar because they didn't receive the shot. My boys have now been marked as Ugandan :)

There's a Chicken in my Kitchen

Yesterday when we got home from church we pulled into the garage and went to unlock the door that leads to the kitchen. The chicken live in the back yard but it sounding very loud beyond the door. Isaac and I kept saying, "I think the chicken is in the kitchen" and "How could it get there?" To our amazement when we opened the door there was a chicken in our kitchen! It was the black one. That is the one that recently came to us as a baby gift from village. I'm guessing that it was used to walking into the owners house whenever it wanted, I know the previous owner and would say that is a pretty good guess. 
We are still stumped on how it go in. We are thinking it might have flown up to the window and then squeezed through the security bars, so much for security. :)
Oh we did spend the next 2 minutes chasing it around the house trying to get it to go back outside where it belonged.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Week in the Doctor’s Shoes

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about Isaac. He’s normally too tired when he gets home to share about his day. But you are in luck. Last night he shared with me about his week so far. Please enjoy, I tried to keep it less medical and not too gross, although living with a doctor I’m getting more used to the stories that come during dinner time conversation. ;)
For Isaac and I our least favorite part of the week would be when Isaac is scheduled to be “on call”. A typical “on call” means that from 8am one day to 8am the next he is the doctor who is in charge of his surgery department at the hospital. On a normal work day though the “working hours”, 8am-5pm Mon-Fri, the hospitals is full of staff to care for things as they arise. This is very different when the “on call” lands on a weekend.
This Sunday Isaac was “on call”. He got to work at 8am Sunday morning to start work. Traveling through the 72 bed ward Isaac checked on all the patients that were there, reading their charts, discussing with nurses and talking with the patients and caregivers about how things were going. As things came up with those in the beds he took care of this or that, ordered what was needed and so on.
Being a hospital known for good care and placed in the capital city many people come in with emergency cases. This Sunday was no different. Isaac was called away many times from the bedside of a patient to take care of emergency cases. Road traffic accidents are common and so patients came in with trauma, others with fractured limbs and all needed cuts stitching up and wounds cleaned. He had one patient who came in with a clot in the brain. Isaac worked together with the neuro surgeon to evacuate the clot, as he calls it.
Then in the night he is allowed to go to a room to sleep and they will call him when he is needed. Well Sunday night he didn’t get the privilege of getting to bed. At 10pm they called him to come and care for a 7 month old. This baby’s intestines were causing pain. Medically they call it a intestinal obstruction which specifically is called intussusception. Isaac explains most types of procedures with me and he explained that one part of the intestines went into another part. In the case of this baby one part of the intestine had gone gangrene and he had to cut that part out. Then he had to sew the two tubes of the intestine, now open, back together to allow for normal use of the intestine. I just think this is amazing!!! He finally finished with the baby at 1am! Can you imagine starting one task at work at 10pm and not finishing until 1am! I’m glad Isaac has that stamina and I’m sure the child’s parents do too.
Sometime Monday morning, before the day staff had arrived for their day’s work Isaac was called in for a road traffic accident. Part of this man’s chin bone was broken and there were lacerations that needed to be stitched up. Isaac stabilized the bone and did the sewing that was needed.
On the program for Monday was a goiter to be removed from a patient’s neck. While Isaac was finishing up with the chin accident and the patient scheduled for Monday was brought in. After that surgery Isaac was able to leave the Operating Room and went back through the hospital on “rounds” making sure that all his patients who were in the “in patient” ward beds were doing well. Now we know why Isaac comes home tired after his “on call”.
Tuesday started early with class. After he attended class he went to visit his patients in the ward. Then off to prepare his new patient for their scheduled surgery. This was a major surgery that needed to be done. The patient needed a hernia taken care of. The hernia was part of the stomach going into the chest. He got to work with the cardio thoracic surgeon to open the chest, find the bottom of the esophagus that meets the stomach and repair the hole. Oh and then put it all back again. This started at noon and didn’t finish until 2:30pm.

And this is only the first half of the week! Isaac is grateful that he is at a hospital where he gets to work on a variety of types of cases and that there are senior doctors to guide and instruct where needed. Living in the capital city is not our ideal but we are happy for all the things that are being accomplished during this season of our lives.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Cultural Difference in Raising Children

There are many cultural things that go along with raising children. Isaac and I had no idea the depth of these things and how much they would affect/stress our lives.

Socks! If I haven’t heard this a million times. Lucky for me most of the “suggestions” on how to take care of my babies is in a language I don’t understand. But socks is translatable so I’m getting my share of listening to people complain that I haven’t put socks on my babies feet. One woman, with much attitude, put it “over here we put socks on our babies”. Oh the advice it goes on.
Ezra holding up his gift money (1,000 shillings, about 30cents)
Women here in Kampala tend to over wrap their babies. They are holding a bundle that looks like a 5 gallon bucket in their arms. But not it’s just a baby, in a onesie, snow suit, winter hat, mittens, socks, a swaddle blanket and yes a thick winter blanket that is designed for a twin bed. The baby’s forehead is dripping with sweat. No wonder people think I’m doing a terrible thing letting my babies go without socks. While we were at the hospital getting the boys checked up I watched many women unwrap their babies to get weighed. Oh the heat rash that was on those babies bodies!

Another cultural thing is breast feeding. Women do it all the time. At the smallest fuss of the baby everyone says that the baby is crying. Then the mother pulls her breast out the top of her shirt and proceeds to let the baby drink for about 2minutes and then when the baby is calm all goes back to normal. I on the other hand nurse a good 20minutes or so every 3 hours at this point. The boys get a good fill of milk and then are good. They play and sleep before they need more food. Well because of this culture of always feeding in small doses I get told all the time that baby is hungry. A childish way to say nursing is, choo choo. This phrase comes at me all the time, “Muzungu, choo choo!” With a look of confusion when I take my baby, bounce him and he calms down. Oh cultural differences.

Another difference is the gifts given to babies. In my culture we have a baby shower and gifts are given, or someone coming to visit will bring something. Here in Kampala (not sure if it is other tribes within Uganda or just the Buganda) when a baby is visited you slip a bill of money to the child. This can be sticking out of their diaper, between their toes or my favorite in their hand. I say this is my favorite because as soon as the dirty money enters the hand of my baby then it goes to the mouth. Or after the money falls to the ground the baby puts their hand in their mouth. GROSS!!! So I’ve spent much time washing my children’s hands after visitors go. 

We are taking these cultural differences in stride and making sure to remind ourselves that people in all cultures like to give advice that isn't always helpful. ;) 

Family Over

It happened that many family members, even those who stay outside the country, were able to attend church with us and stand with us as the babies were dedicated and then join us for lunch at our house after.

Waking Up Ugandan

Waking up in Uganda. I can’t believe we are here. It was so nice to sleep in my own house for the night. There is much to do and accomplish but it is fun to have the babies here in our house.

Our neighbor's son carrying around the boys. He was so sad when Elijah died and now thrilled to have two new babies for his arms to hold. (yes he is only 6 years old)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Evelyn's New Hope

Evelyn's story is similar to many others in desperate situation.

She came to our house requesting money to pay for her son to go to school.

We asked her about how she had paid for the fees in the past. She told us her sad story of how her sewing machine, her only source of income, was stolen during her husband's funeral. To save money she moved out of the house she was renting into this small unfinished house across the road from us.

She has taken what little money she has left and paid for her daughter's schooling since she must sit for the national exam this year and needs schooling.

Charlie, her son, has been roaming around the neighborhood during school hours, since he isn't enrolled because of the fees. He carries water for people and does other odd jobs to help with the household income.

We asked her to calculate the total she needed for a sewing machine. She was so surprised that we would be willing to pay for something that expensive.

We told her that we couldn't but we would ask God for wisdom and provision. Within a few weeks of sending out an email request our dear friends, who we met while in Burundi sent part of the money needed.
Evelyn is very resourceful, as many African women are. She was able to take the money that was sent and purchase the essentials, the machine. She is now working and providing for her family. Charlie is now in school and we are looking forward to hearing about his sister's exam scores.
It is a blessing to live in community where need can be expressed and met.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Adult Literacy Class aka English Class

One of our great teachers
So classes have begun again. And this time I'm not the teacher. :) Well sort of.
We had over 80 men and women come from the surrounding area to attend this free English class at our church. These numbers were so overwhelming. I kept telling the pastors that I needed more help. Well my prayers have been answered. Eight members of the church have come to teach these students. I was able to break the class into three classes to meet the students needs. 
We have students who are learning to introduce their names, students who need more vocabulary and then students who just need a little more practice making their sentences sound better. It's great to have a team of teachers to train in caring for the community in such a practical way!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Making a Documentary

Wow what a week!!!
While Isaac worked away at the hospital I took a trip to Iganga. I went with a woman from church and her film crew. Yes you read that right. Isaac and I, well really it’s the lady from church who is doing it but I got to help in the process.
Tuesday we left Kampala and drove the 5 hours to Isaac’s village. We walked deep into the village to gather interviews and information on how the local people in the area around where we want to put the hospital get health care. You can tell from my dirty feet! The stories were unreal. I can’t imagine being in labor and after walking to a clinic having to get on the back of a bicycle and balance myself to the next clinic over because the first one can’t serve me. These women gave story after story of traumatic situations they find themselves in.

Wednesday we went to the local hospital (26km from where our hospital is proposed to be). We interviewed the administration and doctors. They continued to tell us that they were just a local hospital and so they weren’t prepared for critical medical cases. My goodness if that’s their attitude! This is the best the people can get and the administration thinks that their job is to handle minor cases. Wow. We talked to many patients within the hospital and were shocked at how far they had traveled to receive services.

Thursday we went back to the village, only after visiting the district office and getting an interview about the land and how the process of our hospital project is going. It was funny that the man we talked to almost begged for an interview and then really wanted to watch his interview on the camera. J Once in village we visited the local clinics. The director of the documentary was shocked that these clinics, even though they are free or have minimal cost are empty. Upon simple investigation she found out why; lack of supplies, lack of medical personnel to care for patients, and lack of hygiene. We were also able to get the local chairman’s interview while standing on the donated land. It was great to hear him talk about how excited the local people are about the project.
It was an exhausting time but well worth it. We hope to have a documentary to show all of you very soon!!!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Technical Update on the Hope and Healing Center

Thought I'd send an update to you on how the process of Hope and Healing Center (the hospital) and Something Deeper Ministries (the charity)! There are 2 things that must happen before ground breaking can happen.
1. The Charity that will oversee this project must be registered here in Uganda. That is Something Deeper Ministries.
2. The land for the hospital must be officially donated by the district to Something Deeper Ministries.
Iganga District Offices, signed paperwork for NGO at district level
In Detail:
1. Something Deeper Ministries has the signatures it needs from Iganga District (the area the hospital will be built in). Now we need to talk to our lawyer to finalize the paperwork for the national NGO board (non-governmental organization, aka charities). I hear they meet as a board every Thursday. So we are hoping that all the documentation can be given to them this month so that by May we might be approved).
2. The Land donation. It is very important to have buy-in from the community for this hospital. We want them to feel a sense of ownership over this so that they will care for it and be our cheerleaders instead of stumbling blocks. So the locals have donated the land. The paperwork has made it to the sub-county (the meeting we had a few months back). Now we are waiting for that paperwork to be passed to the district. Once the district has the paperwork they can then make a decision on whether we get the land or not (I hear that they just go with what the sub-county says, so it should be a simple thing).
In Conclusion:

So once Something Deeper Ministries is registered in Uganda and the land is officially donated then we will start to build :) We are so excited to get this underway!!!

Houses of Kiwanyi

It's amazing to me to see how different people build their houses. Please enjoy these houses of Kiwanyi.

They are made of brick and then plastered with something.

Some bricks are just sun dried and others are fired bricks.

Some houses have mud thrown on them for plaster and others use cement.

Depending on the level of wealth there might even be paint on the house.

This house was made by a woman's children. They all work in the capital city and wanted to bless their mother with a beautiful home.
I think they accomplished it.

Visiting Village

It's always an experience getting to village!
This dusty road is used for many purposes.

This is one of three "taxis" that make up the public transportation system to Isaac's village.
Three runs to town in the morning and three in the evening coming home. If you miss, it you miss it. So they pack it quite tight to get everyone where they want to go.
 Isaac always seems to have to be the doctor when we visit. We were driving by and this man stopped us for a medical consultation. He had been to the doctor but wanted to get Isaac's opinion on the treatment and care. Isaac loves educating people on their own health. He knows that once a person knows why then they can help keep themselves healthy. This always takes time, but 30 minutes spent with a person concerning their health is worth it to this doctor.

This woman is a great "auntie" figure in Isaac's life.  She blessed us with 3 chicken eggs as a thank you for visiting.

She was also very happy to see me pregnant :) 

Ice Cream Man

This is the ice cream "truck"
He's taking a break.
The cones are in the bag and the "ice cream" is in the cooler. Notice his bullhorn playing a fun song to inform children of his presence.