Just received this update from Jennifer who remains serving in Jinja, Uganda. Here’s what she had to say. Please do keep her in your prayers and let her know that she is loved and appreciated. God is so faithful and you can easily see evidence of that in her writing. Can you imagine what an honor and an encouragement it is to see someone serving faithfully under this ministry despite it being hurt to the core. I praise God daily for his faithfulness.
~Gina for Arise Medical Missions
Just wanted to say I know I owe a lot of you a personal email rather than a group one, but life has just not allowed it recently. I will try to remedy that soon. Things are crazy to say the least. For those of you who got a text from me yesterday and prayed, Thank you! I am sorry if I made you worry. I am sending this out to fill in the blanks.
The last few days/weeks have been a little crazy here. We have a new volunteers here, one for a week and one for 6 weeks. You will hear more about one of them in a bit. So we spent some time getting the boys quarters, which is the small house out behind the big house fixed up so Andrew would have a place to stay. So that is done now.
Andrew arrived Friday night and has truly been a blessing from God. He seems to have such a heart for God, and is willing to help where ever he is needed. He has done everything from hanging barbwire on the fence line to changing diapers.
Shana is a good friend of Renee’s. She is in Uganda for two weeks during a school break. She spent a week with Katie and now a week with us. It is fun to see how much a like her and Renee are. You can tell that these two girls really love each other. She has been a great help during some very difficult times in the house. I will hate to see her go, but happy to know she is likely to return when she graduates.
Over the last ten days or so, it has been a roller coaster of emotions. We have sent many of our kids home, fat and happy and doing well. There parents have received nutritional education from a local nurse and they are better prepared to take care of their kids. It is a very happy time to watch these children, who came so sick and weak, leave here healthy, fat with new clothes and smiling faces.
One child was hard for me to say goodbye to. I have written of him before. His name is Waiswa. He and I had formed a bond despite trying not too. As I put him on a boda with his Father he began to scream and cry as he realized I was not going with him. Any one who knows me knows it did not take long for me to join him crying. It was a hard goodbye. The good news is I will get to see him in his village before too long as Renee makes her follow up visits. It will be nice to see how he is doing at home and keep my promise to come and see him again.
We had nearly cleared out the house of most of the children. Many completed their treatment while Renee was in America and were just awaiting her return so they could be discharged. The last few are leaving this weekend. Well that opened up a lot of empty cribs. It did not take long for them to be filled. We have had numerous new arrivals, most of them this week. Many of them are VERY sick, but already showing signs of improvement in just a short time.
Yesterday we actually lost one of the children. His sickness was just too advanced and his body too tired to fight. There really are not words to describe the event so I am not going to try. What I do want to share is a moment that will live in my memory for quite some time. During what could have should have been a horrible moment, light was lifted up and displayed, and everyone present took notice.
Andrew was in the military for a while and served both in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result he knows about preforming last rights for someone who has passed. When the time came, everyone had gathered on the veranda. The family, all us volunteers, Renee, and of course all of the staff.
Andrew stood and read scripture and said the most beautiful prayer. As I looked around I could see how everyone was moved. Everyone knew that baby was loved, cared for and mourned over. As he prayed he was very together yet you could not escape the emotion in his voice and you knew he really cared and was being genuine, not just preforming a ritual. It was amazing. In my opinion in that moment, the light of Christ was lifted high.