Thursday, April 24, 2014

World Malaria Day: How you can make a difference

Today is World Malaria Day!

Malaria takes the lives of over 600,000 children every single year, but it does not have to be that way!

Malaria is preventable, treatable, and curable.

Every week we meet children and families who have been impacted by this life-threatening disease. And every week we also see how knowledge about the symptoms and access to critical medicine can save lives and change families!

We are coming up on the rainy season here in Uganda – it’s the time of year when malaria cases are at their peak. It’s also the time of year when it is most difficult for us to reliably reach the villages where we work because of the poor road conditions and rainy weather.

The van we have been using works wonderfully for getting our family and large groups around town, but it isn’t equipped for the rugged roads of the villages.

That’s why we are kicking off a new fundraising campaign today to help us buy and outfit a fully-equipped rugged SUV that will allow us to reach the villages year round!

Our goal is to raise $25,000 in the next seven days! This $25,000 will allow us to purchase a used vehicle, perform the necessary maintenance, and fully outfit the vehicle with the malaria supplies that we need.

Will you prayerfully consider how your family and church community can contribute to our Mobile Malaria Vehicle Fundraising Campaign?

1. Every donation received April 25th-May 2nd will be an entry into a giveaway of not one, but TWO tshirts!!  One of our new Malaria Bites shirts, and one of our Logo shirt!!

2. Every donation made of $50 or more will automatically receive a Malaria Bites shirt!

You can donate HERE

Thank you for your continuing support and prayers for our ministry.

Kari & Jason Segner

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

There is Hope!

There is hope!  That is one of the favorite things the children shout during our children’s outreach.  If you would have asked me 4 months ago if there was hope for our children’s outreach in Wakisi, I would have answered you with a resounding “No!”  However, through God there is hope!

The children of the Wakisi village did not receive us as well as the previous village we had been working in for over a year.  They were unreceptive to us at first and they were very tough on our children.  They picked on Karson relentlessly, pulled Hadlee’s hair and even pulled a knife on Everett (that is a whole other story)
These days things are so much different!  As we pull into the village the kids start running beside the car calling for the kids by name and shouting “Do you love Jesus?”  What a difference a few months makes and what a difference God makes.  Slowly, slowly God has opened there hearts to us and more importantly opened their hearts to Him.

I want to share the story of Baswari.  He is a 13 year old boy who was not interested in us at all when we first came to the village.  He was mean to our kids, did not want to be around us and was way too cool for what we were doing in the outreach program.  Slowly, slowly his heart has opened. These days he is always in our circle for children’s outreach and is always singing along.

A really cool moment happened on Friday, we called him into the middle of the circle and asked him to tell us something  about Jesus.  His answer “Jesus came to earth in the form of a man, He died on a cross so that we could live.”  

Wow! There is hope!  God really is reaching these kids.  This week as we were circling the kids, Baswari and his buddies were nowhere to be seen.  We started the kids program anyway, just with a smaller circle.  As we began singing and shouting, there came an echo from the bushes down the path.  As we sang, the  echo  got louder.  I turned around and Baswari and about 5 of his buddies were literally marching down the path coming towards the circle. They joined us and as usual Baswari had a big smile on his face. You can see a video of him leading "I love you Jesus" here:  Video

It is days like this, it is kids like this that fill my heart and makes me realize there is hope!

Baswari and the boys marching towards the circle from the trail

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Like pulling teeth

Sometimes working in the village is like pulling teeth.  This past week it literally was pulling teeth.  Healing Faith and the people of the Wakisi Village were blessed beyond measure by a medical team that visited from the States.  On that team was a dentist and two assistants, who donated their time, efforts, and supplies to provide teeth extractions for those suffering in the village.  I was amazed at the operation!  There we were in a mud building with a dirt floor with a full on dental clinic set up.  They were able to provide numbing medication, extract the bad teeth and provide pain medication and antibiotics for after care.  What an amazing blessing!

The team was also equipped with multiple nurses who stood beside Healing Faith and worked on the large group suffering with malaria like symptoms.  With rainy season in full affect we saw many people with signs of malaria.  We identified 8 cases of malaria and were able to get them started on the proper treatment regimen. I am usually in the middle of things and never really get to see and observe what is going on.  On this day I was able to do a quick rundown of testing for malaria and the nurses took over.  I was able to stand back and watch the full scale of what God has orchestrated in the village of Wakisi.  As I stood back and watched I saw a team of three literally pulling teeth in one area and another group testing and treating malaria.  It was awesome to watch and a blessing to be a part of. 

One of the villagers brought her grandson to us who had a large abscess on his leg.  It was about the size of a baseball.  It was hard on the edges, soft in the middle and really hot.  We made the decision that it needed to be drained.  I was able to needle aspirate some of the infection but we could tell it needed more.  I will spare you the gory details (although I love them, I know some people don’t want to hear about them)  We were able to make an incision and drain the infection inside.  With the medical team there we were able to get him started on a two week course of antibiotics and pain medication.  We were able to follow up with him today, while it looked so much better, there was still infection that needed to be drained.  We drained more and this time it required two sutures to close.  We will follow up with him later this week to make sure he is still making positive progress and remove his sutures.

It was an amazing blessing to be a part of what was going on in Wakisi for these two days! Thank you to the medical team that spent two days with Healing Faith working in Wakisi