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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lawrence....the boy at the gate

You have heard us talk about Lawrence, and you have even seen his picture on this blog with his grandmother and little sister.  We are praising God today
because we found out that little Lawrence has no neurological problems that will prevent him from getting speech therapy.  He is scheduled for his first
appointment with the therapist on November 6th.  I am so thankful!  He also has an appointment with an eye specialist tomorrow to see what procedure
will need to be done to correct his eye.  It is amazing how God lays people on your heart when He wants you to get involved.  Lawrence was a child in a very impoverished place with no resources and seemingly, no hope for the future.  God had other plans.  He allowed us to notice this little unnoticed child, day
after day, sitting there unable to speak or eat, with a crossed eye.  I kept thinking of my children, and how, even with our limited resources, and honestly, the
fact that when they were growing up we had no insurance.....God still provided all they needed and all we needed.  I now look at my grandchildren and know that if they were in the same situation that Lawrence has been over the 5 short little years of his life, I would hope beyond hope that somehow, some way could be made for my little one to be noticed, to be helped....given hope and a future.  God noticed Lawrence.  God picked that little boy up in His arms and is working wonderful works in that little body, and in that little life. Through this physical help, this little boy will also see the love of Christ. He will hear the words of Jesus spoken to him as he also experiences the love of Christ in tangible, physical ways.  I can't wait to give you more updates as things progress for Lawrence.  You know I will let you know each new praise that comes along.  In the mean time I ask that you pray along with me for him, and his entire family. Not only for continued physical healing, but for the ultimate healing....a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lilian gets a sponsor!

Our prayer was/is that God would use this blog along with our website to bring much needed physical help, but most importantly the gospel to women and children in Uganda.

On the website, you can go to the Child Sponsorship page to see many children who need sponsors in order to attend school and get a meal every day.

Lilian is one of the first 500 children we were trying to get sponsors for, in order that she could remain in school.

LILIAN HAS A SPONSOR!   We here at Mercy Uganda are praising God for His great Mercy for these children and for touching just one heart to help!




She will attend  Morning Star School which is near Kampala, in the Kanjanssi area. The people there are extremely poor and many work in rock quarries for less than 50 cents a day.

When I first heard 50 cents a day for hard labor, I was stunned......but more than that when I stopped to think what 50 cents will buy in the United States I was really stunned. Not a soft drink, not a candy bar, certainly not a snack from a machine.  Almost nothing......that's what 50 cents will buy here in the U.S.


We really have no idea what real poverty looks like.


For many of these children, the meal they get at school is the ONLY meal of their day.  They love school....they love learning!


Please stop by and take a look at these children.  We will be highlighting different children, so check back often.


If you can possibly sponsor one of these children, you will not only be helping with their education and schooling, but more, much more they will receive the greatest gift of all......the Gospel!


    For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul.  Mark 8:36


Friday, October 23, 2009

Mercy Uganda Banquet

It is my privilege to guest blog for Laura about the Mercy Uganda Banquet held last night.


My husband and I met Veronica Nakyewe, director of the Comforter Pregnancy Center in Kampala, Uganda, for the first time last night and what a delightful, sold out for the Lord woman.  


She's suffered so much and yet done so much for the Lord, that I stand humbled and amazed to realize she is 6 months older that one of my sons!  Just a child in my eyes.


At the banquet, Veronica gave her testimony and I hope I recount it accurately as I attempt to retell her story!  


First, here is a picture of Veronica speaking at the banquet.







Veronica was born December 1, 1976 in a small village in Uganda.  That was the first miracle God did in her life.  Her mother did not want her to be born.  Veronica's mother visited the village witch doctor and she drank something he gave her which was supposed to cause her to abort.  However, the Lord had other plans for Veronica's life.


Veronica was born as her mother tried to get from their tiny village to the hospital....before she could board the bus, Veronica was born!  In spite of all her mother had done to abort her, Veronica was born a healthy baby with the exception of her legs.....they were very misshapen and as a result she has always used a cane to walk.  Veronica grew up in a remote village where there was no running water or electricity.  Another miracle was that she didn't contract a life threatening infection.


Because of her disability, Veronica did not attend school.  She was destined to grow up uneducated and disabled. She stated that she thought the future was for other people, not for her. Oh, but that was once again not God's plan!  A group from Norway came into Uganda with the specific purpose of educating children with disabilities.  Seventeen children from Veronica's district applied.  The group could only choose two from each district.  Yes, Veronica was chosen!  As a result, she went to school in a larger city and was educated.


When Veronica graduated from school, her mother did not want her to come back to their village and so for a time, Veronica lived away from her home and her family.  Veronica knew nothing of the Lord at this time, or anything about being a Christian.  She actually wanted no part of church.  People would invite her, but her answer was always no.


Veronica loved music and one day as she passed the church, she paused outside to listen to the music.  As she explains, when a preacher or anyone in authority tells you to do some in Uganda, you do it without question.  The pastor came out and said to Veronica.....what are you doing out here?  Come inside!
She reluctantly entered the church and tried to sit in the back so she could slip out, but the pastor insisted she go to the front.


As Veronica listened to the sermon , she felt it was her life the pastor was talking about.  She thought her colleagues had told her story to the pastor.


The next time she came back to church, the same thing, it seemed as if the pastor was preaching of her life.  She felt something change in her.......it was Jesus calling her to Himself.  She knew God had a plan for her life, but she wasn't sure what that plan was to be, so she kept on doing her job as she had been.  She immersed herself in the Bible and learned everything she could to know Him.  She found she had a hunger for the things of God.


Veronica says there are many abortion clinics in Uganda, but if a girl cannot afford to go to one, there are other people who help these girls to abort their babies. Many, many girls abort their unwanted and unplanned pregnancies in Uganda.


In 2002, Veronica's younger sister found herself pregnant and wanted to have an abortion but didn't have enough money.  A friend told her she knew a woman who would help her.  During the attempt to abort her baby, Veronica's sister bled to death.  Veronica was in church when someone came to tell her that her sister had passed away.  Veronica was heartbroken as she traveled to her home to be with her family.  As the oldest child, she was now responsible for her sister's other children.  Once again, she felt that God had a plan for her life and she knew she would like to help girls and save their babies from abortion.


Veronica found help during her journey to have a place girls could go and learn how to save their babies.  God was working out His plan for her life.  During that time, Laura and her husband Mark, traveled to Uganda with a mission team from our church, Covenant Presbyterian Church in Panama City, Florida.  Our church has been involved with Uganda for many years and teams travel there every year or so.  I think during that trip and following trips,Laura and her husband started feeling that pull to serve, however God wanted them to, in Uganda.


During that time, Veronica emailed Laura and asked her to help her help girls who wanted to keep their babies.  At this point, Veronica had started a pregnancy program.  She knew it needed to be more and prayed about what to call the center.  The word comforter came to her several times.  Veronica asked God to show her with no doubt that the pregnancy center should be call comforter.  The next time she went to church, the pastor preached about the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.  Veronica had her confirmation.  She started the Comforter Pregnancy Center.  The building she was renting in the city of Kampala was put up for sale.  Veronica again talked to Laura and they came up with the 152 Program.  The building was for sale for $152,000.  The plan was to find 1,000 people to give $152.00 to raise the money to buy the building.  They had until the end of October that year.  With the help of many people and the help of churches in Florida, Texas, Alabama and Arkansas all the money was raised just before the lease ran out and they were able to buy the building!  God's work never fails!  Through further donations, they were also able to buy an ultrasound machine so that the girls who came there could see their babies and understand that there was a life they were carrying.


I think Veronica said they have been able to save 327 babies from abortion and have counseled many, many girls in Uganda.


Please join us in praying for this brave woman who answered God's call and has gone wherever He called her!  It has been an honor to meet Veronica Nakyewe!


Below are more pictures from the banquet.


These are things made by the people of Uganda.  All proceeds from these things go right back to the ministry in Uganda.  Even the beads you see are handmade from paper! 





People finding seats and reading the pamphlets about Mercy Uganda and it's mission.  The men had to put up additional tables!









More of the handmade beads from Uganda.









The hand woven baskets and hand made wooden frames are beautiful!









Sam Kasimbo, a pastor in Uganda, talking with Veronica.   Sam and Veronica met in the United States, he pastors a church in a suburban area and Veronica works in Kampala which is a large city.  I think Veronica said there were about three million people living in Kampala.







Laura, director of Mercy Uganda, introducing Veronica.








Veronica and Sam.





Covenant's pastor talking with Veronica.




In the background our pastor of missions leaning on the cabinet, talking with Sam.



Veronica holding Laura's grandson. 





One of the great blessings for me at the banquet was seeing a young woman that I worked with at the local pregnancy center.  I haven't seen her in over a year and had lost contact.  What a pleasure to see her and hear how God has moved in her life! 







God is always moving.  Mercy Uganda gives all the glory to God for the work done in Uganda.  Through Veronica and her ministry, His work is being done not only in the lives of young women in Uganda, but in the lives of people around the world. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Friend Veronica

I want to tell you about my friend Veronica.  She is an awesome lady from Uganda.  She is the director of the Our Comforter Pregnancy Center in Kampala, Uganda.  She will actually be here this week and will be sharing her very powerful testimony with us at our first Mercy Uganda fundraising banquet this Thursday evening.  Last year we were able to do the 152 Campaign which was a campaign to raise $152,000.00 to help get Veronica an ultrasound machine and money to purchase the building she had been renting for the pregnancy center.  You see, one of the world's largest abortion providers was trying to buy the building and Veronica and the pro-life work she does would have had to move out and find another place.  We knew that God would not allow a place that had been saving the unborn to become a place where their lives were taken.  We were right. With help from indivdiduals and churches in Florida, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and other places, all the money was raised within 2 days of the deadline the landlord had given.  We were also able to work with International Aid, a Christian ministry that helps provide many resources to ministries like Our Comforter.  Through them we were able to get an ultrasound machine.  What a blessing! 
After the banquet Thursday night, we want to share Veronica's testimony with you, because we know that many will not be able to attend the banquet and we want
you to hear her story.  You will be blessed, I'm sure.  We hope you will pass her story on to others as well. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

I was sick and you visited me....


Is this how you picture a hospital?  Notice that all the beds are in one long room and no fancy equipment hanging on the walls. No nurses bustling around taking blood pressures and temps. I'm sure there are nurses there, it is just very different from what we here in America experience.



This is the Mulago Hospital.


Our dear friend Paul, sustained an injury several years ago and gradually lost mobility.  He needed an operation on his spine, but it was very expensive.......$2,000.00 U.S. dollars.
If you have had any surgery, spinal or otherwise, you realize that $2,000.00 would barely get you in the door to a hospital here in the states.


Through help from friends, he was able to raise half of the money and was accepted for the surgery.  The above picture is Paul sitting on his hospital bed in the Mulago Hospital near Kampala, Uganda.


This is the latest information I received from Henry.


We were able to move Paul out of hosptal today. they have removed the sticthes so we will be taking him back for review. He became so weak for last five days though now he has started improving.




Mercy Uganda is trying to raise the additional $1,000.00 (U.S.) that will be the final payment on the surgery.


You may or may not know what a huge issue AIDS is in Africa.  Paul has worked so hard ministering to many dying of AIDS in Uganda.


He now needs to be ministered to in order to continue his work for our Lord.  If you feel led to help Paul, go to our website to check out ways you can help.




You may be Paul's Good Samaritan!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Update on the Little Boy at the Gate

Please take time to read this update on Lawrence, the little boy at the gate.


Some day I hope that like the lame beggar at the gate in Acts 3:1-10, that people who recognize Lawrence as the boy at the gate will be amazed at how he has been healed!







As you remember from the original story, Lawrence is a little boy being raised along with his sister by their grandmother. There are no real details on why their grandmother is raising them, but she obviously loves and cares for them the best she can.  Their mother lives in another village but has little to nothing to do with them. 


I tried to imagine my own children needing medical help and having no way to get that help.  


My dear friend, Henry has been working to get Lawrence seen at a clinic and find out what can be done for him.  I recently received this email from Henry....


Dear laura,
I had another long day in Mulago.
For Lawrance, we saw the doctor who recomended a post-infective sequelae.
In the investigations we were to do three tests. 1, CBC [complete blood count]
2, HIV serology 3, TPHA . We have been able to the HIV serology and he was negative.
We were told that Machines for the other two tests were down and they did not know how long it take them to normalise. they suspected three weeks or a month. I have decided to do them outside Mulago at a fee so that we have them by monday for the neuro clinic.


We were able to move Paul out of hosptal today. they have removed the sticthes so we will be taking him back for review. He became so weak for last five days though now he has started improving.
Have a nice day.


Henry.




Let me tell you a little bit about Henry....what a gift to this ministry.
With a wife and four children and very poor himself, he is helping little Lawrence, even using some of his limited income to pay for tests.  Henry is a gifted musician and had a deep love for the Lord. 



I'll save the story of Paul for another day, but for now let me explain what Henry's email is saying about Lawrence.


I think the post-infective sequelae ( an aftereffect of  a disease or condition) is from the  malaria Lawrence suffered earlier in his life.


The investigations are tests done at a clinic.  Lawrence needed to have three tests.


Lawrence was only able to have one test that day; the HIV test, which came back negative, which is a big ole Praise the Lord!  He was unable to get the other two tests because their machines were down and it could take three weeks or more before they were working again.


Henry is taking Lawrence somewhere else and paying for him to have the tests so they will hopefully have the results in time for his neurological evaluation.


Please pray for Henry as he continues to attempt getting medical help for Lawrence.  I left him some money for the expenses, but I know he has had to come up with some on his own. 

Mercy Uganda will be having a banquet in Panama City, FL  at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, October 24, 2009 to raise funds to help with medical and other needs of these precious Christians.


If you would like to be part of this ministry by attending the banquet, please call 850-896-2373.  Plates are only $10.00.



Oh, how we pray that this physical help will glorify God and lead to their spiritual health as well.




Monday, October 12, 2009

For I was thirsty and you gave me drink.

When I woke up this morning, I jumped in the shower and turned on nice, hot water to bathe with and never gave it a second thought.


Maybe at that same time, a woman in the remote village of Kalangaalo was struggling with her jerrie cans a fourth of a mile down a narrow, uneven trail to the watering hole you see below.  Maybe she had children with her and they had to help carry too.  Maybe she had a baby in a sling and carried the child and the can.


Today, I complained about having to do laundry in a washing machine that has water that comes when I turn it on....


Maybe at the  same time I was complaining, a woman in that same village was trying to decide if she should use that 5 gallons of muddy water to bathe, wash clothes or to cook with.
Does she want to make that long trek carrying water on her shoulder again for later in the day?




One of the big problems faced by the people of the remote village of Kalangaalo is water.
  Notice how brown the water is......would you want to cook, bathe, drink or wash your clothes in this water? They have no choice.  Here in America, we would get a boil water notice while it was being fixed, so that soon it would be clean again.







I am teaching the women about personal hygiene, another problem when you have no water.  How can I tell these women that they must bathe and have clean clothes each day?  Also, that their children must be clean and have clean clothes?


Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?  And the king will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

If you feel at all led to pray for these people or help in any way please visit our website

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lawrence--the boy at the gate

I just wanted to talk about Lawrence again.....it is hard to think about a 5 year old boy who is the size of a 3 year old....mostly because he hasn't been able to eat well since he was a baby and ran the high fever from malaria.  It took me over a year to realize that God was pointing me in Lawrence's direction.  I kept looking at him and feeling sorry for him.....boy am I thick headed.  When I finally woke up and realized that God had something specific for me to do it was such a blessing to get involved.  I have some Ugandan friends helping me with translating and with arranging clinic appointments.  Remember, his eyes are crossed but we've been told that can be fixed.  We will be working on that.  Remember, too, that he can't speak or chew.  He goes to a neurology clinic next Monday.  You can't make appointments really, you just have to show up and hope you got there early enough to be seen that day.  This will be their second attempt to go.  When I was there a couple of weeks ago, we were able to go to the hospital and find out where to go and who to see.  Now my dear friend Henry Mello is helping the grandmother get Lawrence to the doctor.  When we find out what exactly is wrong, we will have an idea of the cost.  Then I am hoping to help raise the funds to get Lawrence the medical help he needs.  Please pray for Lawrence and his grandmother.  Pray not only for his physical needs but their family needs (living in poverty) and their spiritual needs as we show God's love in word and deed.  Pray too, that we will be able to raise the funds we will need to get him the help he needs, and that God will place the doctors before him that He wants Lawrence to see.  Thank you for your interest in this ministry.......

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Collecting Always :0)

To all you ladies out there....we are currently trying to collect 5000 Always thin Maxi pads with wings to take to Uganda in January.  Imagine not having them and using rags......well, that is what the girls and ladies in Kalangaalo have to do.  We would love to vacuum pack a large quantity that can be taken on our January trip to Uganda....we can then provide this much needed, and often taken for granted in America, item.  Reply to this blog if you want more information on how you can help!!
Thanks

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Banquet October 22nd

I would like to invite you to a fundraising banquet for Mercy Uganda, the womens and childrens ministry we have started.  My dear friend Veronica Nakyewe will be in the U.S. from Uganda and will share her powerful testimony.  The banquet is Thursday evening, October 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, in Panama City, Florida.  The cost is $10.00 a plate, and a nursery is available.  You will be blessed by the testimony and by attending you bless the ministry.  You can call Covenant Church at (850)769-7448 to reserve seats.

Update on Paul

If you saw my picture of Paul, the young man in the hospital, I wanted to let you know that I got an update about him this morning.  He is recovering from the spinal surgery and is beginning to regain feeling in his extremities.  This is wonderful news.  Because he cannot continue to afford to be in the hospital they will work with him from home.  Please continue to pray for Paul as he recovers.  He has been a blessing to many people.