Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Medical in Nairobi

April, 2012
For the past few months Lynn has been irritated by a constant cough.  It had finally gotten to the point that he was gagging and sometimes throwing up.  The worst times were when it happened when he was driving.  He would have to pull over and sit there until the coughing was finished.
Early in April Lynn went to a highly recommended Dr. here in Kampala. She was not sure what was causing the problem but she gave Lynn some meds to try according to her thoughts.  Two weeks later he went back and because we thought there was some slight improvement  she increased what she was giving him and added another 2 prescriptions.  The meds had a very negative effect on him, not helping his cough much, but  causing him to become very disoriented and forgetful.  She was going to send him to a specialist so we contacted our company nurse and appointments were made with doctors in Nairobi.

We spent ten days in Nairobi going to the Drs.  almost every day. By the time we left Lynn was definitely doing better.  The Dr. had also changed his heart medicine and that was also working well.

Aga Khan Hospital
We stayed at the Baptist guest house which is within walking distance to two nice malls. 

Baptist Guest House

Since we did not have our vehicle we spent a lot of time walking.  It was interesting to note some differences in Nairobi and Kampala.  Nairobi is suppose to be more “advanced” - the streets were definitely nicer. 

 More advanced meant better internet, right?  I wish.  We had rain every day and a couple of storms  knocked out the electricity in our part of the guest house for most of the week.  One of the storms -not even a big one - knocked down a tree that just barely missed everything.

But we found ourselves missing Kampala.  We were ready to get back and get to work.

(We have since found out that Lynn's cough was just temporarily gone.  We have been several other places since then and outside of Kampala it is usually better.  We now think, for lack of a better explanation, that the air quality of Kampala is what is causing the cough.  It is dusty and there is always a lot of smoke in the air.  Lynn is coping . . .)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jesus Film in the Slums

.Sat.  March 10, 2012

Team from Early, Texas

Today was the first day for the Texas team to go out into the community.  After lunch they divided into small groups to go into the Mulago slum area.  The idea was to share the Gospel but also to invite everyone to come back that evening to the school where the Kalerwe church meets.  We planned to show the Jesus film.

Primary School where the Kalerwe Church meets
Lynn raking the ground to get rid of the trash.  Notice the metal fence poles behind him

Lynn and I (Jan) stayed back to get all the equipment set up and ready to go.  Just before sundown we saw a line of dark clouds in the background that seemed to be quickly moving our way.  We  just hoped that a storm would not spoil the evening.

Lynn entertaining the children while we were waiting

Lynn, along with many helpers, set up the screen.  It is a screen which allows people to watch the film from both sides so he set it up away from the buildings.  Just as Lynn finally got it up and secured the wind started blowing and a big gust came and blew the screen down.  Behind the screen a partially completed fence was being built with only tall metal poles in place.  The way the wind blew, the screen toppled over onto one of the poles. That pole ripped the screen right down the middle.  Luckily, Lynn had grabbed the duct tape just as we were leaving our house.   He was able to tape the screen and although it was visible (not as bad as what you would expect) we were able to go ahead.

Screen taped together with duct tape

Pastor Benon and Lynn

 In a few minutes, still before time to start, Lynn and Pastor Benon started the generator.  

It started and in a few minutes quit. 

 Start/ quit. Several times.  

Plenty of fuel.  Connections checked.  Everything checked, but still it would stay on only a couple of minutes at a time.

We finally realized that we were probably facing spir’al wrfare.  Lynn, Pastors Benon and Vincent, and I stopped what we were doing and spent the next few minutes in pryer.

When we tried the generator again to show the film, it started up and never stopped until the whole movie was ended.  After it was over, it stopped not to be started again that night.  

The storm that threatened never came -- just the one big gust of wind.

 The people saw and were mightily moved by the Jesus film.  What a mighty Father we serve!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

George's Story

March, 2012

George and 10 members of the Texas team  

I met George when our team from Early, Texas came in March.  They brought 28 people and 10 of them were going to southwestern Uganda to work with George.  He spent the night with us and we heard how he came to be in ministry.
His story:
A pastor came to their village from the Congo and witnessed to his people there.  George and others became Christians.  That pastor left  but when he got back home he called a friend of his, a missionary in Rwanda, and asked if he could  go and teach those people.
Sometime later that missionary from Rwanda showed up.  He only spent two days with them but he taught them and he planted a vision.  He pulled George aside to a banana plantation and he told him that this land would one day belong to them.  He also told George that he would be their pastor.  (George didn’t even know what a pastor was.)  The missionary left and never returned.
George didn’t know what a pastor does, but he led the others to study the Bible and to do what it said.  They started calling themselves Baptist, not because the missionary had used that term, but because they had seen it written on the car that he drove.  They didn’t know what Baptists were or what they do but they began to call themselves by that name.
They kept studying the Bible and working hard to save money to buy the land because he had told them that they should.    Eventually they did just that.
(We didn't have enough time to go all through the years so I don’t know all the connections from the beginning to now.) I do know that George eventually went to Jinja to our Baptist seminary there and earned a certificate.  Later, he was able to go to the States and get a degree from Southeastern Seminary and is sometimes asked to come and teach in Jinja.

They now have churches in his area and they have started 6 or 7 schools.
What struck me about the story was how God worked in it all.  No muzungus (foreigners). No muzungu money.  No one telling them how it had to be done.  Just the Bible and the Holy Spirit leading them step by step.    Today, George is connected.  There are teams that go there from time to time to help out in the work, just as the Texas team did.
What this story tells me is that God is sovereign.  He has chosen to work in and through those who are willing to be used.  But He doesn’t need us.  He could do it without us if He chose.  I am just thankful that I get to be here and be a part of His plan.  

Week of Sewing Machines

Feb 21, 2012

 A few months ago, Tammy Rainwater and I braved downtown Kampala traffic to go and purchase 3 sewing machines.   Some churches in Arkansas had supplied us with the money and the task to help some needy women here become self sufficient.
The first machine was given to Lucy from one of Lynn’s Bible studies.  She has been joyfully making hand bags ever since.  
The other two were set aside for the time being.  The school we located in Entebbe was the perfect fit.  A tailoring class was offered to Moms of students.  When we visited they had at least two women to each machine.  But the class was coming to an end and summer (Christmas) vacation starting.  So we decided to wait until the next term.  

This week was the beginning of the new class.  We gave them the new machines and told them we wanted to bless them as God had blessed us.

First day of a new class.

Cabinets for the new machines

Putting the machines into the cabinets

Notice -  These are NEW  old-time treadle machines.  Work without electricity

They are reading the "wordless" directions.  Not as easy as it might seem.

Scene we saw as we left the school.

 Two days later I went back to the downtown store to buy three more machines.  This time one was for myself.  I was accompanied by two ladies, Catherine and Ephransi, who would be the recipients of the other two machines.

Machines were in stock but not in the store -- in the warehouse. So we waited patiently. 

Even with the men there, it was the women who unloaded the equipment
 The cabinets arrived -- unassembled -- so the technician accompanied us to their homes.  

Add caption
 There is little room to work inside the home so the technician laid out all the parts and started to work.  

Rain made him move to the narrow ledge.

 Almost immediately it began to rain.  The ladies moved some of the materials inside . . . 

 . . . while the technician continued working outside under a big tree. 

Technician with our driver Soloman

Soon the first one was completed.  I was very glad the technician had come with us.  He knew what he was doing -- we would have had to guess.  Both of these ladies will now have a way to be self-sustaining - rent, food, supplies.

I bought a machine for myself  - a new old-style treadle Singer.  Perfect for Uganda where electricity is never a “given”.    
I hope to start making clothes for little ones.  Lynn met a lady this week who had a 3-day old baby.  No clothes, and no way to buy any.  The person she was staying with had just died and there was no other place for her to go.  This is not an unusual case so I want to make some baby things to have ready for the next one.
My first project is to get some patterns from home.  Here everyone that sews, tailors.  They are taught to sew without patterns.  (I think this is much better but I can’t do it). Some friends are bringing me patterns in March.   I hope to soon be treadling away making some cute clothes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kiwanvu Food Distribution

February 2, 2012
Today was the first month’s distribution out of the next six in a totally new area - Kiwanvu. 

It was a little slow in getting the distribution done, but that gave me time to talk to the women and children that were there.  I also got to meet the team here with Mr. Barry from Houston,Texas.

Pastor Larry, Woodlands, TX  surrounded by little friends 
Vera (l) and her friends want to get to know the "muzungus"
After the names are called out it is time to take the food to the homes.  These are heavy bags.  It takes two people to carry them . . . . 

  . . .or not

This takes a lifetime of practice!

The best part for me is taking the food to the homes of the women and getting to know them.  It often leads to a time of sharing the Gospel.  Today we went to Jane’s house.  Jane has three children, only one who is still home and two grandchildren. We learned that she does have a husband but he lives in a different village.  
She goes to the Church of Uganda  and claims to be a Christian.  I still shared with her C2C(Creation to Christ) and we will follow up on that.  Many believe they are Christians even though they do not have a personal relationship with Christ.

Jane with her cow hoof that she will cook today
Jane makes a living selling food.  Actually, she buys cow hooves, cuts them up, cooks and sells them.  Truthfully, it did NOT look appetizing to me.  But she does have a beautiful smile.  

Zirobwe Village

January 21, 2012
Our Christmas food project that we started back in December for the holidays is still continuing on.  One of our special friends is Ernest Buyondo.  He is a Christian young man who has special-hire vehicles for his business.  Ernest and his drivers are often used by our team to get places.

Ernest told us about his village in Zirobwe, about an hour north of Kampala.  There isn’t an orphanage there but there are several families there who have taken in orphans. We decided that it would be good to help these families with the extra children they have. One of our connected churches in the States wanted us to buy animals (goats and pigs) to help the families be self-sustaining.

Buyondo’s dad, Lawrence, is a farmer and had several goats and pigs himself.  We decided that he could be the person to oversee the project and bless the other families. 

Buyondo (right) and father, Lawrence

Greg, Lawrence, Madinah, Jan, and Ernest
Before we bought any animals we held a discussion to decide how we could best help these families.  Lawrence would oversee the project and help the families who might not know what was best for the animals.

 We spent the morning buying goats and pigs, then the rest of the day giving them to the families that have taken in the orphans.

Lawrence had gathered goats from others that we might want to buy.  Yes, we bought them.

More goats to buy

Greg Rainwater buys this pig.  Nice piggy!

And three of these piglets

Still needed another goat, so we buy this one from a nearby neighbor.

Bean, Posho, and the first goat loaded.

Loading the second goat.
We have made all of our purchases.  Now we are ready to start .

This was the first place we went to; the home of Francis.  Francis has 14 children of his own and he took in these four orphans.  I believe they were probably his nieces and nephews.  But with this big a family, help is certainly appreciated.
4 orphans with MK Hannah 
Francis receiving baskets of beans.

One of the girls with their new piglet
On to another house.  

This young man, not the guardians, was to be in charge of taking care of the piglet (with the help of Buyondo's father)

Another home. Another orphan.  He is just nine years old.

As we left each home, we prayed for them, that they and the whole village would be blessed.

Of course, all along the way,  we gave out beans and posho to nearly everyone that we met.

Madinah giving out posho to some of the Jjajja's (older ladies) of the village.
After we visited everyone that we could we returned to Ernest's father's house.  His mother and some of the ladies of the village fed us a wonderful, typical African meal.  Beans, posho, irish potatoes, matooke, sweet potatoes (they like a lot of starches) beef in a stew.  It was delicious.

Ernest's mom (right) and ladies from the village
Finally, in appreciation of the day, Lawrence gave two chickens to our group. 

Madinah with her new chicken.

It seems like I say this in every blog, but even though we went to bless the people of Ernest's family and the people in his village, I believe that all of us would say that we were the ones that were blessed.