Kitgum Town

Kitgum Town
Kitgum Town

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The process of leaving started today . It all started with me waving Irene off at 7am as she was driven up to the bus to go to Kampala. She threatened to not return and leave me here for 20 years as her replacement but I dont think that will happen. Still, strange for me to be sending her off. The rest of the leadership team gradually left as the day went on and i had to pack my things as the guesthouse was being closed up while wedding fever sets into Kampala and the Kitgumites go en masse south !
I could have moved into the mens dorm but decided instead to try a night at Fuglys, one of the local hangouts for muzungus (white people) from NGOs.  Thought it would be good to check it out and do some fact finding for future trips as a possible accomodation venue---also was simply craving a touch of western comfort as the roughing it seems to be wearing a bit thin after four weeks !
I was able to spend a productive day tidying up loose ends and having a get together with the medical staff explaining the future to them and talking about values for our team . Our clinical officer and other helpers saw a few patients in the OPD while I seemed to be preoccupied with admin!
The topic of values in the medical team meeting brought some good feedback and they basically came up with the key values i had thought we could adopt. These included,  excellence, compassion/love, truth/trust,  respect, and confidentiality.
Employment contracts were also distributed . We said our goodbyes . There was some sadness leaving one of our nurses who at the age of 27 has just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She is 34 weeks pregnant and will need to go to Gulu to have the baby delivered early, followed by a mastectomy and then go to Kampala for chemotherapy. She already has a three year old child and it all seems so overwhelming. Just another example of the struggles of living which these people face so often. Its very confronting.
Therefore;...Beware anyone in Australia during my re- entry period  who complains to me about their tough life !
 "anyway" after all todays experiences and challenges, here i am at fuglys, just about to go to bed, having had a beautiful barbecued steak with roast potatoes and vegies and now enjoying a nice quiet room with running water....heaven !
Tomorrow an early start to get the big blue bus to kampala-- promises to be an adventure as Vincent, Joel and I make our way to the big city. No doubt i am going to miss the relationships here, but now focusing on getting home to be with my family! Missing you guys !

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crashing over the line

I feel like I am crashing in terms of energy and verve but also feel like we are at the finish line.
The last couple of days have been very "busy" (andrew and rowena will appreciate  the african meaning there!) .
Since John Paul, the principle administrator returned on the weekend we sat down together with Irene and talked about our mutual visions for the medical work here and it has been so wonderful to see a sense of unity amongst us and shared ideas on how we could best work together in the future.
It has been agreed that I should be the director of medical services at IGF/Childcare and oversee the development of the ministry here, starting with the opening of the Primary Health Clinic here which after consultation with the team we have decided to call:
Lubanga Changa Clinic   ( Acholi for : "God Heals" Clinic)

I think this is very fitting as it points to God as the ultimate healer and us as health professionals as his instruments, with the gift of scientific knowledge he has given us. It also allows room for the power of prayer and healing in dealing with sickness and recognises  that disease has physical, mental and spiritual roots which need to be dealt with in a wholistic setting. A christian medical practice is the ideal place to do this.
So, the outcome of all this is a sense that I am committed to further involvement here and probably it will mean regular contact with the team via skype and reasonably frequent visits on site . Im excited about this because I feel passionate about this and it has really been a long term dream and vision that I believe God planted in me to invest myself into a setting like this where the needs are so great . So I thank God for this opportunity.  I know there will be challenges but I am sure it is the right direction to be moving in, particularly after all that has happened in the past 4 weeks.
So, the last couple of days, I have been very driven... trying to put things in place before I depart on Thursday morning.  Our two new recruits, Peter, the Clinical officer and Joel the lab technician have been coming for orientation and we have been hounding the building teams to finish off all they can.
Today we officially opened the doors to patients ( mainly staff and students ) and saw 6.
The consulting rooms are functioning well and we have a system of booking in which will hopefully work well. Please pray that our clinicians will practice good medicine and show lots of compassion.  I spent some time today letting the clinical officer play with the medical software program we hope to run and he seems to be catching on.

Male dominated medical team leaders with JP

Last night we had an official medical night out, at the local hotel where we were served a tiny serve of stringy chewy chicken that must have fallen off the back of a truck, run over by passing cars and kicked around the street by local youths before finding its way into some pot of boiling oil. Anyway the company was good and it was a great opportunity for Irene and JP to meet the new recruits.
Tomorrow we have a medical team meetiing and I hope to leave them all with some inspiring and encouraging words !!  In Kampala we will be running around trying to get lab equipment-- an expensive exercise... and... going to the medical council to have our registration processed (please pray this is fast tracked !)....and then going to the wedding of Pop idol george on friday--  probably an all night affair!.
saturday--- spending time with Richard and Vincent
sunday-- church in the morning and flight home in afternoon
I am hanging out for one of my wifes beautiful roasts--- i am over rice and beans and chapati !!!

Andrew with Peter our Clinical Officer

Irene looks like she is skulling a beer with the boys but its really non alcoholic malt "alvesco"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Inspirational Sunday

As is usual, attending Community Church at Kitgum has a profound effect on me. It is an inspirational experience as the african congregation move from exuberant celebration to tingling praise and worship, which when you close your eyes tends to transport you to heaven and give you a foretaste of what it might be like in eternity in Gods presence. I am sure the African christians will be in charge of praise and worship in Gods future Kingdom , leading us rather constrained and rigid Westerners! The service is also full of surprises. Today, for instance after some solemn reflection on the passion and suffering of Christ  we moved into a celebration of the work of the cross and the freedom and forgiveness of the new covenant. The casio keyboard player then suddenly broke into
  "Oh susanna " !   A song i had never heard in church before but definitely upbeat and joyful !
Later in the service I had an opportunity to share as it was my last time in Church here for a while.
I felt prompted to share the story of my father's orphan beginnings and how despite this, he had made a decision to follow Christ as a teenager and how that had been lifechanging for him and also had produced an amazing heritage and had resulted in me being in Kitgum. I think people really appreciated me sharing a real story which was part of my life.  Even Irene was surprised and somewhat intrigued to learn that I had a wayward  American soldier in my past, much like her. According to her this is where we get our entrepeneurial spirit ! Just before I shared,  John Paul had read out a passage from Psalm 112: 1-3 which fitted in perfectly:
"Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who finds great delight in his commands.
His children will be mighty in the land:
the generation of the upright will be blessed"
My own father's story was an example of how following Gods ways  , being faithful and pursuing His kingdom can bring blessing to the generations following. I thank God that my dad made that decision 80 years ago because it has meant I can  be a part of what God is doing here in Kitgum .
After Church a group  of us went to the local fast food outlet called "Acholi Pride" where a smorgasbord of local food is available in hot trays! eg Goats meat, Beef hoofs (tender tendons), maize porridge , rice etc 

Enjoying fast food sunday lunch at "Acholi Pride"

Irene just loves shopping for clothes and shoes...NOT!

Then Irene went shopping for second hand shoes to wear at the big upcoming celebrity wedding of  Uganda Pop Idol George in Kampala this Friday. She really knows how to "live simply tthat others may simply live "
Vincent and I then met up with Kenneth and his fiance , Harriet for a soda......

Andrew with Kenneth and Harriet

Vincent and sister Nightie

and then took a boda (motorcycle) to visit Vincent's sister  , Nighty,  in the village where she lives with her five children. She basically raised Vincent after his parents and some of his siblings were murdered by the LRA.

Now as I write this, Vincent is strumming on a guitar in my room here and its gettting dark outside, the mozzies have come out and we are listening to the children in the dorm opposite  get their meal and wash.  Tonight we have bananas and pineapple for tea

We are preparing for a busy three days before i leave for Kampala on Thursday AM
Our medical team will be together for the first time tomorrow morning. After interviewing Peter on Saturday we decided he was the man  to take on the role of Clinical Officer here and we have also employed Joel, a Lab assistant who will travel to Kampala with us and help us purchase the necessary reagants and tests we need to set up a basic Laboratory.  I have given Irene and JP (Administrator) a written document with my vision for the health services here and they are digesting that, so please pray we have a unity of purpose and direction . Tomorrow night the key leaders of the health team will be going out for a meal with JP and Irene .
During the day tomorrow we also expect to try and get close  to completing the fit out of the OPD building. Thanks for your continuing support and prayer. It has been a great time here !

Friday, June 24, 2011

God is fulfilling His purposes

We can definitely see that God has a purpose to fulfill here and it has been amazing to be part of this and to realise that He has made the path straight and opened so many doors. The events of today just re inforced this so much. It started with some time of sharing with Irene over breakfast when we were talking about how we can be so anxious to see our plans worked out but in fact we can know that Gods purposes will prevail. Over breakfast, Irene shared with Vincent and I  a couple of scriptures:
one in Isaiah 14:24
"The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying
"Surely as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
And as I have purposed, so it shall stand"
and Phillipians 4 :6 also came to us , and also Isaiah 9:6 where it talks about the government being upon His shoulders, not ours.
Irene shared about her own sense of reliance on God to keep things happening here despite so many sources of opposition.

 So , I set off  into the day  with a sense of peace and trust in God to work out His plans.
Then I joined the AIDS hospice medical team in their morning worship and prayer and I set about interviewing two Lab technicians together with Fransisco and Vincent.
We have found a guy called Joel who I believe will be an enthusiastic and hard working member of the team here. We showed him around and he was able to give us more information about fitting out the Laboratory just as the builders were on hand doing final alterations. He is also able to advise on the materials we need to set up a basic laboratory.
While this was going on, Benson and some of the other medics were clearing out a storeroom so we could put a ceiling in and make it an isolation ward.  In the room we discovered boxes of donated glasses ! (you will see in the photo above that the sunnies were much desired )... We need an optometrist to come and test our children as visual problems have been identified as a major issue in the classroom. At the same time, two examination couches were uncovered-- ideal for the consulting rooms!   And, there was also an ECG machine,  Electronic BP monitor and suction device which I had not even known were hidden away in there.  It looks like we will have a very well equipped and fitted out OPD !

As Fransisco and I were walking back up to have some lunch at the guesthouse, the District Health inspector arrived in his motorcycle-- perfect timing !
He presented us personally with our signed and documented official health centre registration document  !  We then invited him for lunch and chattted away about local health needs for about an hour and he left in a jovial mood, leaving us gobsmacked and knocked out about how God had managed to get us through this with so little pain and angst.  Awesome !
In the afternoon, Fransisco and I were able to present one of the key administrators here, David with documents regarding the Roles and responsibilities of all thhe employed staff here and our recommendations on employment contracts for them, so please pray that we will experience unity of purpose about these vital issues which are very important in the process of building mutual  trust  in the medical team , improving morale and making sure there is recognition of the vital part these people play at the coal face in caring for the vulnerable and working in potentially dangerous clinical situations.
Down in the OPD, work is progressing with electricity wiring, final coats of paint and installation on benches in the pharmacy and laboratory. I am hoping and praying that after a thorough wash out and moving all the furniture in, I can do a day of consulting in the new centre. That would be so good.
Thanks for all who have been praying constantly about these things . I am sure it would not be possible without you being so faithful !

Our electrician , Ronald has done an amazing job !

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clinic one autograph away from Govt approval

looking down the hall from waiting room. OPD.
We are so close to achieving the goal of receiving Government registration and approval to operate health services on site at CKS. This is particularly important for the outpatient facilities and will potentially open up some Government assistance for the health work here. Today, the District health inspector turned up 24 hours early but despite our situation we decided to go ahead let him undertake his survey and inspection. It was nerve wracking and at times I could feel myself getting aggravated but in the end he gave us a 90 -100% rating , stamped the forms and took the document back to his office to be countersigned by his boss. Please pray that there will be no obstruction at that higher level and that tomorrow we can pick up the completed forms ready for taking to the Medical Council office in Kampala next week.  This is  a major breakthrough as government regulations and red tape can be crippling.    We are in the process of interviewing for a clinical officer and lab technician, working out job descriptions and work conditions so pray for smooth travelling on this front. Time is running out but hopefully the clinic will  be operational by next week and I might get one or two days of actually consulting ! 
One of our medical consulting rooms

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

All alone !!

Sorry, no pictures today as we have been relying on Rowena snapping most of them and today her and Andrew deserted me !  It was sad to say goodbye to my team mates. We have had an amazing journey together and been very close and experienced a real unity of purpose. Its been great to share and debrief together at regular intervals and i have really enjoyed our morning devotions.  The release of endorphins during episodes of hilarious laughter has also been therapeutic.  So, after an early breakfast I watched as our driver took A, R and Terri up to the bus park. Hopefully by now they are enjoying luxury living at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala after a bone crushing trip over the world s worst highway !
I do confess to some significant feelings of sadness at the beginning of today.
However, God is good and I know I  am here for a purpose and, on looking back, it has been a very good day.
I spent some time in a meeting with the senior medical team here discussing the applications we have received for a clinical officer and also making preparations for an accreditation visit from the local health department which will occur either on friday or Monday.
We have a candidate who sounds very promising for Clinical Officer and he will be interviewed on Saturday.
At lunch time i was able to skype Anne and my friend John Warlow and also Graham hambly, my IT consultant who is helping me get the necessary bits together to set up a small computer network in the new clinic . I am really praying that my friend Graham Carter who is coming to Uganda in the next few days can bring some computer parts and an installation CD to help get things going here.
This afternoon i travelled up town with Vincent and  Ronald (the electrician) to get all the electrical equipment to fit out the OPD. We also went to the Bregma Clinic with some sputum sample from one of our patients and had our suspicions confirmed when we looked under the microscope in the lab at her sample and saw TB organisms.  This young girl of 14 will need to be transferred to the hospital tomorrow for 2 weeks inpatient care.
Tonight after a refreshing shower to remove dirt and grime I have been up to the Boma Hotel for a chicken meal with some other OZ visitors, Benson, Vincent, Walter and Irene.
I had a really good time of sharing with Irene before going out as we sat out in the shade together  for about an hour talking about our dreams and visions for the health services here.
I am trusting that the remaining days will see completion of the infrastructure project here and the establishment and strengthening of a great team of caring medical professionals who will do so much to respond to the huge  needs here. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teary Day

Another day over in Kitgum. A day of fun and tears as AR & RR said farewell to their new friends here at CKS. AR tidied up the last of the projects that he started but AW had other ideas ...can you please just organise this last thing for me it isn't a very big job he said. We need a fence around the medical waste pit near the Aids Hospice so no one can fall in and we can pass the inspection on Friday at 10 am. I was told at 9am but God has worked another miracle and they had started by 10am and the job was complete at 5pm.
Black and White hands overlap to cut celebratory cake!
The vocational students finished painting the OPD while others worked on the mahogany bench tops for the pharmacy. Meanwhile AW & RR took a bus load of patients up to the Bregma clinic for xrays and other tests. They also went to the local Government Aids Unit to have some children tested for Aids. It will take four weeks to get the results. When they arrived back we all headed down to the Aids Hospice where they had organised a farewell/celebration party. Farewell for Rowena and Andrew and celebration for the opening of the OPD. Irene came and cut the ribbon as part of the official opening it was fantastic to see it all come together.
Official cutting of ribbon at OPD
The nurses organised all the party food.... we thought chips lollies etc but not here in Kitgum! They had chapati, bananas,soft drink,chocolate cake and the hi-light was boiled eggs. They sang us songs the nurses got dressed up in their best clothes which they would only do on Sunday for church it was a real celebration. It was a very moving afternoon. Tomorow AR & RR head for Kampala on an eight hour bus trip over pot holed filled roads. Then an overnight stay before leaving Thursday afternoon for home arriving back in Brisbane at 12:45 am Saturday morning. Mean while Poor Dr G is left all alone with his freinds in Kitgum please continue to pray for us and him Thankyou for all your prayers and support. AR & RR signing off from Kitgum see you all back in Oz.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back on track !---- Soaring like eagles!

This morning our devotional reading was from Isaiah 40:29- 31
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. they will walk and not be faint"
We prayed God would make this a reality in our lives today and we have seen Him strengthen us .

Some small projects came to fruition. Two tyre swings were erected on a big tree outside the hospice and OPD for the use of the children. A hop scotch painting was put on the concrete outside the Hospice for the children to enjoy.

Painting and electrical work is underway in the OPD.
AW spent some time seeing patients in the morning with Vincent, one of the sponsored medical students. Rowena headed up an inservice session with the medical team on Infection Control and this was well received. We have seen a significant improvement in staff morale and enthusiasm since we first arrived.  The patients too seem to be glowing!

Rowena and Terri (from melbourne) took a boda (motorcycle) ride up to the town to do some shopping for equipment.  Andrew W went to visit a local medical practitioner , Dr Oringa Vincent  in his private clinic to offer him free registration to a medical software program . He was very excited about this ! (we also ran out of petrol in the motorcycle on the way !)  We are still hoping to interview applicants for a clinical officer and lab technician for OPD this week.

AR was coaxed up onto the hair raising timber scaffolding leaning against the 3 storey vocational building. He also preached up a storm to a packed assembly of 1500 vocational students, encouraging them to continue their studies and be proud of their achievements and role in developing the country.
He is hoping to help the metal work students to get started on a steel scaffold construction tomorrow.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Homesick blues!

AR enjoys bush bashing to lunch at Pastors

Rowena sights local wildlife
Lots of exuberance and joy in Church today

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Slow pace Saturday

AR and RR didnt sleep so well last night but forged on this morning like real troopers!
AW and AR walked through the OPD with the electrician identifying  sites for lights and plugs. AW saw some patients in the hospice with Vincent and Fransisco, then we ate on of our dehydrated lunches '--- Roast lamb and mashed potatos----just add water and kapow!  Not bad....

Irene let us borrow a vehicle and driver to go up town and do some exploring and shopping as well as drop into Fuglys and book dinner for tonight as our cook is away. 

Doing mission at Fuglys !

It was hot walking the streets!
Managed to buy a bunch of bananas for  $1. Wish they were that cheap back in Brissie!

This afternoon AW did some computer work while the Rowes went down and shared some joy with the Hospice patients, giving them shoes and clothes from the storeroom !!  What happy faces !

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hot, dusty and pressing in.

Doc you can do it!!!!

General feeling today has been flat and a bit of a struggle. Andrew W and Andrew R are soldiering on in this place but the boys are becoming weary. It is a full time job keeping the morale up here but I am doing my best. The boys get a little unruley at times and need a firm talking to but generally they are able to step up to the mark and do a good job.
Work commenced today on the new incinerator. Very exciting as this has been a project on the "back burrner" for sometime. The boys are very proud of there achievements. This will bring some much needed changes and address some important health risks. The young students here at CKS are doing an amazing job. They are so keen to help and I think they have really enjoyed the teaching and encouragement. It has been awesome to set them to different tasks to advance their skills.
Constructing new medical waste incinerator
Today we discovered some great furniture which had been donated and was in the store room. There are some desks and cabinets and chairs which will be suitable for the OPD rooms.
AW and AR spent some time with Irene and Alfred tossing around the plans for a possible future Hospital on site for maternal and child health.
AW  did some inservice education on management of childhood illnesses with the medical team.
Tomorrow night we hope to go out for tea to Fuglys as our cook will be away. Hopefully we dont get lost this time. 
The electrician on site is planning to connect the OPD to power which will be great and we will be selecting plug sites etc in the morning.
Time is ticking down till the Rowes leave on Wednesday for the long bus trip to Kampala.

Hospice kids do some colouring in

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Its all still happening

Local shoppers in downtown Kitgum

Some  exciting things happened today.
The Outpatient department continues to be painted out, the carpenters are making up some benches (out of mahogeny!) for the laboratory and pharmacy. We also moved some beds and examination couches into the rooms which was exciting.  Tonight on the FM radio we advertised for a clinical officer and laboratory technician today so we are praying and hopeful to get some applications and perhaps interview. AW spent some time with Franscisco , a Comprehensive Nurse who is currently doing practice management and we talked about job descriptions and  work contracts and roles and responsibilities which was very helpful.
For quite some  time Franscisco has been encouraging the admin to build a proper incinerator for medical waste disposal and we have managed to get this project started with the potential inspection for government approval pending.  This upcoming inspection has also encouraged everyone in the AIDs hospice to have a huge tidy up and morale has been boosted which is good to see.

There is some news which has been very exciting.  AW approached a medical software company, Best Practice to provide a free licence to the clinic here at Childcare and also another nearby clinic, The Bregma Clinic which is headed up by a Ugandan Doctor, Dr Vincent.  AW has known him for 10 years and would like to help him improve his medical centre. The software program will make it possible to improve patient management and draw out results, demographics and possibly some research. It was awesome to get the email today 24hrs after my request  saying they would be happy to assist !  I have a copy here on my computer !

Today, Rowena walked into town with another guest and almost expired from the heat, looking like a beetroot when she staggered in at midday. They did some shopping in the market. 

unloading bricks for the waste incinerator
Andrew R feels he has been running all over the place being the "go to" man.  AW gives him lists of things to build and organise to aid the completion of the project  and he always comes through ! In contrast AW had one job designated today to put out the water container for refilling so we could all wash tonight but unfortunately he let the team down  !!  He was also discovered using the last jerry can of water to shower himself while Rowena remained cherry red , dehydrated and crusty !
 Meanwhile, AR wanted to have a test run in the wheel chair but Fransisco thought he would need two !

Vincent, a young man being sponsored through medical school in Algeria has arrrived tonight to stay here for 3 months on his university break and that has been great to see him again.
It will be good for Vincent and AW to work alongside each other for the next two weeks.
Andrew with Vincent, Med Student

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Doctor A gets makeover

Dr A today made a comment about the nice new hair do one of the nurses had today. Soon after he was seen wearing her afro wig!  He is undergoing treatment for a bad case of head lice! ( and all that after speaking on basic hygiene over FM radio the night before)

Dr A also participated in a continuing medical education session in the AIDS hospice, along with Rowena and Rebecca (visiting midwife from Oz) .

We are keen to implement some protocols in the clinics to up the standard of care and next Monday plan to travel about 2 hours out into the country to a branch school of 1500 students where there is also a school clinic manned by a health worker.

The painting of the outpatient clinic continues and we are having some shelves built for the small laboratory and pharmacy.
Andrew  R has been getting metal for the metal  scaffolding which the vocational students will construct and hopefully this will be a pilot project for possible future constructions which could be hired out or sold to raise funds.

Andrew W has been asking around to see if any of the local NGOs want to sell a second hand ambulance  and we could possibly raise funds for this back in Australia as it would be a great asset for the health services here.

The three of us are also fighting over adoption rights to little Dennis, aged 6 months, whose mother died soon after birth of AIDs. He is receiving nutritional support, but his only carer is his grandmother who already has six children and is breast feeding the youngest. They are very poor.
Rowena wants to adopt dennis
Today, Irene also uncovered a small Ultrasound machine in one of her cupboards which had been donated  and this afternoon we did a practice run on a willing pregnant volunteer. Prisca in the pink has been sponsored from childcare and is keen to do antenatal checks in the clinic here. We need an ultrasonographer to come and train us !!!

This afternoon A and R met their sponsor child and Andrew met the child sponsored by his sister Dorothy and Bill.   A special time ! ... and another day is almost over....

Prisca and Rebecca do first ultrasound in CKS

thanks to everyone for your prayer and support !

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Its been "busy"

Our apologies for not posting news for a while. We are still alive and well.
We enjoyed the weekend here at Kitgum but had trouble getting the blog to work:
We had made entries but they would not post so we will try again.
At the weekend we worked at a slower pace. We spent time catching up on the cleaning and washing, however this became an interesting time with many of the locals surrounding us and observing Andrew R helping with the laundry. This is not something the men do here and that is help the women with "Womans work" Many comments were passed and they were very surprised. Some of the men stated that Andrew R must be "bewitched" or "not right in the head"
We enjoyed a meal with the local Pator Alfred who welcomed us into his home. He was very excited to show us his "beach" that he had at his back door. Not sure if the surf is ever up here. We were very blessed with their hospitality. On Sunday we went to church. This was a very much a church of participation where Andrew W and Andrew R joined the conga line of worshipers for around 20minutes dancing throughout the church. Andrew W said he has never had so much fun in church before. They both were in their elements.
We continue to go daily up to the radio station and first record a health message that can be played over again once we leave and then do the talk back radio on health issues that are affecting the Ugandan people.
We spent much time over the weekend also going over the plans for the new hospital here and getting the  layout of labour wards, theatre and recovery organised on paper before the building begins!
Irene returned yesterday from her time in Australia so it was wonderful to see her  .
We can see the health work here has the potential to go to the next level with possible government accreditation and we are spending some time today waiting and listening to God about what our part in this could be. This morning AW did some motor bike riding through the dusty streets to the ministry of health and also enjoyed meeting again with the medical superintendent of st josephs catholic hospital who is very welcoming and keen to allow AW to be involved in the childrens ward and nutritional unit and to assist with teaching if the time here allows it. It has been very helpful to just sit and listen and learn about how everything works here and what the challenges are. People I think appreciate the opportunity to share . We were able to take Irene on a tour of the new  OPD today as the  painters start their work.  A 5 month old  baby was attended to with fever of 40C and convulsions and we transported the little one to st josephs.  Rowena and the visiting widwife Rebecca along with a pastor from australia, Cha Cha, have been helping the nurses clean the AIDs hospice ready for a possible inspection-- much improvement. We continue to value very much your  prayers. At times we feel a bit sleep deprived and tired but overall  we are very positive!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The end of a big week

It was raining heavily here this morning so we couldnt walk down to the AIDs Hospice . Rowena and I spent some time in childrens dispensary checking out their systems and talking to Jane who is the nurse assistant attending  the 4000 children at the school. Andrew R managed to negotiate the mud and rain and make it to the work site where 50 students were enthusiastically hammering nails and placing walls in the clinic building. At times he looked around  to find he was the only one supervising the boys as the teachers were away doing other stuff. (busy !) The background noise plus the language barrier did not make it easy to respond to their enquiries!  Meanwhile AW and Rowena were having a cup of coffee in the guesthouse and skyping home waiting for the rain to stop !  We were also working on a software program from Australia we could possibly use in the clinic to assist with recording of notes and getting demographic and research information in the future. We eventually made it down to the clinic and  were able to  review some patients and pray for them.
Teaching from Christian Wholeness Framework
AW was able to convene an in service training session with the medical team here and centred discussion on one of the patients in the Hospice encouraging a wholistic approach to care and utilising the framework of christian counselling developed by Dr John Warlow in Australia. It was very well received and provoked some questions and feedback . Then Andrew asked those present to share their vision for the medical work in Kitgum and it was really encouraging to hear the Africans  speak out some  really worthwhile dreams and visions for what we could do here. They then opened up about some  of their frustrations and  difficulties and the obstacles they saw to progress and growth and this was very enlightening. Next week will be critical as we meet with Irene and JP the administrator here to look at ways the medical work here can expand ,being mindful of the unique needs of an effective medical ministry and the financial constraints upon us. Please pray particularly about this process in the coming days which is very important.
Tonight we walked up the hill to the radio station and started a nightly talk back session on medical issues. The topic was on pregnancy and we had lots of calls. Even AR was able to share hhis reflections on what its like to be a pregnant woman ! Pray that these radio broadcasts to about 2 million people will be very effective.
stood yesterday.. walked with frame today!

CKS accountant thinks he can be a Dr

Thursday, June 9, 2011

God is at work here

After a difficult day yesterday and not much sleep last night we started our day with a devotional reading over our banana breakfast. We read from Luke 4:18-19 :
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lords favour."
We prayed earnestly that through our day we would allow the Spirit of God to work through us in every situation and we realised that we could be Jesus body on earth and do as these scriptures say in His name. We also asked God to replace the oppression, despair and darkness which we had felt so much in the hospice the day before with the presence of his Spirit.
Well, God answered our prayers and we saw the power of the Holy Spirit working in an amazing way.

We seemed to encounter much resistance from the staff to enter into the worship time but once
the children and adults of the hospice and the nurses gathered together in the ward and the worship commenced, solemn and downcast faces were uplifted along with hands raised and  clapping reverberating through the hospice. Andrew W then shared from scriptures and we invited people to come for healing prayer. All three of us joined with Benson to hear each persons needs and pray with them.  We saw a lady who had been paralysed and unable to walk for 2 years, get off the bed and stand up. A woman I had examined two days earlier with blindness had an objective improvement  in her vision and two traumatised women had a release from grief despair and abandonment in their lives. WE felt an amazing lifting of the darkness over thhis place and the HOly Spirit pouring out joy and blessings onto these troubled people. We were witnessing a significant spiritual breakthrough in this place ! We were all celebrating together!
The paralysed woman stands

God gives improved sight to the blind

I also feel another significant answer to prayer has occurred when today I met Simon, a clinical officer who i believe has the potential to lead a team of health workers on site here when the building fit out is completed. He impresses me with his clinical competence and caring approach to patient care, so I am really looking forward to spending more time with him. Tomorrow i am leading some in service training for the medical team and this will be the start of more team building by Rowena and I. Andrew R will be joining the young guys from vocational traiining as they work towards completing the health clinic.
All three of us enjoyed connecting with our families on skype during the middle of the day when we escaped the heat. We are so thankful for the internet here !
IN the afternoon we became honorary Kitgum DJs when we walked up the hill to Might Fire FM and were interviewed by  Denis the Disc Jockey.  Its planned to have a nightly talk back health section for the next 3 weeks and also pre record some key health messages  to be broadcast to over 2 million people in Uganda and Sudan !  I wonder what tomorrow will bring ?

the three stooges go on the air
Please continue to partner with us in prayer because God is really at work here !
Part of the medical team: AW, Fransisco, Benson, Simon.