Friday, July 17, 2009

More Pancakes Please!!

Moses is 12 years old today, so we have another birthday to celebrate. And you guessed it, he wants our famous pancake birthday cake! It is becoming popular around here. It works and does everything else a traditional cake does, looks pretty, holds a candle and it is really sweet too!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Malaria And More

As I am scratching my back as I am writing this, I am always aware of the mosquitoes here in Uganda. Malaria is really the biggest threat here, because it is life threatening, it kills more than AIDS. We have two boys with it right now, one is with a IV drip on an overnight stay at the clinic and the other one was caught in earlier stages and is on meds. It is a little strange with the symptoms (look it up on the web if you get a chance). Before you know it normally hits people like a ton of bricks. There are tests for it, but in the instance of the boy that is now on a drip, is that he tested negative the day before. He had an extremely high temperature last night as I had him in a cold bath trying to reduce his temperature of 104 plus along with meds. We have mosquitoes nets for the beds and I am sure that helps, but we have had several cases to deal with in the past few months.

I don't know if everyone realizes it or not, but we treat several children besides our "Own." We have several situations where there are students that we know who call us when they become very sick and have nowhere else to turn. We just recently came across a small baby that was left (dropped off) at our little village church, God's Revival Church, the one you have heard me talk of before. This baby was undoubtedly so sick that it would have been a sin for me to not do something. We had the pastors bring the baby to our clinic that we use for treatment. It was Malaria, we saved her life. I was on a Boda the other day and my driver hit a seven year old child! I ran back and the child is laying there, and thankfully I could hear him crying. No one knows where the mother or father were. I told some people that were gathering, if the parents come, we are taking him to Allied Clinic. We hopped back on the Boda and took him for treatment. Luckily it was a superficial wound to his face and he is going to be OK. But you know how face wounds are when they bleed a lot and the face is covered with blood and his lips were quivering because he was so scared? Yea it was a little frightening to say the least. The Boda driver is a friend for life now. He is one of my regulars and when he found that I took care of the medical bill he was quite relieved, because he could not have afforded it, and it could have become nasty to say the least, well maybe you heard some stories.

The point I am making without trying to advertise our good deeds, is this: Our ministry is a bigger than just the Door of Hope Families, we do outreaches and evangelism and community service as our normal activities. But when we are confronted with someone who is sick, hungry or ill, we have to do as we are told in Matthew 25: 31-46 (The sheep and the goats).

We need funding for us to continue to take care of these needs when they arise. Because whenever we are confronted with these situations, we do what needs to be done right now to take care of someone in need. The bible doesn't tell us to check the budget to see if we can afford to do something. If Jesus can do loaves and fishes then He should be able to help us stretch some beans an posho. If we see a sick child or someone in need we can't decide that someone else will come along, because here, the chances are pretty slim that someone else will come along, and they will die. The good thing is this, for about ten US dollars I can get a lot of treatment, it goes far here.

This is just the simple truth of what we are dealing with. The average life expectancy is just in the mid forties. Do you realize what brings that average so low? It is childhood deaths. It is real here, our children have heard of a few schoolmates dieing this year and that is just hard to understand. We pass by the coffin makers periodically and you should see the child size coffins in front of their shops. Yes it is sad! I watched one day when someone was purchasing a small coffin and it was the reality of the situation, the coffins were not just on display, people needed to buy them.

Lord we ask for your help to do what you asked us to do.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Busy Day

Both of our schools, primary and secondary, had functions today! So after church (a Ugandan three hour service), we had enough time run home for some fast lunch and then off to the primary school. We have seven students in primary so we split up the classes between me, Robyn and Rita. We hit P-1, P-2, P-4 and our biggest class of P-6 where we have four children. We reviewed their work and talked to the teachers. Then we headed to the secondary school which is on an adjacent campus to the primary school, which made it a little easier. There they were having inter house competitions. We sat and watched some games and also observed one of our boys who is a newly elected prefect perform his duties, and wearing his new uniform.

Then it was time to head home because we have a boy that is sick and we needed to attend to him. The kids are so proud of us when we come to the school for these type of functions. I think it validates to them that they have a family who cares about them. I think we are just as proud of them too!

I thought this is pretty good, we got this down to a science, two schools in one day and 15 children, well I'm impressed! Thank you Jesus!

PS. I think the only thing that was missing today and I am thankful it was missing, would be that we find out at the last minute that we were supposed to bring the refreshments:)
You've been there?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Proud Father

With fifteen children we are always having a birthday party. Now here in Uganda the people seldom celebrate their birthday. But with us bringing in our culture, we all enjoy birthdays and the kids really enjoy these special days. Today we celebrated Babras birthday and it was additionally special because she had two guests to come and celebrate with her.

Eva and Anna from Holland came for a few days here with us so Eva could celebrate her birthday as well, so we had a double candled party! Eva had met Babra about four years ago on a prior missions trip and they had remained friends. The whole family is enjoying their visit because they are visiting with all of our children. Tonight after the birthday celebration we had our praise and worship time and the kids went around the room and talked about Babras birthday. All of them were happy for her on her day and for her visitors. They all really enjoyed the special celebration as if it were their own. I just thought how unselfish they were, and I told them how proud I was of them.

Here is how we do our birthday cakes. First of all we don't have an oven so we can't bake a traditional cake. We make about five giant pancakes (about 10") and I make home made icing with butter and powdered sugar and I make a five layer cake. It tastes better than anything you can buy at a bakery here and the kids really enjoy it, and are actually requesting it and say that we should open a Door Of Hope Bakery! Well the cake is sweet and these kids don't get many treats. Tonight Eva and Anne brought decorations for the cake so it had miniature umbrellas and a lot of candles, it looked festive!

We look forward to many more birthdays to come to our family. When you come to visit, chances are, that you may be able to celebrate a birthday with us too!

Monday, July 6, 2009

It Is God's Plan

I always wanted a large family, even when I was just a kid I had visions of having a lot of children when I grew up. Well, God blessed us with two beautiful daughters who have given us six grand children! But God is funny sometimes, because tonight I realized what He did. I know this isn't news to me that we have 15 children here in Africa that we care for, but somehow it was different tonight. It might be that the kids are bonding to us and we to them.

Last night we had a meeting with the older boys for a family discussion. We sat in somewhat of a circle and we were discussing things. This a major breakthrough as I watched how things have grown. They all sat up with their heads up to express their feelings. Typically in the past they would have their heads down and not want to say anything in fear of saying the wrong thing or being scolded. We were discussing a situation that needed their feed back and they were offering solutions and ideas. This is what we have been trying to teach these past months and it was really great!

Earlier this evening before supper, Moses our twelve year old, came up and worked his way in next to me where he is standing next to me and my arm is around him, like my own kids did many years ago. Kids always find that spot with mom or dad that is just their spot! After Supper when we started praise and worship, Rob our 13 year old, came over and stood next to me and took my hand. Sometimes when I think about what God has in mind for us in the future and how He plans on supporting us, I just have to realize that it is His plan.

How often I thought that we are here for these kids who have no other family and that God sent them here for us to give them a family. Then there are days like this that I realize that God sent them here to us to care for them and to be there family and I realized these two boys have no one else. When Rob had my hand, I couldn't help think about his parents who have both died, that it was me and Robyn to take their place. God sent these children for us to care for yes, but He sent them to us. It is really overwhelming at times when you think of the responsibility of being the "ones" in these children's lives. I always say that God sent these kids here in this family and I wonder how He chose these particular kids out of the two million orphan and vulnerable children that are here in Uganda. But I also ask how did he choose Robyn and me to be the grand parents to these fifteen kids. It is humbling to say the least.

I need to be honest, this is a lot of work, but thanks to God, I am happy to say that we can see the fruits of our labor.