I met with Pam and Harry Porter earlier this week. They are a super nice couple. I learned a lot from my visit with them. They were so helpful in showing me around Kampala and telling me about their ministry experiences. They also have told me about some contacts in Jinja who may be helpful with some orphanage stuff. I have started a list of questions to ask these people!
One thing I learned from the Porters was the key characteristics important for a missionary – Flexibility and openness to ambiguity. I also learned a lot about Jinja, orphanage contacts and the culture in Uganda. People here have an outlook on life that says that if they are meat to live, then they will live. That is why they are so risky in their driving, crossing streets, life choices, ect. They don’t realize that they do have some responsibilities in how they live their lives. I guess it is hard to teach them to do things to better take care of themselves. They are in survival mode. What they need, they need now and don’t care about how it will impact tomorrow. They believe that NGOs will come in and take care of anything and everything. There is so much work that needs to go into helping these people help themselves. I am not one to like handouts and it is because it gives people the mentality that they don’t have to get better at taking care of themselves.
As I learn all these things, the vision for Hope N Doors because larger and more complicated – yet more clear. There are so many things to consider and take into mind. Missions is never what you expect it to be. You see the mountain in the distance, the calling, the plan, the final destination and as you get closer, you can see more of the details. I am so thankful to be on this journey and God is making some details more clear as I get closer to this mountain.
Thunder storms here are so pretty! We have had many in the past few days. I had no idea that it could rain so much here.
I read this verse today “Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” – Colossians 4:5 . . . I was reminded of how Pam did just this. Twice during my visit with them, she managed to make conversation with a total stranger and pray for them. I truly admire this and desire to have this trait and habit of my own.
We had a baby die the other day. It was sad. I saw the casket yesterday and it was definitely the smallest casket I have ever seen. I hope to never have to see one again. It saddens me because we only had this baby for 5 days. The mother didn’t realize that he was malnourished until it was too late. Sadly, she thought that he was just possessed or demonic. It breaks my heart. He is now dancing in Heaven with His father. I am glad that we were able to give him five days of love and cuddles!
Things are never boring at the babies home. We have gotten four new babies this week. When one of the new babies was brought in, a group of men came and claimed that the child belonged to them. When questioned about him, they left. It turns out that they wanted the baby for a child sacrifice because they believed that he was evil. It is so sad. The devil is doing some serious work – please pray for the people of Uganda!
April 16, 2010
I cannot express just how exciting today has been! It was my day off so I didn’t get to go to the babies home, but it was still super exciting!
I started off the day talking to some amazing people online (which always makes me smile). I truly do love and miss my friends from back home. . . Especially when they can’t get their microphone to work on their computer so they hear everything I say but I can only seen their mouths moving so I feel deaf (Erika, you are one of my favs!!).
Then I found a plane ticket home that ends in Pasco instead of Spokane (that means my parents don’t have to drive all the way up there) that is over $100 less than the one to Spokane!! It will still cost me an arm and half a leg, but less than it could be . . . Random but totally awesome! I’ll eventually buy it . . . too lazy to figure out how to do it right now. Then I found out that I may get to go do something really fun in May . . . can’t say what at the moment cause I don’t want to get my hopes up . . . but it will be totally awesome!
After that, one of the other girls and I walked down to Ciou ciou (I think that is how it is spelled . . . bet you can’t guess how it is said). It is probably about ¾ mile there downhill and then back up. Good workout. I really enjoy walking around here cause you actually get to experience stuff outside the babies home. So at the little market place I found chockits! Only like the best biscuits (cookies) that I had in South Africa. Sadly, they taste really old – probably cause they are. It is crazy that even though Kampala is the capital, everything that is prepackaged is super old – and tastes like it too. Such is life. It still made me dance a little!
Then I saw some monkeys!! They live in a tree across the way . . . you just have to be really patient and sit on our balcony and watch. It is soooooo awesome!! I took pictures! The monkeys are really small cause they were far away and that was the closest that I could zoom in. Sharon from Australia laughed at me cause I squealed like a little school girl whenever I saw the monkeys . . . but who would blame me when you have to watch really closely for the tree to move and then they jump all over the place and climb on roofs. It was just so exciting!! I definitely sounded like a little girl! Next time, I am going to lure them a little closer with a banana. One of the house keepers said that they often feed them bananas cause the monkeys are pretty tamed cause all the people. I however do not want to take the chance of getting bitten.
Oh and I started reading Barbarian Way again. It is crazy how some things hit home harder when you are in a completely different country doing missions. I can’t wait to finish reading it here. I plan on reading it again on the plane to remind myself how important some of this stuff is. I will probably type in some of the quotes here that speak to me at the moment. Right now my journal is in a different room and I don’t feel like getting up to get it. Oh well.
Then, Natalie invited me to Jinja next weekend . . . turns out I have the whole weekend off cause I work the 4pm-midnight shift next week! So I sent a text to the volunteer coordinator to see if I was allowed to go (we have to get everything cleared by them) and she texted me back saying that all I needed to do was tell her the basic information of where I will be (names, phone numbers, location, how I will be getting there, ect). Sadly, I am out of airtime on my phone so I have to wait til tomorrow to respond to her. BUT I GET TO GO TO JINJA!!!!!! I am so stoked! I feel like dancing up and down the streets (I would but it is getting dark and that would be very unwise). I finally get to meet the Nesters, whom I have been emailing since last August and I get to see the Porters again and maybe see New Hope Orphanage! And see something outside of Kampala!! Oh man! Great way to start my fourth week here!! I cannot express just how excited I am!
AND I get to see Rachel tomorrow if she is feeling better. She has been in Subee for over a week now and I miss her to pieces!! Sadly though she is coming in for Rebekkah’s goodbye dinner (one of the three other Americans is leaving next Wednesday). It will be sad to see someone leave. It is weird to think that only two of the people who are hear now will still be here when I leave. One got here a few days before me and the other is Rachel and she leaves two weeks after me.
PRAYER NEEDED – So I just agreed to take on a child who needs lots of special attention. I could use lots of prayer in this because I do not know if I am strong enough to do it. This little boy’s health has gotten really bad. He seizes many times a day and three weeks ago he stopped breathing. Anyways, the girl who normal looks after him is gone on Mondays and Fridays. I have agreed to work the shifts with him that she can not make (minus Friday cause it is my day off). So I will be working with him tomorrow and Sunday afternoon and then all evenings next week. Special prayer would be great. . . . I really do not know what I would do if he died on me. It will be hard to go from happy easy babies to a helpless sick baby. Yikes! JESUS I NEED YOUR HELP!
April 18, 2010
I don’t even know where to start.
So the little boy is the most precious thing ever. I praise God for giving me motherly instincts. Yet at the same time, it breaks my heart now to be away . . . How mothers ever get used to not having a baby sleeping on their chest is beyond me. I refused to put him down all day. Little Elisha is so sick. The past two days, I have fed him and then held him, the whole time I was at the Babies home. He rests his little head on my chest and his weak little hands on my arms. Then he coughs and his face cringes in pain . . . and he is so weak his cry is like a soft little whimper. When I hold him, he just looks up with these sad little eyes and stares at me. I hate his little seizures cause you can’t do anything but hold him tight and speak softly to him until it is over.
We are working on a medical visa for him so we can get him to the states to get him the medical help that he needs. We just finished filling out his passport paperwork. If it takes 3 months and 2 weeks, then he will be coming home with me. I haven’t told Anne that I am willing to take him, but it will definitely be hard to convince me otherwise. Ps – He won’t be mine to keep, just look after for 6 months as he gets better. So you don’t have to worry about me having a baby to look after the rest of my life. Mind you, he is darling and easy to fall in love with, so hopefully someone in the states will fall in love with him and keep him.
I guess that is the biggest thing.
I have half agreed to be cell leader. The current cell leader returns home soon . . . and they wanted someone who is here for a little bit.
Goodness, I am so exhausted. I had no idea that looking after a sick baby and doing nothing else would wear me out so much. It has been a long day. I was up all night last night thinking (never a good thing for me to think. . . Mostly about Elisha and how weak he is . . . but then remembering when he reached his weak little hand up and touched my face. Guh, pretty much made me cry) . . . then I had church in the morning (which I do like . . . although it is like a Hillsong Uganda and not like Africa church that we had in SA), then straight to the Babies’ home and 7 hours of holding a sleeping sick baby, then home and dinner. I feel bad cause the girls are going to watch a movie tonight but I am so exhausted and don’t think I will make it through a whole movie.
PS – Mom, I promise not to adopt every orphan in Hope N Doors . . . Although I can’t promise that I won’t want to adopt all the sick ones I have to take to the states.