Saturday, February 21, 2009

February 2009 Uganda trip

This mission trip to Jinja, Uganda was awesome in many ways. Much good was accomplished in spite of the challenges we faced. Several team members suffered illness. One lady became sick on the flight over and as she recovered, another caught it and the bug passed on through the team. I thank God that my health was preserved throughout the entire trip. One night, one of the nurses collapsed and hit her head. She was out of commission for several days. On another night we got the news that the father of one of the team members had experienced two heart attacks back here in the US. With the news of the plane crash in New York, (and another one while we were away), it would have been easy to become discouraged. In fact, Fedex lost our passports before the trip and they were found just in time for us to go. Pastor Rick said that after some 40 trips to Uganda, he has never encountered so much spiritual opposition to a mission trip. One thing that I know for sure is that when the devil tries so hard to come against a mission trip, it is because he knows that it has the potential to accomplish great things for the kingdom of God. It is because of this that I remained in faith that I was in the right place at the right time. We persevered and and thousands of lives were touched because of our work. Many hundreds of people gave their lives to Jesus. Thousands of people received medical treatment. Many people received eyeglasses and shoes as well.

More work was accomplished on the school. The school is a 5 year project, but by comparing the photos from last year with this years pictures, you can really see the progress. I spent some of the time painting, while some others were laying tile. The building was a movie theater built in the 1920's. I found an old ticket stub in a crack in the wall and discovered that the place used to be called "New Town Talkies"! One of the walls is collapsing and the engineers are having that wall torn down so it can be rebuilt. The old stage was on that wall so I was unfortunate enough to be given the assignment of dismantling it. I say unfortunate because the boards were filthy and spiders were crawling all over the place. There were also giant roaches, lizards, and bats flying around in there. I felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie! I thought I was going to find a skeleton under there at any moment. I did find one of my helpers under there after he accidentally stepped on the trapdoor. My friend and I were taking a break, and one of the locals was walking behind me when I heard a loud bang. I turned around and he was gone. After a moment of confusion I heard someone yelling from under the stage! HELP! He landed on a pile of debris and I count it as a miracle that he was not hurt. Thank God that he didn't land on a nail or something. We removed all the boards and the beams from underneath. Because of the loss of trees in Africa, lumber is very expensive, so we salvaged all the wood, removing the nails and storing it to be reused later.

Aside from doing manual labor, I went with the medical team twice. Mission Link brings medicine, medical equipment, eyeglasses etc to Africa. At night we would fill plastic bags with medicine and pack everything up for the next day. The medical team would head out each morning to a different village and set up a clinic. People would come from miles away to be seen by the doctors.

While the crowds were waiting to see the doctors, pastor Jackie Carver would preach the gospel to them. With the help of microphones and speakers, the good news could be heard from afar, as well as some Ugandan praise and worship music. After a patient saw the doctor, they were led over to us so we could talk to them one on one. We asked them if they were saved and if not we led them in a prayer of salvation then we took down their information so local pastors could follow up with them later. We were able to lead many people to the Lord this way, as well as praying with them for their needs. At another clinic I attended, my translator and I travelled from hut to hut for most of the day sharing Jesus and praying with people. For me, the evangelism was the highlight of the trip and I look forward to meeting those people again in heaven.

On Sunday, I was sent to preach at Basaana baptist church right on lake Victoria. The pastor of Basaana is pastor Timothy, a giant man with a giant vision. Pastor Timothy has personally planted over 60 churches on the islands of the lake and in Kenya. Pastor Timothy's father was killed by Idi Amin, and he was even jailed himself. He used to be a boxer but now he builds boats. I was truly honored to have met him, let alone to preach in his church.

Despite the challenges we faced before and during this trip, I am eternally grateful for the experiences, the memories, and the relationships created. I thank God for all those who sponsored me and made this trip possible. This being my third trip to Uganda, it is plain to see that Uganda is a part of me and I am anxious for my next opportunity to return. I hope to be back there by August 2009. Let me end this story by inviting you to come to Uganda. I believe everyone should go at least once, and I know firsthand that you will fall in love with the Ugandans, and you will be blessed too.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

School and Clinic Progressive Report From Pastor Solomon

This is an update from Pastor Solomon regarding King Solomon's Academy and Life Link Medical Centre:

The new year started well with the school opening for the first school term, we were blessed to have new desks for the upper classes, small chairs for the nursery kids and their tables, the kids are enjoying this new development, we were also able to pay the teachers salaries now they are very motivated to do their job.

Can you compare on the attachments the pictures of the type of desks we have been using and the ones we now have, also the carpenters busy working, this is also a way of helping the economy when we put people to work and pay them.

As kids came back we noticed that most were sickly and we have been attending a lot to their medical challenges, thank God for our Doctors that have done a great job.

We have also employed two more teachers to handle the candidate class, we are very happy to have Primary seven and we are very thankful for the support that has come from our kids sponsors that has made it possible for us to help these little ones that deserve a chance in life.

One young boy aged 10 by the names of Joel Kimera reported to school two weeks late, we call him the dancing boy at school and he is easily noticed, two weeks late was too much for the teachers and his fellow kids. When he finally reported to school, we all wanted to know why he started late, his answer was, I was mending shoes and saving the money to help buy the school requirements because I don’t have a sponsor.

Joel was making a few cents a day trying to raise $10, his story was told to the rest of the kids and those with sponsors were the most grateful for the support that keeps them in school.

We thank you very much for touching lives and impacting the next generation.

Here are the kids on their new seats in the new setting.

Life Link Clinic.

The community have continued to receive quality service from our Doctors and staff . I’m happy to report that the District of Wakiso has donated a Fridge to handle vaccines, this helps them remain in the right temperature. The first day we used the fridge using the this Fridge on 11th Feb we had 109 kids.

We have continued to do immunization for free every Wednesday, and lots of kids are coming in.

We have also added on one more Doctor, so we have one Doctor and a supporting nurse during the day and another doctor and a mid wife working at night.

Here are of the pictures of the baby minutes after being born and another little kid being taken care of.

The mother of this baby came to church Sunday 15th Feb attended the morning service and almost delivered in church, very poor and abandoned by her husband without a coin, we rushed her to the Life Link and our Staff took care of her and a baby boy was born. The baby was very big and would have needed surgery but thank God for the situation was handled well, we will in the future need a room where major surgery can be done because of the need we are faced with, can you imagine referring such a patient to a bigger Hospital without an Ambulance, and most patients don’t have cars to run them to a referral Hospital in case of an emergency. All in all we thank God because we are able to give a service to the people who would have died if our Clinic was not there.

After this lady had given birth, she told us that if it had not been a Sunday, she was going to give birth in her house because she didn’t have the money to take her to Hospital, and seeing what our Midwife went through helping her deliver and the size of the baby, she would have been a gone case.

We thank God for the work of ministry through health care, education and the Church because lives are being touched.

I will send you a report on the church. We have one more Witchdoctor who handed to us his tools yesterday and we will put them on fire on Sunday when all the believers are there. I will send those pictures in my next weeks church report.

Thanks for your support.