Sunday, June 24, 2012

Malnourished Babies

Today we had the opportunity to travel into a village to check on some babies in need. We went with an amazing ministry called Serving His Children run by Renee Bach. Renee specializes in malnutrition cases.  We had the opportunity to check the babies over medically looking for signs of malnutrition and dehydration.  

There were 4 babies we were checking on; there was a set of twins.  One of the twins was very severe and was just recovering from the measles.  Renee made the decision to bring the mom and the twins back to her clinic so she could watch over them and nurse the sick one back to health.  Serving His Children also taught a nutrition class that covered the signs and symptoms of malnutrition and the importance of a balanced diet.  They taught the mother’s how to provide a proper balanced meal for their children and gave them examples of things readily available in the village or directly from the garden. They taught the very basics such as what are proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, vegetables and fruits.  We were also able to provide 2 other mother’s with malnourished children a “Malnutrition Pack” which consists of ground up G-nuts, ground up fish, porridge and powdered milk. The mothers were giving instruction on how to prepare the malnutrition pack to help boost their baby’s nutrition. 


One of the biggest problems faced is that when children in the village get sick, people think that it is due to a curse. Many of them take the children to a Traditional Healer or Witch Doctor. When you try to teach them about malnutrition and teach them about a balanced diet, they get frustrated because you are not “healing” the child right then and there.  It takes time, education, trust and relationship to make a difference.  We are headed back to the village in two weeks to do a follow up on the babies and to see if there is any improvement.  We will pray that the education was well received and the babies will receive and benefit from the malnutrition packs provided.

During the lesson one of the mothers brought her 3 year old over to me to look at a couple of spots on his arm and on his chest.  He also had a runny nose.  I was able to look him over and check for an ear infection, his ears were clear of infection but just needed a good cleaning.  At first he was very afraid of me working on him, but after letting him play with some of the medical equipment I was using, he warmed up enough to let me take care of him.  He even got brave enough to sit with us for just a second but then went back to the comfort of his mom’s lap.  I am not 100% sure but I think Megan and I were able to get a hint of a smile from him. Just before we left a Jajja (grandmother) brought me over her baby.  She wanted me to look at him to make sure he was ok.  His mother died during child birth and she was left to care for the baby. She came to the training to make sure that she was giving the baby the right foods.  Baby Faizo was very healthy and it took some convincing for Megan and I to give him back to Jajja!  I think both of us would have been content just taking him home with us.


I am anxious to learn more about malnutrition and nursing these young ones back to health.  I feel a real calling to work with the children who are malnourished and it could be an amazing ministry opportunity for Kari and I to work side by side providing medical care and ministering to the mothers.

You can check out more images from our day in the village at:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Babies in Need

Meet baby Jessica and her mother, baby Jessica is about 4 months old. We got a call from a friend here asking if I could take a look at this child. We met them at the local children's hospital where she had been diagnosed with a medical condition called Imperforate Anus (those of you who want to read more can go to:

In addition to her congenital anomaly baby Jessica has stage 3 malaria and a very low hemoglobin count.  Her hemoglobin level was only about 1/3 of what is should have been for her age due to malnutrition. Hemoglobin is the protein found in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen. She was given a quinine injection to fight the malaria and was in need of a blood transfusion for the low hemoglobin level.  After calls to multiple hospitals looking for blood, we found one across the Nile River. We all loaded up and took of for the Nyenga hospital for the much needed blood transfusion. Once we arrived we were informed they only had type B blood left.  So we prayed and had her blood group tested.  Unfortunately she was type A and the only unit of blood left was not compatible.  As it turns out a young boy received the much needed last unit of blood for a sickle cell crisis. After more failed phone calls to locate blood, we loaded baby Jessica and her mother up to rest back at the guest house.  They were going to be transported the next morning to a better hospital in a different town. The plan is to rid baby Jessica of the malaria, get her stronger and send her to surgery for her congenital anomaly.

Earlier in the week we got a call for a severely malnourished child in the Mafubari Village.  Shauntina is about  3 to 3 1/2 years old.  Her Jajja (grandmother) is left to take care of her and her sibling, who is in worse shape,  so that her mother can work to support them.  They traveled 3 hours from deep in the village to make it to the Mafubari clinic to meet with us.  Shauntina is suffering from bouts of diarrhea due to the poor nutrition.  Shauntina is around Hadlee's age, but smaller than Pierce.
In order to help with the malnutrition we were able to assemble a "Malnutrition Pack"  The pack consists of ground up G-nuts (peanuts), ground up Mekena (small fish), powdered milk, porridge and children's multivitamins. The G-nuts and fish are packed full of protein and vitamins that when mixed with the porridge will help to bring back her strength.

We were able to assemble this malnutrition pack for about $20.  If you are interested in donating a malnutrition pack you can send an online donation or a check with "Malnutition Pack" in the memo line.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Musana Mishap

We started the day bright and early headed to the Musana Camps on Lake Victoria.  Getting 10 people out of the house and into the van by a set time proved to be a bit of a challenge, but we made it out the gates by8:05am.  Everyone was excited for the day and the adventure ahead………little did we know.
 The trip did not go exactly as planned.  We saw some absolutely beautiful country and enjoyed our adventure.

Then we hit the “bad roads” as our directions indicated.  However, I use the term road loosely. We are use to bad roads since we have been living inUgandafor 6 months; however this took it to a whole new level.  We hit ruts and pot holes so bad that at one point everyone got out of the van to lighten the load so that we did not bottom out again. Once we cleared the bad area everyone loaded back up, only to have to unload again. Isaac had to lead the way and pick out the best path for us to navigate the road.  He would have to squat down and look under the van to make sure the differential would clear the ruts, bumps, holes and rocks.  While Isaac and I tried to navigate the roads, Kari, the four kids, Auntie Megan, Auntie Fara and MeMe all walked up the road to meet up with us again when the road was “better”. Karson had a run in with a praying mantis that attacked from the bush, but to get the full story you will have to check out Karson’s Korner ( At one point the road got so bad we decided to cut our loses and turn around.  We never made it to the Musana Camps, however we did try to salvage the day by having a picnic overlooking a beautiful valley.  We got to share our picnic with one of the local little boys who joined us.

Everett is actually standing knee deep in one of the ruts in the road

On the way home, back down the dusty bumpy road the kiddos crashed out.  We somewhat redeemed the day when we came around the corner and saw a monkey run across the road.  We woke the kids and stopped to take pictures and the more we looked the more monkeys we saw. There must have been 10-15 monkeys in the grove of trees.  We were all so excited.  Karson kept saying over and over “It’s my first time to ever see a monkey!” We took pictures and watched them for about 10-15 minutes.  Isaac thought we were all crazy and thought it was funny that a car full of Muzungus was so excited about monkeys.

 After 8 hours of driving, we finally made it back home.  We never reached our destination but we had quiet an adventure along the way.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Training Wheels are Off

We have officially completed our 5 months of training at New Hope Uganda and the training wheels are off!  We had an incredible experience and learned so much, we are thankful that God provided us the time at New Hope to learn.  Had we not gone through training our hearts would have been in the right place, but our minds would have been lost. The training we received will be very valuable as we begin working in the field.  We covered a variety of topics; cultural training, world view, child care and family training, Old Testament, New Testament, Orphan heart, manhood/womanhood, orphan care and raising a family in the mission field.
We have officially made it to Jinja and have begun the process of settling into our new home for the next six months. We have had a busy week of unpacking, getting supplies for the house and having furniture built.
I started working in the Mafabira community with Emanuel Luffafa and we discussed plans for healthcare and hygiene for his village.  I am very excited to be starting medical care there and assessing the strengths of the people within the community and determining where we can be of the most assistance.  Emma and I also went to the Karamoga Village to discuss the possibility of working on healthcare and hygiene in that area. We waited to talk to the Chairman who is the head of the village. We had to speak to him first because nothing in the village happens without his blessing and we would not be granted access without his permission.  He told us he would meet with us in 10 minutes, which turned in to 2 hours of waiting.  While we waited I had the opportunity to speak with the people of the area, play with some of the kids, make a poor excuse for a hand rolled bead with the women of the village and talk to the head of the Village Health Team.  She was very excited about the possibility of us assisting with medical care and hygiene within the community.  The Chairman was very receptive of us assisting the village. We hope to begin that work in the upcoming week.
My attempt at a hand made paper bead. 
Working with a sick child in the village. 

We look forward to what God has in store for us here in Jinja and where he is leading our family.