N.U.M.M in Action!

Dear friends and family,


Much has happened the past few days!  Here is a quick update of some highlights..

The Home Medical Care training ended this past Wednesday.  This was a 3 day workshop where our medical team instructed other CHE (Community Health Evangelism) trainers in various parishes of the diocese, as well as members of the Mothers Union and school teachers.  We taught about how to clean and dress wounds (Joyce), nutrition/malnutrition treatment and poisonings/bites (Lynda), first response and choking (Sarah), and how to care for someone who is ill without medications, how to treat with basic medications, and when to refer to clinic (me) – and more importantly we them how to teach OTHER people these skills and to make an action plan to do it soon!

This was dramatically different than our previous visit to Pader 3 years ago, when we ran village clinics. We worked hard last time with our clinics, and of course we were well received as we brought medications and free gifts.  But we also knew that we were only “patching” a bigger problem.  We sensed the Lord was leading us to a different direction and approach this time around. This visit, our goal was NOT to provide treatment or run clinics, but to empower them to teach each other basic health care.  This included teaching some skills and new approaches to treatment that were foreign to them.  One important teaching point from us included NOT to self-medicate or to take pills unnecessarily or when you are not sure if it is required, especially when it is on your own and not physician-directed (you can buy prescription meds over the counter in Pader, and many just buy tabs without seeing the doctor or getting any proper education about them).   Our approach differed greatly from previous teachings of theirs, which suggested a more “liberal” approach to taking “tabs” or medications on their own when they are sick. 

At the end of the first day of the Medical Care training, I was initially discouraged as many participants of the workshop were concerned how what we were teaching them conflicted with what they were currently practicing.  In a way, I thought “who was I that they would listen to what I had to teach them?”.  Two Reverends who attended the workshop actually sat down beside me during dinner and they told me how can they present this new information effectively into the community.  We shared and we prayed and I came to the revelation that both of us were on the same side, and that this was not that dissimilar to sharing the truth of the gospel to those who believe differently.  If we believe this approach to medical treatment is better, we should not be afraid to share it, and the Lord will help us!  We prayed for unity, and what I witnessed during the next two days of the workshop was just that!  Both Reverends led devotions the next couple of days before the start of workshop which perfectly complemented what we were teaching and promoting.  And also, I saw how each participant in the group were committed and focused on how to teach others this info to their community, and the workshop ended with such a high note.  I saw how the Lord united His people, Praise the Lord for this!!

Our medical team will be helping to run an HIV workshop focused on grief counseling/listening in the next few days – pray for the effectiveness of this on the community and His continued guidance.

Curtis has been actively involved with his soccer ministry running camps with Francis, and many have come to the Lord! He looks forward to this upcoming Wednesday where 4 teams will gather for a friendly tournament. Each team will be given a handful of Luo Bibles for follow-up on the Gospel message and testimony that he gave during the clinics. Sarah will also be sharing some scriptures on this day and it is almost certain to be heard by hundreds of spectators and participants so please keep her and the team in your prayers on that day (Sept 11th) 

Among other activities, we have also been visiting local villages (Pagor and Labongo) to encourage with scripture verses, singing, and praying with them.  We also had a Jesus film night at the EI compound and 12 people accepted Christ that night!

We have all been taking turns stepping out of our comfort zones and leaping into unknown territory in various ministry opportunities and it is inspiring to see what the Lord is doing in each of the team members as well as those on the receiving end.

We love you all and long to share each of these incredible stories and testimonies of Gods amazing works with you in person in just over a week!

- Ken (On behalf of the team) 




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Change up! (September 3rd, 2013)

Hey all!

This is Sarah, and I am blogging for Curtis today :)! What a wonderful experience we have had thus far in Pader. The weather has been great, the people friendly and we are all starting to feel right at home.

The past few days Ken, Lynda, Joyce and I have been hard at work doing CHE medical trainings along with Mike and Marianne Botting. We have spent time getting to know the people we are training and have just been so blessed by them. Lynda has become quite the African dancer! Yesterday, the majority of the day was spent going through different educational areas such as nutrition, breastfeeding, and medication administration. It was a long day and there were many discussions on each subject which presented some differences in opinion between members, but overall it went well-- God is certainly good! Today, was a more interactive day as we started doing more hands-on work with first aid trainings, practical work, and wound care. I had the pleasure of being able to teach recognition of a medical emergency as well as rapid assessment. I must say I have never had a more animated audience (I had so much fun)! It felt great sharing my clinical knowledge and expertise, and passing on these skills where they will really enhance quality of life. To be honest though, I think they have blessed me and taught me way more than I could ever teach them. Their perspectives on life, the strength they have and the pure joy they exude in all circumstances, this is something I would like to emulate in my own life when I return home. What an incredible experience so far, and so much more to come!

Curtis has spent the past two days going out to different villages and running a soccer camp along with Francis, one of the locals in Pader. He has invested into the lives of teens and young men through 'football' drills and skills, and he has also taught men the meaning of the words, "No Pain, No Gain" with all the push-ups he's had them doing (125?!-- crazy)! What is most admirable about the work Curtis has been doing, is that he has been able to use the skills that God has graced him with within the context of a fun sport activity, to minister to the hearts of these boys. In the past two days that Curtis has been doing camp, he has been able to share his testimony and God's word with these young men and so far has seen seventeen commit their lives to Christ for the first time. What an amazing testament to God's power and how he can use our special skills and our life experiences-- big or small-- for his divine purpose. We're looking forward to hearing more from Curtis in the next few days (and hopefully I can get my cleats on and play a little footie myself!)

Jackie has been hard at work the last few days prepping for our HIV-AIDS grief counseling session next week. I must say, I have learned the meaning of patience and perseverance from Jackie, as the hours she has put into planning, writing and re-organizing all the information for this upcoming training has been exhausting. What a dedication to Christ and his work she has demonstrated these last few days!

Well, the time we have purchased in the internet cafe is almost up, but I do wish to leave you with a few prayer requests for us as we continue our work here in Pader. First, if you could continue to pray for health/wellness and safety. We have all been doing well thus far and have been given an abundant amount of food and comfort from the community and where we are living currently, so if you could pray for a continuation for that it would be so appreciated! Secondly, could you pray for God to continue to guide us in the paths we should take, that our ministries would be effective and that the people we come in contact with would be blessed. Finally, as we each are on our own individual journeys, we ask that you pray for God to grant us clarity in the ways we should go not only here, but in our lives as we move forward. Africa certainly is a great place to get away and seek God; my hope is that we will come home refreshed and with a new fire for God and the plans and dreams he has set in our hearts for us to do.

Thank you for keeping up with us on this journey which God has directed us to within this crazy-amazing gift called life, and thank you for the prayers and support. May God's grace be with you all :)

"And now unto him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. To him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Love always, your sister in Christ,

Sarah (and the NUMM team!)

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