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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On being feminine

 

WARNING......THIS POST IS ABOUT FEMININE HYGIENE....PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

These women are joyfully receiving gifts!  What you ask could make them so happy and cause those beaming smiles?  Well, what would make you that happy?  Gift certificates for manicures?  Pedicures?  New dress, shoes?

Always Feminine pads.  Oh, yes, you read that right.  These ladies have been patiently waiting for Laura to get back with the pads that many of us have been collecting for months.  So simple, so simple....and yet, so important when you have nothing!

Many of the girls in this village would have to stay home from school because they didn't have adequate feminine products for the days they needed them.

Laura has been teaching these girls and women about hygiene, i.e. how to use them and how to properly dispose of them.  

In this village, their bathroom facilities consist of a pit latrine.  What is that?  I asked the same question.  Basically, a hole in the ground surrounded by three "walls" and some sort of fabric that serves as a door.  A woman has to stand or squat over that hole in the ground.  Thankful yet? 

Each girl and woman has been given 25 pads.  Laura will try to take more back in June when she goes again.  If the pads haven't been disposed of properly, she will not give them more.  She has explained very carefully how to do that.  

If you read this, and want to participate in this part of the Mercy Uganda ministry, just pick up pads when you are in the store and then go over to our website to see where to send them.  If that isn't practical, you can make a donation that will go directly to buying these pads to be distributed to women in remote villages.

Prayerfully consider if God would have you participate in this cause.  

Stop to think how excited you would be to open a gift of feminine pads.  Would your face light up like theirs?  

As a side note, this village is the one in the picture on the header of this blog.  The village where they must go to this muddy little body of water to get any and all water they will use during each day.  Mercy Uganda is also working on funding a well for this village!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Karamoja

 Two children in Karamoja....you see many like this there.                     A young boy in Karamoja....what a precious smile he has!

Karamoja......what an experience it was to visit that very remote, impoverished area.  We were actually in the Nakapiripirit area, which, we have found out, is very unsafe.  Four days after I returned to the U.S. two vehicles were attacked by gunfire and people were killed.  Yes, it is scary to think about it, but I prayed that God would lead us where He wanted us to go.  The door to Karamoja was opened, we went, He protected us.  I can't help but think that perhaps those same Karamajong warriors could have been ready to shoot at us but that God had His angels surrounding us. I am convinced that God wanted us there.  He had something He wanted us to see, to learn, to experience.  I am still praying that He shows me what He wants me to do with all of that.  Perhaps it is getting the orphans out of there to a safe place where they can have safety, food to eat, an education, and most importantly, learn about God.  Maybe God has something else....I am praying for His wisdom, guidance, and direction.  As unsafe as that area in Karamoja is, I was able to get into a vehicle and leave.  I had a bed, water, food, and a safe place to return to.  The precious people in the villages we met have none of that.  They have had a drought for 5 years.  They have little or no food, little or no water.  The cattle of the two villages we visited have been stolen by raiders.  They fear for their lives and the lives of their children.  They are desperate.  My prayer is that God will work in my life in such a  way that where He led me will lead me to follow Him, to obey Him, to listen to what He is telling me.  Would I go back to Karamoja?  If God opens the door for me to do so, then yes.
It's easy to go into all the world when its a safe place, but difficult when it isn't.  The least of these....that's what the Karamajong are.....and God calls us to reach the least of these, to help the least of these......I would say that's a pretty clear message.  Please pray for us as we pursue God and what He wants us to do.  Please pray for the precious people of Karamoja. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Update on Julius

I heard from my friend George Yawe today and he gave me a brief update on Julius with a couple of pictures.Julius has been transferred to what they call a Food Feed Ward at Mulago Hospital and is improving!He will be in the hospital for 2 or 3 months and we are working on raising funds to help pay for his medical needs during this extended hospital stay.  Please continue to pray for Julius and his grandmother.  Please pray that the Lord will provide the funds needed in order for Julius to continue to receive the necessary treatment.(You can see the improvement in Julius in just 2 weeks time, comparing these pictures to the ones on my recent blog...praise the Lord!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pictures of Julius

Here are pictures of Julius, the little boy I spoke of in my blog earlier today.  Please pray for him, he is a precious child of God.

Back Home

Well, we did it.....we had three intense and wonderful weeks in Uganda and then made it back home safely this past Monday evening.  I am still uploading the nearly 700 pictures I took during our trip so will be sharing some of those with you over the next weeks.  I must say that the Lord is good!  It is amazing how He places the people in front of you that He wants you to meet or help......we had instances of that on this trip, including a little baby boy named Julius whom we found "by accident" while looking for one of the sponsored children.  He was extremely malnourished, had worms, and had malaria for which he had not received treatment....he was 1 1/2 years old but looked 6 months old.....he would have died in a matter of days but is now, thanks to the good Lord for leading us through a woodsy path in a remote village to a little hut where we found Julius, he is in a hospital where he is slowly recovering.  He will be in the hospital for the next 2-3 months.  God wanted us to find that baby....He wanted that child helped and He allowed us to be a part of that plan....how awesome!  We are now working on getting more money over there for Julius' continued medical needs.  Please pray for him.  I will send you pictures very soon...they will break your heart and cause you to praise God for His intervention all at the same time.  This is one of several stories I'll be sharing over the next several weeks and months.....thank you for your prayers and for your support.  I'm glad to be home but miss Uganda too.
Laura

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quick update on the team

This is an update from Laura after a few days in Uganda! It's hard to believe, but they are headed home now.


Please pray for Lauren who stayed behind and will be living in Uganda for the next 18 months.


When Laura and the team are back, we will be posting pictures and many heart rending and Lord praising stories.


I Just wanted to give you an update on our trip.....We have been busy visiting some of our Ugandan friends, churches and had dinner with the Minister of Ethics, and the former Minister of Finance for Uganda.....pretty cool!

Saturday I was a "guest of honor" along with the Ugandan Minister of Education and some other dignitaries (I was definitely out of place)...we were at a football(soccer) tournament for youth which was held by Saved To Serve Ministries.....

Sunday Lauren and I attended a young and very poor church called Mustard Seed Presbyterian church which was located in the middle of a muslim slum area, many of the church members are converted from Islam. My friend Henry Mello was invited to preach.

Tomorrow Lauren and I head to Karamoja which is a very primitive area close to the Kenyan border and about 8 hours from home base. We are going with our 2 Ugandan friends and guides, Henry Mello and Gabriel Lubo to learn from the village and see what the specific needs are, particularly the orphans.

On Thursday we will be picked up by my friend Veronica who was at Covenant in October. We will visit her pregnancy center, and she will take us to visit Rahab house, where girls as young as 10 live who have been rescued from prostitution.

On Friday we hope to go with Bob and our medical team to visit hospitals and I have a couple of children I want the doctor to see. Saturday will be time to go Joy's maternity home, Return to Bethel, and do a little shopping before the medical team returns home.

Next Sunday, Lauren and I will go to Kalangaalo.

Next week we will be visiting schools and holding a ballet camp, as well as the finishing up of Lauren's living arrangements which are going well.

Our last Sunday we hope to go to the Bethel House Orphanage for church service and then we will be flying home that evening....leaving Lauren here for 18 months.

You probably won't hear from us again at least for a while as we will be away from the computer.

Thank you for your prayers for us and I look forward to telling you all about it when I return.