Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Little Women of Africa

I love the movie "Little Women" and often relate it to my home and the girls that I have raised here with the gracious help of Jesus.  I have so many and I loose count!
Let me see, we young Sarah, who is now the oldest and is going to be 25 years in August and she has graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Social Work Administration from Uganda Christian University and is currently working with HUM as a social worker.  She is so sweet and pretty and kind.  She loves helping the children and is so involved in their lives that it is such a blessing to have her on staff.  She knows what it is to grow up in extreme poverty, having lived in a mud hut with very many children.  Sarah came to know the Lord as a teenager in high school.  She had suffered a lot as a child with her father drinking and mother not caring.  Her father is now a Christian and we are thankful for that, and Sarah was blessed to be used to harvest him unto the Lord.
Then I have Harriet, who actually lives in Christine's home (our child sponsorship administrator - see picture left) and they eat and pray in our home.  Harriet is going to be 25 in November and is graduating soon from Kyambogo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics with a strong background in accounting.  She hopes to find a job soon with Crane Bank, but is not sure as yet, but is currently doing her final internship with Uganda Clays (brick making industry).  She came to know the Lord when she was young in Sunday School and she has a wonderful singing voice.  She loves to sing in the choir.  She lost her father when she was very very young and was raised by a widowed mother who did not have any income.  She came to stay with Christine because the mother could not manage to feed all and when she was in high school.

There are more and I will write about them as time goes on - I would love to write a book (pray for me to have time) on so many of the children that have grown up into success stories to the Glory of God.

From Left to right back row Brenda, Irene, Violet, Mary, Christine, Katie, Sarah, Violet 2 and in the front three are Beatrice, Sylvia and Alpha and we were missing Alice - and I have three little girls to be featured later!  Their names are Susan, Sabrina Joy and Norah.

We will not forget my boys either.  I have four little boys and nine older boys (some men actually now!).  the four little ones are Ssemu, David, Goma and Israel.  The nine older ones are Elvis, Ssemu 2, David 2, Tukkei, Henry, Benjamin, Duchu, Bumba and Charles.

These are the names of the children that God has graciously given me to me a mother to in Kamonkoli and have been growing in my home.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

All the Little Children

There are so many children who have passed in and out of my life here in Uganda.  Everyone of them so special in different ways.  I am blessed to be a servant to our Lord and to have been chosen to serve the little children of Uganda.

When I first came here, life was very difficult, and still is at times.  I struggle with even going for a walk as the only white lady (muzungu) in the village.  Everyone wants to stare, especially the little children.  I am no longer known, however, as muzungu but Mummie Katherine.  However, the stares have not reduced!  I love the little children and when they come running up to me it is such a blessing to me.  I only pray that the Lord will use me to be such a blessing to them.

I remember a little girl named Esther Naula.  She came from the same home that David lived in when I got him.  She was a very quiet and shy little girl and very sweet.  She fell sick so often and I kept wondering why, even Christine, our child sponsorship administrator was wondering what was going on that she falls sick almost every other week.  We finally took her for extensive medical tests and checkup.  It was discovered that this little girl had syphilis and was suffering quite a bit.  She received treatment from the same doctor and got a lot better for a while.  Then one day she walked into our office crying that she felt really sick.  Checking her temperature we discovered that it was very high.  We took her to a doctor in town and she received treatment but was suppose to get an injection twice a day.  The clinic nearby was willing to take care of the responsibility of giving her the injections. 

That very week when she was walking to the clinic, Esther collasped on the roadside.  She was too weak.  She did not come that morning or evening before for her injection, but had told her Grandmother that she had.  She was very ill.  We took her to the clinic very quickly, as her cousin, Bumba Dison, had found her.  She died that evening.  We were all heartbroken to bury this little seven year old girl. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Very often it is easy to think that life as a missionary is just an advaneture.  Well, some of the time it is.  However, very often it is a time of sorrow and tears.  I remember a vivid  time when I had to help a woman deliver a baby with no help, no water, no nothing - just in the bushes literally!  It was difficult for me, but the poor woman is the one who really suffered!  I ended up using a string from my slip to tie off the ambilico cord and keep the woman from bleeding to death. 

Children came and got me as I was walking home from the junction of Kamonkoli.  I had gone to get some onions and carrots to use for dinner with a little beef.  As I was walking they came and grabbed my hand and kept telling me that someone needs me and I should go with them. 

When I got where we were going it was not far from my home.  The lady was on the ground screaming in pain and was not doing well at all.  She had a fever, though I had no way of measuring what her temperature was.  I sent one of the kids to my home to get some good clean water and call a worker at home to come and help me.  We had hot water now, a dull knife and nothing else to help me to deliver this child.  I had no experience at all.  The lady was crying and screaming.  I gave her a big stick to hold on to.  She told me that the baby was not due for some time but she was sick. 

It turned out that she had very high malaria and did indeed have a high temperature causing the baby to be born premature.  It also turned out that the woman had AIDS.  She had a baby girl and it was so tiny.  I was scared and not sure what to do.  We got her cleaned up the best we could and found some men to help us lift her and get her to the nearest clinic.  But it was too far away so she ended up in a guest room at my home.  I kept the baby warm as I knew this was important and put lanterns around her so that it would generate heat.  The woman was happy but because of the malaria she had no milk for the baby.  I got some fresh milk and boiled it with some water and let it cool and then preceeded to find a midwife to help me before feeding the baby. 

I found a midwife who said that the baby was doing well and that she should live.  The mother was happy.  Later on the father showed up and he was not happy that the baby was born early.  He began to cry that we should kill it now, it is going to bring to many medical bills and we will not manage.  I did not understand his attitude.  I went to get a car to take them to the hospital in mbale for better care, and when I came back the baby was dead - suspecting that the father killed it.  When I had left to get  a vehicle, the child was doing fine.  I was only gone twenty minutes.

I was saddened - they had named the baby Katherine, which only made it worse.  Well, these are the kind of things sometimes we go through as a missionary.  The Lord was with me and I still felt that He impacted this woman through me who was a Muslim.

Two years later she accepted Christ and then died two months later.   Her husband had another wife - all of them were infected with AIDS.  They are all dead now.