New dreams & journeys
Hey there friends!
I hope you're summer has been a blessed and enjoyable one so far. I have totally settled back into the rhythm of life in the burbs, and although my time is taken up with work, soccer, fun, friends and summer, my mind is still deeply entrenched in the northern Uganda district of Pader. Terry, my friend and colleague is still faithfully carrying out his commitment to the people there and keeps me in the loop with what is happening. I wanted to keep you informed as well, as you have been such a faithful and integral part of this journey to bring relief and hope and God's love to these unique and wonderful people.
As you know, Pader is a relatively large district made up of a handful of different townships. The Pader-township where I was stationed with Terry this past winter/spring is home to thousands of people of the Achioli tribe. Virtually every family in this township was effected in some way or another by the 23 year long LRA insurgency that ceased only in the past 4 years. As i have previously mentioned, immediate relief NGO's have pulled out and have left a void that is hard to fill by some of the smaller, long-term CBO's (community based organizations). When God placed a desire on our hearts to pray for a medical team to come to this area of Uganda, it was because the needs and cries for help were echoing through the countryside.
In our township alone there is only one doctor for thousands of families. Due to corruption and lack of governmental support the national nurses have desisted their medical campaigns due to lack of pay leaving very little to no medical professionals in the township. We in the west, often complain about Canada's Health Care system and some of us have reason to... however, reality is, a good majority of our population lives no more than a half hours drive from a hospital, medical clinic or doctor to meet most of our regular or emergency medical needs. My friends and family in Northern Uganda (our neighbours), are dying daily of preventable diseases like diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition. In this past month alone I have been continually receiving emails from Terry that break my heart and refuse to let me forget that God wants my/our hands and feet to deliver His love and assistance. As the wet season is in full swing, the damp climate is a breeding ground for mosquitos carrying the deadly malaria virus. This epidemic has recently taken the lives of dozens of children in the Pader township.
I am writing to present you all with a few more extensive details on my upcoming trip with a medical team back to beautiful Pader, N. Uganda. This endeavour from the very beginning has been nothing short of a beautiful orchestration by God Himself. It is incredibly humbling to witness God divinely intervening and providing practical help where there is such a desperate need. The great need being lack of medical resources and preventative health education, the practical help being a well-trained and compassionate doctor and two nurses. M.D. Kenneth Liew alongside two registered nurses May Tao & Joyce Tulloch and myself will be heading back to Pader on the 4th of September to stage a medical clinic as well as train the local people in preventative health care.
For the past two months the four of us with the help of a committee of volunteers from our church have been networking with various pharmaceutical companies in hopes to acquire the desired medical resources for this excursion into the heart of Northern Uganda. The amount of favour we have found with these companies has been almost hard to comprehend as a human being. Pharmaceutical companies that have surplus that for various reasons they aren't able to sell or distribute here, are most willing to pass items on to us for the purpose of helping those in need. We are extrememly grateful and confident that God has prepared this mission on HIs terms and for His Glory. He is capable to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine... and He has!
The dream is to provide a sustainable clinic that would be managed by trained locals and funded and resourced by people such as you and I to provide ongoing care for the poor and most vulnerable of the area. We believe that this is just the start of many trips and an opportunity for many people to become involved in both the going and the sending process. We hope to encourage transformation and sustainability in this community.
I am still an emissary of Emmanuel International and have an ongoing account with them for fund raising and accountablility. They are delighted to also have the support of Bayview Glen Church through Ken, May and Joyce who will be the initial team to start the medical ball rolling. (The soccer ball is also continuing to roll and more gear will accompany me for my friends and teams there). Terry is working on the ground to prepare for our arrival and God is taking care of the details. We certainly need prayer regarding bringing our load through customs and for proper authorization for practicing medicine in the north without repercussion. Any money that we are able to raise above our base expenses will purchase hygiene and medical supplies in Kampala that will hopefully be more then sufficient for the immediate mission and will provide a supply/resource centre for future care. There is no frivilous use of donations for our personal needs and when I personally travel outside of Uganda I use my own resources and not money from Emmanuel or Bayview Glen church. We seek to be accountable in all areas and are grateful for all your giving and prayers. We are simply mobilizing an army of caring people to make a difference in this region that God has called us to. Thank you for standing with me in prayer and support throughout this journey. I really can't thank you enough.
I love you all,