Sunday, September 30, 2012

Meet Ishmael

I met Ishmael through some friends of ours here in Jinja.  Cody and Drew called shortly after lunch one day and asked if I would look at a little boy's foot from the village.  They brought Ishmael over to our house for me to look at his injury. When he arrived I found a happy, sweet, smiling little boy with a gruesome injury to his foot.  We have been here for almost 10 months and I am still amazed and the toughness and resolve of the people here, especially the children.  Ishmael showed no pain as I cleaned the wound to his foot and heel.  The wound covered half the side of his foot and heel, it looked like someone had taken a knife and cut half of his heel away.   His whole foot was terribly swollen from the injury. From what we could understand he was in some sort of accident involving a bicycle.

Cody and Drew found Ishmael in the village by chance one day.  They had gone to the village to play futbol with some of the kids and they found Ishmael crawling in the dirt.   His foot was so badly injured that he could not walk so he was crawling around like a baby. Once we got him cleaned up and started on some antibiotics to fight off the infection he set off back to the village.  

On Saturday we went out to the village to check on his progress and to change the dressings.  As always when we arrived in the village the children greeted us with huge smiles as they ran up to the van.  Pierce went with me this time.  He had gotten himself dressed and had Auntie Apio put on his sandals and met me at the door saying "Daddy I go with you." How was a going to refuse him after that? We found Ishmael after a short walk into the village.  He was hopping around on his good foot with a huge smile on his face.  Some of the ladies brought out a grass mat and put in the shade for us to work on his foot.  His injury still looked gruesome, but at least this time is was clean and the swelling had gone down.  We were able to put on more antibiotic ointment and change his dressings.  We are planning on going back on Monday to check on his progress.  Before we left we got to meet his mother, she greeted us in the traditional way in the village by kneeling down on both knees and shaking our hand.  She was so very grateful for the help and kept saying "thank you, thank you" over and over again.  I was able to share with them that while I have bandages and some medicine, that God is the ultimate Healer and that it is through Him they will truly be "healed."

While I was treating Ishmael's injury, Pierce was playing with some of the kids in the village.  I turned around and found him with a goat saying "Daddy I walking goat."  Pierce seems to be a hit whenever we go into the village.  They love the  little blond haired, blued eyed Mzungu.

Pierce catching a ride out of the village

I know for that every Ishmael we treat there are 10 more in the village that we never find that need help.  Hopefully we can make a difference one life at a time.

I have included a link for some of the more graphic images for those who are interested in seeing the extent the injury.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Love is patient, love is kind

“Love is patient love is kind.”  You hear this at almost every wedding you attend, but today God kept tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me of this verse. “Love is patient, love is kind”…… but as a person am I  these things?

It is ironic that God was using I Cor 13:4 today on my heart because this was the verse we introduced to the kids last month for their “Keys to the Kingdom.”  He reminded me that while I am teaching the kids, He is still teaching me and that after all He is the ultimate teacher.  Boy does He have a lot of teaching to do in me still.  The last couple of days I have been struggling with my patience.  I know none of you have this issue, but at least hear me out.

One part of the culture I do not think I will ever get used to is timeliness or lack there of.  You can schedule a meeting with someone but that is just a general suggestion, not something anyone seems to take seriously.  On Tuesday we scheduled to go out to the Kagoma Gate Village at 9:00amwith the village team from Welcome Home.  However, when we arrived at 9:00 only one person was ready to go, the rest were still milling around inside.  When I asked if they were ready to go the overwhelming answer was “no, why would we be ready, are we going now?”   I was then asked if I would be providing juice and bread since they would miss tea at 10:00.  By this time it was already 9:30, so I agreed to come back at 10:00 to pick up everyone after they had taken tea. I ran a couple of errands in town and may or may not have had an incident with a Boda boda driver, but that is a story for another time. I did however end my “conversation” with the boda driver and his not so friendly passenger by spreading the word.  I sent them away with a simple reminder “Jesus loves you”….see love is patient, love is kind.   When we arrived back at10:00 to pick up the village team it still took about 10 minutes to get everyone rounded up and on the road. Love it patient love is kind; I kept repeating this to myself over and over albeit through gritted teeth, repeating it nonetheless.

When we finally arrived in the Kagoma Gate Village I was instantly reminded by all the smiling faces of the children why we make this trip.  Once we started treating the injuries and medical conditions I forgot all about my frustrations from the morning fiasco.  We were able to confirm 4 cases of children with malaria and get them started on medication.  I am excited about the work we are doing in theKagomaGateVillage, I will highlight this village in an upcoming post.

An exciting thing happened while we were in town after our adventuresome morning. Every time we were in town we would see a teenage boy names Asan, everyday he was begging for food.  Day after day it was the same thing, he would ask for food.  Everyday I would tell him ministries he could visit that would help him get off the streets. Yet, the next day we would see Asan again and he would beg for food…love is patient, love is kind. After one of our many conversations about begging for food, I told Asan he should put as much effort into finding a job as he does into begging on the streets.  He is a healthy strong 17 year old boy, so I told him he needed to find himself a job.  Well patience paid off, as we were pulling out to leave Asan came running up to the van with a purpose.  He found a job!  He was so excited to share with us that he had a job.  Asan is now the proud vendor of wallets and I am now the proud new owner of a sweet Velcro wallet ala 1980. He was so excited about his job and he was even more excited that he sold one to Kari and I, he must have said thank you 10 times.

“Love is patient, love is kind” I Corinthians 13:4