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Sunday, January 24, 2010

The team is in Uganda!

This is Nancy updating the blog for Laura who is actually in Uganda doing the work!




This is part of the team that left last Tuesday for Uganda.  I would have gotten a better picture but my husband wouldn't let me stand up and take a picture during the prayer!  Imagine!  So they are actually walking away from the front of the church after being prayed for and being commissioned to do this work God has for them.












We got an update from Bob letting us know that every one arrived, safe and sound with their bags!




This trip is the first official trip for Mercy Uganda!  How exciting for Laura to get back to visit the people she has come to love so much and to give them the sponsorships for school children and progress on the projects that are ongoing.









 This is Lauren Walker.  She will be living in Uganda for 18 months teaching all sorts of stuff to the young women and children there.  She and Laura are in the process of getting Lauren settled in.......as in finding just the right place for her to live!


Some words from Lauren.....




We flew into Entebbe airport unscathed by the hyped-up airport security. Rashid was there to greet the four of us (David, Beccky, Brandy, and me) and drive us back to Dr. K's. Today David, Becky, Brandy, and Roth are working on getting the medicine sorted for their trip to Kalangaalo tomorrow. They are going to have a clinic there for a few days.The common area is a little pharmacy right now. Laura and I are just hanging out until we go to a girl's soccer meet this afternoon. Laura is the guest of honor...I really can't tell you much about it now, but I have a feeling I'll have a long story to tell when I get home tonight. The internet situation is precarious at the moment, so I don't know when I'll right again.


As for the mouse, I have not seen him, but Laura has. I would have felt less anxiety had she told me that she saw a python in our room. I suppose this is just the beginning of my having to toughen up. And kill mice. I think the skinny house cat that lives here will be my new best friend.


I'm guessing there are mice at Dr. K's house!  Please pray for Lauren to find the right place to live while she gives her life to the Ugandan people for the next year and a half!


One of the men on our team, Roth, works on building projects that are needed so desperately there in Uganda.  He is working on plans with Pastor Sam Kisembo for projects that will be done in June when he will be back in Uganda.


 We have an orthopedic surgeon and two of his nurses on the team this year.  They will head out to the west for four days of ministry and medical clinics today.




I know Laura is excited to be back with these women, working with them and educating them in so many areas!



Laura will also be checking on Lawrence and the progress he is making on his medical journey.





In the coming days, I hope to report on the exciting things going on in Uganda with our team, and to have pictures! 


In all their efforts, may God receive the glory!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tomorrow

Tomorrow I, and several team members will be flying to Uganda.  I am looking forward to following up on things we began during our last trip, and am looking forward to seeing dear friends there in Uganda.  It will take about 24 hours to get there, and Uganda is about 8 or 9 hours ahead of us so we'll get there Wednesday night, (Uganda time).  Please pray for us as we seek God's guidance, wisdom, and direction on this trip.  Pray that we will be obedient to the work He wants us to do.
We have alot planned but know that God's plan are the ones that succeed (thank goodness for that!).  We hope to be back in Kalangaalo, where we are working to get a well dug, and are planning a trip to Karamoja, which is about 6 hours away in the Northeastern part of Uganda.  I hope to visit my dear friend Veronica at her pregnancy center, and visit Rahab House, a home for precious girls as young as 10 who have been rescued from prostitution.  We will do child sponsorship updates while in Uganda, hold a ballet camp, visit several schools, work with Lawrence in his medical issues, and visit others with medical needs as well.  We would appreciate your prayers on our behalf, and we look forward to keeping you updated as we are able while in Uganda.  It is exciting to see God place people and needs before us and then see Him meet those needs.....how awesome! He doesn't need us, but through His kindness, grace, mercy, and love, He allows us to be a part of His work.  This has, and continues to be a faith journey for me, not always easy, and at times extremely stressful, but so very worth it!  I praise Him for helping me grow as a person, as a Christian, and in my faith through this work with the beautiful, precious people in Uganda.

(The picture is of a little girl and an elderly man in a small village beyond Kalangaalo.  I love it because it shows generations.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting Ready to Leave

Hi this is Lauren--my first post here. I'll be leaving for Uganda with Dr. David and two nurses Becky and Brandy on Thursday January 21. Laura, Bob, Roth, and a pastor (who's name escapes me) will leave on Tuesday, Jan. 19. There's so much to do before I go. Laura and I have different speaking engagements this week; tomorrow I'll speak to the adult Wednesday night class at First Presbyterian Church about what Mercy Uganda is doing with child sponsorships. And yesterday we spent hours putting all the children from Covenant Junior School who still need sponsors on our myspace page. It's on the slide show towards the bottom of the page if you want to take a look at www.myspace.com/mercyuganda. As for what I have to do personally to get ready, I've been getting as much ballet practice time in as possible. I'm going to the dentist today (hopefully no cavities!). Tomorrow I'm getting my big Afro cut off--I'll use a lot less water without so much hair. And then there's packing. That is a conundrum. There is so much to pack (mostly books) and so little space (two 50lb bags). Most of our team will be in Uganda for two weeks. I'll be there for eighteen months, and there are still some things about the trip that are unsettled. We're unsure about where I'll be living, and I still haven't met my financial support goals. But then Jackie Hayes said something to me in church on Sunday that put things in perspective. She said that God already has everything worked out, and he lets us know the details on a needs-to-know basis. I feel like I need to know right now where my home will be and where the money will come from, but apparently, I don't need to know. That's something this trip should help me with: making the distinction between needs and really strong wants.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Karamoja


A dear young man in Uganda, a young man named Gabriel,  became a friend of my husband Mark during our trips to Uganda.  Gabriel was a boy in Karamoja, a remote area about 6 hours North East of where we usually stay in Uganda.  As a boy he became orphaned and was, by God's grace, taken to the Bethel House Orphanage that we speak of often.  We actually have children in our child sponsorship program who live in Bethel House. As an adult, Gabriel's heart longs to see his people helped.  As you can see from his report below, they need many things, things even for basic survival, things for hope and a future.  It is our prayer that, during this trip to Uganda next week, we will be able to spend a couple of days in Karamoja to meet the people, to learn from them, and to see how God might use us to minister to them both physically and spiritually.  Please pray for the people of Karamoja, and for us as we make this trip, that God would help us to see with His eyes, hear with His ears, and to show us what He wants us to do. 
(The picture shown here is from a photo album by swiss.dog on his blog.  He has many other pictures of Karamoja and Africa in general as well.  I don't know him, but love his pictures)


HELP ACHILD IN KARAMOJA –MINISTRY(H.A.I.K)


 BRIEF REPORT CONCERNING KARAMOJA

Security
Karamoja is one of the many places in Uganda with a lot of peace since it does not involve in wars and this is all due to the strong and strict security in the place/ area. Karamoja on the other hand it is a kind of region that values foreigners and protects them strongly since they believe that foreigners always bring development to places like that and yet they are also longing for the development in their region.

In simple terms Karamoja is a simple and peaceful region where by if a person is interested in starting up any project in Karamoja he is well assured of proper security in advance and without doubt and good well facilitated hotels in place also.

Education
The education system in Karamoja is completely down since there are no schools in the area and a few of the schools are often being joined by such children whose parents have got some money yet this leads to discrimination of the poor people who do not have money and again there are no modernized facilities such as good buildings and this forces students to study from outside in the shades (under trees) and they do not have any where to write or to sit on. When you compare all these things you get to realize that for sure the education system in Karamoja is very poor.
We pray and it will always be our prayer as Karamajongs that God can provide a kind person so that atleast a good school can be constructed in our region because our children are very illiterate because very many Karamajongs grow up without even knowing any word in English and yet if they are educated they can be brave and strong and they can also tech others and Karamoja can be turned into a place of miracles.

Hospitals
A lot of tears always flow in my eyes whenever I see my brothers and sisters dying every day due to lack of hospitals in our region, a lot of Karamajongs when they get sick they tend to loose hope and think that they are going to die just because there is no hospitals and yet if good hospitals and dispensaries were in place it would have saved on the number of Karamajongs who die every day. It really hurts me to loose our beloved one yet if there were any possibility of the hospital he or she could be alive and this makes us think that may be God does not know he and us does not love us. If God could answer our prayers and run for our rescue and provide hospitals for us atleast even if its one but well equipped with all the necessities and also the good doctors yet experienced /experts in that field and that’s our cry as we Karamajongs.

Orphans
Many parents in Karamoja die of AIDS and others die of other diseases such as malaria to mention but a few and they leave very young children behind without any body to take care about them so they grow up without experiencing parental love, care, and guidance. To be realistic there are lots of orphans in Karamoja who grow up in a terrible and miserable life because some go to sleep with empty stomach and others have no where to sleep so what happens these children start eating from dust bins for survival yet these bins are unhygienic. And if orphanage homes were built in Karamoja it would save the cries of the orphans and its my prayer that one day one time an orphanage home will be built in Karamoja region to save the future generation of Uganda and as a world because these kids the moment they lack what to eat, drink and where to sleep they tend to move out on streets and become beggars hence the increase number of street kids yet they are also human beings and would like to live in a happy homes like anybody’s children.

Church
There are no churches in Karamoja apart from a few of the catholic religion and if there would be any vision of establishing churches and also evangelizing out reaches and crusades could be held so as to preach the good news to the people of Karamoja this would be such a great blessing to the people of Karamoja and we could also impart or let the youth develop a passion and introduce social and life skills programmes so that they can develop their potential in order to design a family which is God fearing and its our prayer that people or some trustees can help us in the building of the temple of the Lord.

Tourism
Karamoja is a land full of amazing features and the moment you reach there they tend to put once a smile on your face and leaves a lot of desires on your heart of knowing or longing to know more. There are lots of mountains which are very tall and huge still there are also Karamojong warriors and a lot of beautiful animals and birds which sing sweet songs but the truth is that there are a lot of things to see in case you visit this place and I wish one day you could realize the beauty of Karamoja.

Special Thanks  
Our special thanks goes to Brother Mark and his wife Madam Laura for their being pioneer in helping us in different areas of this project and still being part of our survival. We pray that God will continue to use you to do His work and surely we are blessed to have such people like you by our side. We do treasure you so much. May God bless you abundantly more than He blessed King David and Solomon.


Lobu Gabriel Silver
Chairperson

Monday, January 4, 2010

Preparing for a trip


This picture is Lauren, our ministry liaison-education, who is preparing to move to Uganda for eighteen months!

Well, two weeks from tomorrow our team heads back to Uganda.  I am really looking forward to it and have very dear friends I am looking forward to seeing again!  On this trip we also have an orthopedic surgeon and two nurses going. They will be doing a 3 day clinic in Kalangaalo, the remote village we are working with.  The challenge is packing two 50 pound suitcases with personal items AND the many things I want and need to take to Uganda for the dear people there.  I can really pack a suitcase....the problem is, the weight limit.  The weight adds up quickly.  I have about 3000 feminine pads vacuum packed that I am taking to the ladies and girls in Kalangaalo who REALLY need them. Right now they use only rags....my mind just cannot imagine that!  I hope that this particular project will be ongoing, and that we will be able to continue to collect the pads and take some on each trip to keep a supply at hand for them.
I will also be taking some games and toys to be used for speech therapy for Lawrence, The Little Boy At The Gate.  My friend Emily Delmar is a speech therapist, and has collected some items she has donated for us to use for Lawrence. What a blessing!  I am so excited about what God is doing for Lawrence. 
We were also given a generous gift of $1,000.00 that will allow us to build the 40 desks in Kalangaalo.  Those will be built in June when our construction team goes with us. 

I continue to work on raising the $10,000.00 needed for the well in Kalangaalo.  I spoke to a local Kiwanis Club this past week and they were a wonderful group of people who are very supportive of what we are doing.  I have completed the necessary paperwork with them for the well.....even a little will help!  They are also interested in food distribution and I am hoping we can coordinate an effort for this summer to distribute food to two villages, Kalangaalo and Karamoja. I will be speaking to a local Rotary Club next week as well, and my friend Jay Trumbull, who owns a water business here is going with me....we are actually hoping to find a way to get well drilling equipment he is donating, to Uganda to lower the cost of digging the well, and Jay will also send some of his crew to help and teach.
My friend Veronica, who is the director of the Comforter Center, a wonderful pregnancy care center in Kampala, has offered to take me to the Rahab House, a home where they care for young women who have been rescued from prostitution.  What an honor that will be to meet the girls, and those who have reached out to them!
I hope also to visit the Comforter Center and see the volunteers Veronica is always speaking so wonderfully of, and to get a photograph of the ultrasound machine we were able to help her obtain through the 152 Campaign last year. 
On this trip, we will be taking Lauren, our Ministry Liaison-Education for Mercy Uganda. She will be moving there and has committed to staying for eighteen months to help the ministry.  She will also teach ballet so we are planning a ballet camp while we are there so we will know the ages and number of students she will have in order to work on things such as ballet slippers and other needs for a ballet class.  This will be a fun and exciting program!
As you can tell, we have alot going on this upcoming trip.....and that is not all we will do. There is so much more we hope to do while there! Please pray for us that God will be honored and glorified in our efforts, and that we will have many opportunities to share Christ with those with whom we come in contact!
I look forward to updating you in the near future.


This is a picture of a well similar to the one that will be
dug at Kalangaalo. This one is at Bethel House, the orphanage
where some of the children live for whom we are seeking sponsors.