Friday, June 27, 2014

Uganda - Friday

Uganda Friday

Well we finished up clinics with a very busy day! Some of the highlights were a very difficult lower third molar extraction (hardest one of the week), a woman who brought out her "mammary gland" to feed while extracting her tooth and some fillings that saved a few more teeth. I also learned that each culture has its own translation, for instance, if you call someone "dude", it means "butt". oops :-)

This morning, we were able to attend the "devotional" time with the workers (about 60). Their passion is an inspiration, even at 7:30 am. Not all of the workers are believers, so it is a good outreach. Our ladies have been a great asset to the  ministry in their abilities to minister to the children and teach the ladies. I have been blessed to be a part of this group!

We concluded the day with a service with the kids - awesome!!! Close to the "high" for the week!! Their sincere praise to God was so inspiring. Then the McPhee family came and sang their famous hippo song for us.

 As we finish our "ministry" part of the trip, we are all tired but very content. We look forward to "winding down" in the next few days. There is a safari lodge that we will be taking some tours with, so that is going to be a treat! I hope to be uploading some pictures soon.

RG has a great network of support, volunteers and workers, they all become like family. So there are some tears as we say goodbye.

Thank you for your faithful prayer support

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Uganda - Thursday

Uganda Thursday

Well, today was our last day open to the public, tomorrow we will see a lot of the workers here at RG. Many of them are paid a salary (Ugandans) which affects/supports their families (up to nine in a family). The missionaries that work here are required to find their support from elsewhere (RG does not provide that for them). Most have "home churches" that provide their financial needs.
Today, there was a 4 year old boy that was brought in with his mother, crying before I ever laid a hand on him! It took four to hold him down while I removed a tooth. He and his family will sleep much better tonight.

Today, Shaun (dentist from Waco) helped train David (Ugandan dentist) on how to do molar root canals. Though we have not seen the masses, we are "equipping" the Ugandans to use resources and talents to bring others to Christ and to be served in the love of Jesus.

I would like to recommend another book for you (now that you have read "Radical" :-) ). Here is a little bit about it:
"When Helping hurts"
The average American lives on more than $90/ day, approx 1 billion live on less than $1/!day (that would be Uganda); 2.6 billion (40% of world population) live on less than $2/ day. There is not place in the Bible that indicates that poverty is a desirable state or that material things are evil. The Westminster Shorter Catechism teaches that human beings primary purpose is to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever". So what motivates you? Why do you want to help the poor? Is it my "felt need" to accomplish something worthwhile with my life, to be a person of significance, to feel like a pursued noble cause . . to be a bit like God? Sometimes, I unintentionally reduce poor people to objects that I use to fulfill my own need to accomplish something.

Things I have learned,
I do not have to know what the weather is doing every hour
I do not have to be on facebook
I have not missed TV
I have missed my family!
I do miss my hot showers
I will not miss rice and beans for a while
I find that I am not anxious because I "missed" a sports event (like World Cup)
- (I am still interested in it though)
I see God working in other places besides Texas - changing hearts, bringing restoration
I am glad I do not have to mow the grass with a machete

Pray that we finish well, that we can be a "drop in the bucket" and for our families left back home.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Uganda Wednesday

Ok, clinic was on a better flow today, we were able to help a lot of people, doing fillings, extractions and root canals. I removed two 6 year  molars on a nine year old boy this morning who came to see me in a suit (not the tie). It was a big deal to the family. If you go into town, teeth are extracted with an "anvil" and no anesthetic. Getting to know the people who serve here is a treat. Let me tell you of one couple.
Story of Janna and Dave
On the field here, they have 3 children. Last summer, Janna delivered a beautiful girl and they named her Selah. That means to "pause", in the psalms we see it to pause and savor our God is sufficient. Everything was going well. At about 30 days of life, she became ill and was found to be septic. They rushed her to Kampala, and determined that she had a hole in her heart. Selah recieved great care, even was in contact with a specialist pedo cadiologist, who was in Canada. They were getting ready to fly her out for treatment when she experienced a heart attack. The Lord took her home at 34 days of life on this earth. As expected, it rock the whole community of RG. Selah is buried here by the Nile. Her parents are convinced that God is still in control. Dave wrote a song for her and you can look in up on youtube under so thankful by Janna McPhee.

Pam, Susan and Ann went back into Karuma to visit with Sharon and the other ladies. They met in this courtyard to meet about 47 women and 30 children. Ann and Susan had childrens church and Pam taught the ladies about the woman and the well. Some of the impressions were broken hearted at looking at some of the "young girls" and the joy gone from their faces. The rest of the other children had a very engaging time. They talked how Jesus talked about her salvation before confronting her sin. There was talk on how to develop something how to delivered.
The whole discussion among us is the "Sunday school" answer to the question is there always hope in Christ. But many here in Uganda, there is none to be seen! Even at home, many are trapped into hopelessness. The message is still the same at home as it is here- Jesus delivers.
Stay focused my friends
Pray that we finish strong in clinics and ministry and stay sensitive to what God is leading us to do.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Uganda Tuesday

Uganda Tuesday

Another day on the African Nile :-). Lots of ministry still going on. I almost erred in sounding like an Aggie - as soon as the cold water from the shower hits my back, I yell "whoop", it is shocking :-) . We are trying to see how many ways that you can eat rice and beans. (no whining, just informing)

The ladies had a good visit from the ladies from the village last night. One of the ladies was Sharon - a beautiful young lady who was orphaned and then abandoned from her husband with a child and forced to find work to survive. With no job skills, prostitution became her trade. It is not a place she chose nor desired but is trapped and without hope in her eyes. Our ladies shared the hope of Christ, but she still related how to escape from this. So true love would be to accept her and develop a trade skill to have her a "way out". Christ can change her heart, but He can use us to provide avenues to escape.

Something I learned for RADICAL = Will we risk everything - our comfort, our possessions, our safety, our very lives- to make the gospel known among the unreached peoples?
The reward of the American dream is safety, security and success found in more comfort, better stuff and greater prosperity. But the reward of Christ trumps all these things!

Jim Elliot: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

Pray that we may stay focused on the task. Africa time is like going on the freeway at 80 mph and then they post a "new" limit at 25 mph!! Most of you who know me, a little more for me to learn :-) pray for me!

blessings and may God bless you richly

Monday, June 23, 2014

Uganda Monday

Monday in Uganda
Ok, well prayers are working. Things went pretty smooth (even though I am missing my usual dental team!) We were able to see several patients and pray with them. The clinic is the finest I have ever seen on the mission field, God has truly provided. We have been eating lunch with some of the orphans in their house, what a blessing!! They sing songs for us and I get to teach them "head and shoulders, knees and toes" - oh the benefits of being a grandpa :-). Visited with the head master of the school here and was amazed at how God saved him and the stories from escaping with 9 children for the revolution army (LRA) several years ago. He has started a church and they had 30 professions of faith last week.
The ladies (Pam, Ann and Susan) are going into the nearby town to minister with the commercial sex trade women. They are excited and apprehensive all at once. A new group of 20 youth and sponsors from Waco arrived today and they are excited as well. Also a group from San Antonio arrived (6)

Looks like we will be busy all week at the clinic!
Most of the dorm moms are either widowed or abandoned, so truly we are ministering to the widows and orphans.
So far, our health is holding up great, we miss you all and covet your prayers.
Because of low wifi, unable to send pics. Sorry, but there are some good ones so far :-)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Uganda Sunday

Today, we had a great day. We were able to get a flight from MAF (missionary aviation fellowship) that made the trip so much easier. They are a ministry that has been helping missionaries for years. Our pilot was Dave and has just returned from being on furlough. As we landed, we saw out the plane elephants, giraffes, hippos and lots of monkeys (no I was not looking in the mirror). Tim and Janice McCall picked us up and we made it to Restoration Gateway - amazing. One story is that in the neighboring village, which is basically a truck stop, there are many prostitutes.  A visiting group contacted them and invited them to church. They said that they do not want to continue in that "profession" but feel trapped. Pray that many will come to hear the good news of redemption and that they can be liberated.
RG - has only been here for about 7 years but it has 21 houses for orphans and so much more. They build their own bricks for the houses. It is awesome to see God working here, there are about 20 people (americans) that are ministering here, from OGBYN to facilitators, to teaching. Thank you for your prayers and lifting us up.

We were able to worship with the people here at RG. The lesson was by one of the dorm "moms" who taught on forgiveness. She did a great job. Such a joy to see the people worship The Lord and such a happiness that shows in their faces. We then took a tour with Dr Tim McCall of how God brought RG to being- all started with a vision and provisions. Tim had a vision of 800 acres and todate there is 700 acres, on the Nile River. His initial vision was a medical clinic, but along the way God showed him the need for orphan help. So there are many houses (21)that hold 8 children each but not all are filled yet.
Our lunch was rice and bean (which will be our normal staple for the week) which we ate in one of the orphan houses. Getting to meet them and have fun with them.
Then Dr Jody Yarbro and I went to the dental clinic to start setting up. We spent almost 3 hours doing that and we shall see tomorrow how things will go with the patient care.
Please pray for stamina, for safety, for receptivity to the gospel, for our families back home.
love to all

Friday, June 20, 2014

Saturday - I think

Well, we made it through the toughest day - 24 hours of travel and little sleep. The upside is a great sleep night! I feel like we are ready to "hit" it now. We traveled by plane for 16 hours and 5 hour layover in London. Really, all in all, no problems.
Read David Platt's book - Radical - if you have not read that - I challenge you to get inspired on what the church is doing (or not doing)! We are in a "guest" house and leave later for Restoration Gateway later today.
Thanks for the prayers and keep them coming, God is working here in Uganda just like at home. You do not have to be far from home to encounter people who need Jesus - a purpose for living. But while I am here, I pray that God will reveal how to make a difference in this part of the world. I wish that I could be accompanied by so many of you and miss you!
love to all

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Departure day

Ok, it is finally here and I am excited to see what The Lord has in store this time. I have a feeling that it is going to be much different than other trips that I have been on - however I say that about each of the others as well. So, pray that I will remain flexible and patient and enduring to the culture and to those who have gone before me. It is not my job to change things, but that The Lord word through me.

Here is a little about where I am going, Restoration Gateway - the vision is to develop a Christ-centered model community that will foster God's heart for physical and spiritual restoration among the people of war-torn Uganda. It is on 700 acres of land overlooking the Nile River and has developed into
-=orphan care
= medical and dental care
=empowerment of Ugandans
= ministry to the church of Uganda
and so much more.
It was birthed in 2004 when 7 Ugandan men began meeting to pray under a tree presently held by the project. God answered the call by sending Dr Tim and Janice McCall in early 2005. They moved onto the land in 2007 and God had blessed it ever since.

I am excited to see what God is doing there and joining in for support

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Uganda 2014

Ok, I am practicing my blog writing. So it is Tuesday evening as I write this. My plane leaves for Uganda Thursday afternoon and I am already thinking a bit about packing. I will meet the rest of my team in London and we will fly together to Entebbe, Uganda from there. Please be praying for the following:
safety in travel, team bonding, the patients and people we will be working with, for Jill as I leave her for a while, for Kim as she is left keeping the office (also being 6 months pregnant), for spiritual insight of being on mission for Him there, for good health, for patience in a different culture and for a joy in The Lord that will be contagious.

Thanks for holding all these up
Serving Him together