Friday, August 22, 2008

The Kids That Steal Your Heart

A few days ago in the mail I got an envelope mailed to me by a missionary who had recently returned from Uganda. The kids were very excited to see Darren a second time, and many were running up to him asking if he could take this letter to Mark or that one to Jen and so on.

As I opened the envelope, I knew exactly what was inside it, notes from kids at Jireh, folded up, just the way they would be if they had handed me the note in person. I pulled them out one at a time, holding them in the palm of my hand. Each letter folded perfectly into a palm sized bundle that's easy to hold onto. They have a touch of Uganda on them, they even come complete with a little bit of red Ugandan dirt discoloring the edges of the bundles. Babra's letter was so thick it even required tape to hold it shut.

Letters from Uganda

The kids at Jireh will steal your heart. You can't forget them, and they definitely will not forget you. I've gotten woken up at 5:30 in the morning with calls from a Ugandan cellphone. I have a guess who is on the other end--its teenagers at Jireh who've somehow convinced one of the visiting missionaries to spend a dollar on them and let them borrow their cellphone to call America.

As much as I don't generally appreciate calls that early in the morning, when you hear the delight in the voice of the kids to actually get to talk to you--even if only for a minute or two before their air-time expires--its priceless, and worth every ounce of lost sleep.

And then there's the letters. I just about always expect one from Babra--she took a liking to me from the moment I arrived at Jireh. At the going away party for our team, she was having her friends deliever me little folded notes--her way of offering a hand of friendship. And ever since, she really was my friend, with the closeness of a sister. You think you come to minister to them, but so many times she was ministering to me with a word that could have been straight from God or a shoulder to cry on.


"If only Uganda were a little closer..." I daydream, wishing I could just pop in on weekends to visit. Why does Uganda have to be so far away and so expensive to visit?

If Love Was Rain

Even the ones that you wouldn't necessarily think would remember you, some of them will surprise you. This letter was from one of my S1 students last summer--I was in their classroom often, teaching bible lessons and helping them practice their English. There were a number of them, and I couldn't always keep all their names straight, but they always enjoyed stories about God's impact on my life and how funny and different America is from where they live.


The question isn't really "will I go back", the question is when... And unlike the last time, next time I will remember to bring a photo album to show them when they ask if I have any pictures of my family....

Saturday, August 16, 2008


We are very excited to announce this special event!
Mark your calendar for November 3, 2008!!
Our first golf tournament is located in Orange County California, USA
Thank you to our sponsor Toyota of Huntington Beach
More to follow, we will keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I prayed like..."Lord!! donot bypass these children."

I'm Samuel a Medical Student and I'm at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital for Clinical Practicals,so there is this day I was going back to our hostel for Lunch,we had just come from our Medical School to this Hospital,so my classmates used to lock the Gate every time we went to the wards.So this day I came and found the gate was locked and I stood outside the gate,it was just a hot day so you can imagine how I was as I waited I saw some two bazungu just sitted on the other side of the Road,it was a Man and a lady,they were sitted on the hot sun and talking to primary children.
I was like let me go and say hello to them.I crossed the road and greeted them,we began talking,introduced each other and they told me they are here in Uganda as Missionaries to do God's Work by supporting the needy children in the Jireh Ministries and they have a School where these children study from,I was like this is great! You are blessed people because Children are gift from God and they deserve our love and care. As we shared I found out they were my neighbours and that was amazing,we exchanged our contacts and they directed me where they live,we really had a good time and i was blessed because they were so nice to me.

So they told me I can come and visit one day and may be also go and have a visit to the School and see the health conditions,talk to the children and staff about Health related issues and encourage the children not loose hope in life but to study hard and make sure they achieve their dreams.

I was like..! no problem!, I'm ready and willing to do that! so we kept on meeting each other,saying hi, and talking.

It was a Saturday when we went to the School and we left in the Afternoon like at 3:00 Pm, I took my Stethoscope,BP Machine in case i find any sick child .we took Motorcycles and we had a nice ride up to the Mountain,it was looking far because it was my to go there,we passed through lots of trees,steep hills and I was abit Scared but my cyclist was very careful and finally we reached up the hill.

I was amazed because the place had very good location with fresh are air to breathe,so as I breathed the fresh air I was praising the lord in my heart for the great work that was being done at the mountain. Me as i was coming I thought it was small place with few people there .But I was shocked to see a big place and with alot of activities occurring there.

We jumped off our motorcycles and we told them to come back and pick us later like at 5:30/ 6:00 Pm.
So I was left talking to Jim, And I was just amazed by the work he was doing on this mountain because at the back of my mind as I was coming I knew it was a small place with a few activities.
As we talked to the gate man,the Headmaster of the Primary School passed by and Jim requested him to join us during the tour around the school.

We began with the houses of the Staff,went around to their new bath rooms,their compound and toilet.
Next they told me we are going to visit around the families,so I thought it was really family which was related biologically but I was corrected later by the Headmaster when had visited some of the families when I kept on asking like.. "how did these biological families come to stay here and where are their other relatives?"
So as we entered the first family,I looked at the situation;how the young boys were having afew pop corns in their hands and that is what they were eating,I looked at their small room,where they were so many just packed in it,their double decker beds and sleeping with their small suit cases,their few clothes hanging in the roof,no adequate everything was just enough to make you feel pity for these young children.
I was just filled with sadness,I felt so weak and in my heart I was like...! what words can tell these children? I didn't even have the strength to tell them I'm at University,in a Medical School and Studying Medicine and Surgery,I was just filled with sorrow and sadness and I was like how will me introducing my self to them like this,help this needy child?
I remembered the Long way and struggle I have gone through ever since I began studying,I remembered my Lecturers,consultants,Professors in Medicine and other great people in other fields of Education and Life, how Scientists have gone with technology,how people on this earth are rich with Lots of wealth and my heart weakened the more and telling me to burst into tears,and I was like "God as you give blessings,as you visit and provide for your children,as distribute riches,as you visit Masaka, Please do not by pass these children. give them a double share and let you favour be upon them."
I just felt saying these words and presenting these children to the Lord will be the source of all the difference in their lives.
So we continued to tour around the other families and for sure these Children need our prayers,its really God that is protecting them from epidemics.because they are overcrowded in their rooms,they share basins and maybe other personal needs. The distance of the kitchen from the house,house from toilet,toilet from kitchen are not the right distances,its just God protecting them from epidemics.

Then as entered family by family I found some of the students were sick,One had serious abdominal pain due to some food she had eaten the previous night,the other one had Menstrual cramps, I took them to the School clinic,examined them and gave them drugs.
The Last one had an eye problem and was just lying helpless in the room,she couldn't open her eyes,she was just scratching them,and tears just falling,she was almost becoming blind,but we managed to take her to Masaka Regional Referral hospital the following week where she was Diagnosed to be having a lession on her cornea and was admitted for one night and she is now well. We thank the Lord for healing her

The visit was generally a blessing to my heart and I came back amazed about how the Lord has been able to sustain those children and I'm willing and ready to give myself off to do God's work and especially to save the lives of these young children and to bring a smile on their face.