April 25, 2013
Vacation to Uganda
We just returned from a much needed R&R in Uganda. We didn’t even realize how tired we had become, working every day. Everyone here at Nyankunde works very hard-the Congolese put in many long call hours. One really needs to leave to have time off to maintain a marriage, health, and relationship with God.
Our first stop was Murchison Falls National Park, situated in Northwestern Uganda around the Nile, close to Lake Albert. Hemingway crashed his Cessna plane on a telegraph wire whilst flying over the Falls in 1954. The Falls provided the backdrop for the filming of the movie African Queen in 1950. It is kind of surreal to drive into the park in a Land Cruiser and see elephant families romping about. We took a bit of a river safari and saw many hippo, species of kingfisher, waterfowl, elephants, and crocodile. We stayed in tents close to the river, swam, and had wonderful food.
On to Jinga, a city known to be at the headwaters of the Nile, known for its’ rafting possibilities. This
The next stop was Kampala to some shopping for medications for the hospital, for our household, and for a dog. We found a beautiful puppy, a bullmastiff who we have named Peterson. We have been talking about getting a guard and family-friendly dog. She looks a bit like a tiger and is going to be HUGE! She is already 50 pounds and put on 4.5pounds since her arrival.
|Warren exerting his "masterdom" on a hike tonight|
We feel fortunate that Uganda is so close-by and offers much opportunity for recreation. I know there are some beautiful spots in Congo too, but with recent uncertain times some of these parks are closed or animals have been killed. We are hoping to visit some caverns and falls south of here, yet we need to have contacts in this region to travel. We are hoping to fly into Nebobongo sometime soon, known to be in heart of the rainforest. Congo is an incredibly beautiful country, yet incredibly complicated to travel within. The view outside our front door every morning takes your breath away. I am thankful to have so many areas nearby to explore.
We deal with life and death on a daily basis. It gives a realization that every day on earth is a gift from God and we need to make the most of it. Close relationships and love should be the center of our lives, the thing that motivates our actions. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the gravity of situations that seem to lack a solution. Sometimes a cure is out of reach. Sometimes things seem hopeless. Sometimes people suffer greatly. Yet, God is there in those difficult times when we reach for him and point others to Him. We need Him and He is waiting for us to cry out to Him. At times I struggle with the larger issues and struggle to see the patients before me. As I deal with drunken fathers, negligence, and unknown cultural issues…single moms…I ask God to show me the needs of the child and ways to encourage parents to be better parents. How does God see these people? What might He say to them?
Psalm 34:17-18 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Agriculture and Malnutrition
Our garden is growing with each passing day…cabbage, eggplant, lettuce, spinach, okra, squash,
I am really thankful for good, healthy food and clean water! Give thanks when you open your tap and drink clean water this week.
A child of 18months came in on the verge of death from malnutrition 3weeks ago. If that is not sad enough, two children in the family have already died from malnutrition. We have made a couple of home visits and are really working to build a rapport with this family. Fortunately we have a team of agriculturalists with Samaritan’s Purse who are here giving counsel and assistance with planting seedlings to families. We are helping this family plant food crops for these next 6-months. I believe this is going to be a long-term commitment on our part. Although we can treat acute malnutrition in the hospital, this child will return to the same environment from whence he came on discharge. What we really need to do is help people overcome obstacles to food acquisition and knowledge about healthy eating. This child is gaining strength and starting to walk for the first time, all good signs.
Malnutrition really hangs on my heart here…there is so much to be done. I was shocked to see that over about a 3-month period last year, 8 of 30 children died. This seems like a very high statistic. I think we really need to do some survey work to get at the causes and best interventions for these problems. War and separation are large contributing factors. We are hoping to help start a hospital demonstration garden whereby we can hire an agriculturalist to plant, harvest, and teach families good farming practices. Families with malnourished kids will directly benefit from these efforts. We are gaining a vision for this, but simply need to find the right people to take charge of it
It has been a pleasure to have Josh, a medical student from Eastern Carolina University, stay with us these last 4-months. Josh is planning to pursue surgical residency and feels called to the mission field. Warren served as his mentor and teacher. He learned a tremendous amount and was even doing c-
|Bulo before surgery|
|Josh and Bulo playing checkers|
|The Josh and Warren partnership|
Until next time…
Warren is always onto a new project….designing zip lines for the puppy, using an air compressor to
Thanks for your interest in our lives. Keep us in your prayers.
Lindsey and Warren
|Taken on Easter at Nyankunde with some of the Samaritan's Purse DRC team|