Thursday, April 21, 2016

A day in Kampala

Last night I sat at the kitchen table and created my list.  
The list of ALL the things that I needed to do.  
Nothing on the list was unnecessary.  

So at 4:58 AM this morning, I woke up on my own.  A quick glance at my phone told me both the time and the fact that my phone battery was critically low.   Despite the 4%, I still pushed snooze when he alarm rang and attempted to drift off to sleep for a few minutes.  But with a 4% battery imprinted on my brain... I got up far before the snooze would have alarmed.  

I was out the door by about 5:29 AM.  

I picked up a young lady who needed to see the eye doctor and a young man who was slated to meet up with Ayeko and his dad.  

After a quick stop at the clinic, we were off.  

Ours destination was a bit over 50 km, but with traffic and potholes and crazy motorcycle drivers and people walking all over... the drive was expected to take about 3 hours.  And in the end, it took just a little less than that.  
We arrived at CorSu hospital a bit after 8.  We had made good time.  

Chandiru and her older sister Zam came out to greet us.  Chandiru is about a week post-surgery and she looks GOOD.  Lots of smiles.  And lots of pain.  It seems that pain has been more of an issue this time around.  

Chandiru's sister works in our baby house here at New Hope.  She is an amazing woman who loves and cares for children as if they were her own.  And last night, she not only took care of her baby sister recovering from significant surgery, but she also cared for a little boy who had been abandoned at the hospital.  All that is known about this little boy is that his name is Joseph.  He is believed to be about 3 years old.  It is evident that he has special needs.  

How heartbreaking.  

After talking to the social worker about Joseph and praying with Chandiru, we were off.  

My IY student hopped a boda boda for the international hospital to meet up with Ayeko and his dad when they arrived.  

The young lady who joined me remained.  

Before we knew it, we had dropped off meds about to expire at one place and she had seen the eye doctor.  Next, my car was dropped for new tires and the young lady and I hopped a boda boda and began the adventure of Drug Shopping.  A few things here... a few things there... and a LOT of things at there.  Before we knew it, we had bought and organized a LOT of drugs and supplies.  

We grabbed lunch, got the car, and headed to another car man.  The first was telling me something was wrong with my car.  I wasn't convinced.   And sure enough, my car was fine.  That quick double check cost me a bit of time, but saved me a good chunk of change.  


And then we were off to the International Hospital.  

And there we met up with Ayeko and his dad.  

And before we knew it... we were with the doctor.  

And we got excellent news.  Things are moving along great.  And where there was concern there was poor to no muscle present in his bottom, we discovered there was.    And that, my friends, is HUGELY amazing news.  For a little boy born without an opening for his stool to pass.  Knowing there is muscle tone... is HUGE. 

Ayeko didn't so much appreciate seeing the doctor today.  It wasn't the most pleasant of visits.   
But that is ok.  Today's appointment is HUGELY amazing.  

And so with a few more errands we were on the road again.  

Bumpy, Puddly, and Exhausting... but ALL so worth it.  

A FULL day.... with lots of sweetness and adventure.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Good Afternoon!  The sun finally peaked out from behind the clouds a bit ago and I am celebrating that.  Rainy season started a few weeks back and let me tell you.... the rains have not held back.  My water tank is bursting with water and the ground is having near constant arguments on whether or not it will swallow the rain that comes.   Puddles are everywhere.  And the green that defines so much of Uganda is just that much more green.  It's my day off and I have been busy doing a myriad of things.

I've been slashing (cutting the grass with one of these...)

I've run into town to pick up these....                                                             

I've spent some time writing.... (aka typing)

no sneak peeks to this writing..... ( : 

And I spent some time sipping on tea chatting with a friend.  

 And I've spent some time journaling with my Jesus... 

And doing dishes... and mopping the floor.... and somehow resting here and there....

And guess what I did yesterday?!?!?!?!  I totally drove into Kampala with a few of my friends and sat in a chair for just about 3 hours.... and came out with this......

I've never had my whole head braided...but so far I am LOVING it!!!!!   There are even extensions tucked into all those braids.  This is the kind of drama I love! Controlled Drama.

And so with a day off coming to an end...I prepare for the week ahead of me.

There is lots to do this coming week.

Remember this cutie?!?!?

Opeson Luke is going back to CorSu for a review.  I am hoping to see him on Thursday.   I might be catching a picture of a little boy RUNNING with two straight legs.  Now, that is EXCITING!

Ayeko should be going back for a review following his first surgery.

Here he is minutes before he was taken down to the theatre.

He was in surgery for about 2 1/2 hours....

The staff at the hospital were amazing.  His dad was with him in the theatre until he fell asleep. Then, just as Ayeko was waking up, they allowed his dad to go into  the recovery area.  

What a gift.  Ayeko is a timid little one and the presence of his dad is both calming and reassuring.  And what a gift for his dad.

Here he is a bit after surgery.

And Chandiru SHOULD be discharged from the hospital.  Prayerfully, this last surgery was successful and this young lady will be abel to open her mouth wider than she ever has been able to.  Something so simple and yet something So huge. Please Jesus.  

And so the week takes off.   

Patients to see.  
Kids to hug.  
Meetings to have.  
A review to write... along with a few letters.  
A journal to finish and God-willing a new one to start. 
Days to embrace and moments to remember. 

 Yep, this is the life I have been given.  And these are the moments I will embrace. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cycling, laughing, and trusting.

Last night I woke up in the wee hours of the night and stumbled to the bathroom.   And as I flipped on the light, I saw a bit of movement.  And before really much more than that could register in my half awake mind, I saw more movement.  The cutest, littlest mouse emerged from behind the door.  And then it looked up and it saw me.  And I got a full glimpse of it.  And though I was barely awake... all I could think of was it was actually cute.  And while, one might say that I should have grabbed a stick and taken care of it, I didn't.  I could nearly palpate it's fear.  And so, I let it run.  It ran right past me and into the main room.  I didn't even peek out to see where it ran too.  I just kept on with what I had gotten out of bed to do.   And before I knew it, I was back in bed and deep asleep.

Yep, I haven't written on my blog for well over a month and this is what I write about?!?!

Yes, it's my opening story.  It's a few minutes after ten and you guessed it, the bugs are greeting the night.  Truth be told, they have been greeting the night for nearly 3 1/2 hours.  I've been putzing around my house.  Working on dishes, organizing laundry, doing some odd and end work stuff, soaking my feet.... all that kind of stuff.

And as I moved from thing to thing, my eyes found a piece of paper.  A paper that had been given to me back in October.  It's a grief cycle paper.   I looked at it for a bit and some of those emotions really caught my eye.  

One could say I should have known.... but many of those words were emotions I have been feeling.

And feeling rather strongly.

I have felt the burn of anger.  And struggled to know why.

I've felt the pangs of loneliness even when sitting in a large room.

In fact, as I look over the paper, I see that so many of those emotions have been so real to me in these last days.

These days are... well, what they are.

I have made it a few days without the tears burning my eyes.

And then I have found myself fighting back the burn.

My sister.

No, this will be a journey for days and weeks to come.  I have been pulled back and forth in the process... but I am hopeful that as I walk.... that Hope will only blossom.

That peace will come in the breaking of the dawn.

And part of the sweetness of where God has me... is that there are opportunities ALL around me to pull my attention.  Yes, this can be a not good thing... but at the very same time, I think it can be a very good thing.

It can be an eye turner.  A heart changer.  And a reminder of the so much good out there.

And speaking of good.  Let me tell you about two peeps having HUGE surgeries this week.

Chandiru had pretty significant jaw surgery back in the fall.  She had complications from tetanus that she contracted as a small baby.  The surgery was only partially successful.  But for Chandiru, it was a LOT successful.  She was so excited that she could put a spoon in her mouth and that she could breathe easier at night.  The part that wasn't so successful will hopefully be addressed this week by a second surgery.  She has been admitted to the hospital and will either have surgery tomorrow or Wednesday.

Little Ayeko was identified back in September during a medical outreach.  An amazing ministry, Willing and Abel has sponsored his medical care.  God is using this ministry to change the lives of so many children... and little Ayeko is one of them.  This little guy looks really healthy and in many ways he is.... but he was born with a significant medical condition.  The passageway that allows stool to exit the body was not open.  A colostomy was placed and complications developed.  Part of his intestines are outside of his body.  Surgery number one happens on Thursday.  Before this little guy knows it, he will be a new little guy.  Free from the hassles that come when your insides are outside.  It is such an honor to walk with this family.  Little Ayeko has been teary and afraid in our previous interactions.  This past Thursday, he was beaming with joy and laughter. 

Will you stand with these two in prayer?  With their families?  

I know I have a good group of friends and family standing with me.  And something tells me you all won't mind standing with these two..  

Love to you all!