Monday, February 19, 2007

What's Up With The Team...

Hope everyone back home is enjoying the snow! We are enjoying the equatorial heat! (The equator goes right through Uganda.) Here is my journal up to this time. I 'm going to try to talk a couple other people into writing, but there's not a lot of time for that. Hope you enjoy the updates!
02-18-07 18:14 Uganda Time, 02-18-07 10:14 EST

Well, our third day in Uganda is almost over! Wow, it’s going by so quickly. Pastor Eddie preached two services this morning, and he—and his two armourbearers—are headed to the evening service right now. Pastor preaches again tonight. He’s ministering on Dreaming the Dream. I’m at the Guest House (I opted for a nap instead of shopping), and the rest of the group is in town immersing themselves in the “African Shopping Experience!” (I’ll have a chance to do that tomorrow.) If the bus gets back with everyone else in enough time, then I’ll head to the service. I’d really like to have been there, but we can’t have everything we want! :D At least there was enough room in Pastor Solomon’s car for William C. and Tim to ride in with Pastor. (To Rev. Karl: I’ve had a reputation here, from day one, as being Karl, Jr.! I’ve even been introduced that way by Pastor, “I know she just said her name is Sandi, but it’s really Karl, Jr.” You and Mz. Lana will know what that means! I’ve only got my toes close to the line once…but, “He ain’t workin’ with me at’tall!!!!”)

The services this morning were so fantastic! I’m hoping to upload the video from the second AM service to the internet, either YouTube or Google Video, but I’ll have to figure out how to decrease the file size, as they were recorded on high quality. As I stated a few lines back, Pastor is ministering on the Dreaming the Dream series. The hearts of the people here are so receptive. Poverty is one of the tools that satan uses to steal people’s dreams, and there is certainly no lack of poverty here. BUT, God has strategically planted Pastors Solomon and Doreen Mwesige, and their ministry—Good News Church—in the middle of enemy territory, and they are pulling down strongholds in the name of Jesus! And through God ordering the steps of our pastor and Pastor Solomon, Valley Word Ministries has such an awesome opportunity to be a part of that work.

During the Grand Opening Ceremony for the Life Link Medical Centre yesterday, Pastor Solomon shared with all of the attending officials, other guests, and patients about how the dream for the medical centre had come into being, but then had almost been abandoned. Apparently there was a point where the finances were not coming in and he couldn’t pay the staff. The enemy was coming against him full force with the same kind of mind games (devil- Gk: diaballo) that Pastor Eddie was teaching on this morning. Pastor Solomon was ready to give up on the dream of providing a medical centre that would be able to treat the whole man. One where patients would not only receive medical care (even if they had no money to pay), but also receive prayer and spiritual counsel. But thank God for a godly, praying wife! Pastor Doreen said, “No! If you’re going to give it up, then give it to me. I’ll take it on.” (She reminds me of my spiritual mom, Pastor Debbie—an amazingly strong woman of God who has been such a godly inspiration and example to me over the last six years that I’ve been at Valley Word.)

So the dream was kept alive, and we’re seeing the manifestation of it during our stay. The clinic just moved into its new location a couple days before our arrival. The government officials who spoke at the opening ceremony spoke of their excitement that the Medical Centre was in their locality and their desire to partner with Life Link. Well, the group’s back and I’m going to go for now. More later!

02-19-07 16:00 Uganda Time, 02-19-07 08:00 EST

I’m back again! This morning we had a wonderful breakfast, complete with omelets made from goat eggs (inside joke)! We’ve had a great day and are resting before going to church. Tonight is going to be great. I never did get to go last night, but William C. and Tim assured me that it was fantastic.

One of the really nice things about this trip is the time that we’ve had to bond as a group. Working together in this kind of setting is totally different than back in the States. We’ve had to depend upon each other to “watch each other’s back.” I can say with assurance that not one of the team members will come back home the same as when we left.

We’re going to start training the staff at the Medical Centre tomorrow. We’re working on developing some short workshops for their staff. They will focus on basic skills, such as patient assessment, IV therapy, use of the Cardiac Monitors, the autoclave, the nebulizer machine, etc. The concrete should be finished curing out at the fish pond by tomorrow morning so that the guys can continue their work on it. God is really opening doors here-are we surprised? No! There has already been quite a bit of talk about our future trips here. Plans for the Medical Centre, the school, and so forth. The Lord has tremendous things in store for the future. Well, I’m going to close for now so I can upload some pictures. We send our love and the love of the Ugandan people. Be blessed!
Be sure to check out our pictures online. Upload speeds are VERY S-L-O-W here so it's very time consuming uploading. We'll get some on when we're here, and the rest when we get home. All of the sets fromthis trip start with "Uganda..." in the title.

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