It is Saturday night here in Mbale, all of us are in bed by now…or pretty close to getting there. We leave first thing in the morning for Mbarara. We’ve had to pack just necessary items into duffel bags now and leave our luggage behind at CURE. Our bus leaves at 8 am.
I’m just going to share my heart tonight and see what comes out. I hope to run into the hospital to get Internet service for one minute to post this.
Let me catch you up with Friday…we spent a large amount of time packing the bus with supplies for Mbarara. We had time to minister to mammas and babies here too. It seems that we were all separate, but always ministering in some way.
As soon as I got there, I went with Benita and her mamma to be discharged. She is in the previous post, pictured. When I walked in the baby ward, I went to her bed and found little Benita laying on her side. She was sleeping, and straight as a board. Mamma was nowhere to be found. I sat on the bed and began to rub her legs. A doctor came over to me and shook my hand…..
“Praise the Lord!” he said.
“Yes!” I replied.
“No, in our culture when you greet a Christian you say ‘Praise the Lord!’ now, you try it!”
I took his hand, “Praise the Lord!” I smiled.
“What do you do in your country?” he asked….
We just shake hands and say, “hello.”
Talk about a sad moment…I was convicted that I don’t celebrate and greet the presence of another believer like that.
So, I say to all of you back home reading, “Praise the Lord!”
Mamma came into the room and saw me with Benita. She smiled so big! She took my hand and put her head on my shoulder. I love her. She loves me. And we can’t understand what the other says…..she scooped sleeping Benita up and put her in my arms.
Mamma smiled bigger.
I took her to be discharged and the doctor gave her medicines for her and the baby. He told me that they treat all of the babies for worms. My stomach turned.
We then went to physical therapy so that mamma could learn to help Benita. The therapist laid Benita on the bed and began to bend her stiff legs. Benita began to cry…
And so did I.
The therapist told me that Benita has now developed cerebral palsy because of the damage to her brain.
I have hope for Benita. I held her head up as the therapist sat her on a chair. Mamma watched intently for how to help Benita.
And now it was time to go. I had packed a shirt and skirt to give away, so I gave it to her. Along with a baby blanket someone sent with me. She was so happy.
I walked to to the gate to get a ride home. The guard helped her and I turned her towards me.
In front of me stood a woman who came to CURE with no hope. She was leaving with the light of Jesus in her eyes…and a smile. She has hope now.
“Amari!” I said. I took her hand and gave her a white bracelet that I always wear. I put it on her wrist, pulled the cords to tighten it, and hugged her.
“Amari,” I said again.
“Amari,” she smiled big.
I turned around and walked the pathway back to CURE. I was so overcome with tears. I couldn’t even see to walk….nor could I turn around and look back at my new friend.
I will see her again.
Let’s move on…. Our team has learned a song and African dance to sing to the people of Mbarara. (I’m laughing now). Let’s just say….white girls can’t dance. :). The song however is really beautiful….it is a praise to our King.
You know what I love so much about CURE Uganda? No matter where I go throughout this facility…someone is always singing a praise. It could be a doctor, nurse, tech, cook, cleaner or office staff…..praise, praise, praise never ends! In fact, it’s so different here, they don’t even care how you sound. It’s all beautiful to Him. When we finished practicing our messages the other day, Miriam looked at the four of us and told us to sing our own altar calls. As it turns out, Sarah Rose, a beautiful singer and staff member here, will be singing during the altar calls. I love the way they view worship here….its like He does!
So today…Saturday…..we hiked the most beautiful place in the whole world. Sipi Falls.
We left out early this morning and met Joel, our guide at the Sipi Falls Resort. This was a tough hike. Many of us slipped as it was very muddy. At one point we were behind the falls under the roar of the water. I kept hearing, “even the mountains cry out….”
We were experiencing God’s beautiful creation.
Many people still live on the mountain. They would come out of their huts and wave at us. The children had tattered clothes on….sometimes just a shirt.
This was a great day for us. We needed the peace it brought.
This is our last night at wash and wills. We eat dinner every night across the street.
We have two girls celebrating birthdays this week…Meagan and Ashley M. I told the other girls that I’d like to do my family’s birthday tradition and share with the girls things that we love about them. We would share the number of things to equal their age. We bought them gifts at Sipi Falls. I got two extra banana cakes that we had with tea today and cut them into tiny pieces. FYI there aren’t many sweets out here.
We surprised the girls with our words at dinner. They were very touched.
Meagan cried and said, “y’all don’t even know me and you say these things!”
Ashley teared up too.
Yet, I think I cried the hardest as I shared with Ashley how much it meant to me for her to sit down next to me the first time I met Benita. I was crying as I held her and kept rocking back and forth, at one point Ashley was rocking too and crying with me, without a baby. She kept fixing the baby’s sheet as she had eliminated herself on me. Ashley is a rock. I’ll never forget her saying it was ok. I shared with Ashley about how I had seen this moment of looking this child in it’s eyes, way before I had gotten to Uganda. God put her their that day to lift up my arms, like Moses. I shared that with her.
We all shared with Meagan about how much joy she brings. I love her because she is just real. She doesn’t pretend to be someone shes not. I have borrowed everything from her…she always puts others first.
We had beautiful things to share with both of them….because we’ve seen their hearts.
“We miss you” to our family and friends. I’d say we all have a touch of homesickness, but right now we lean on each other…and that’s okay…because not only did God call each one of us, He formed a team. And our team is strong and knows how to lean. Tonight we got even closer.
I know that my life has been forever changed here in Uganda. When the Lord called me to “the darkest place in the world”, I now know what He meant. I cannot express enough to you how much it means to get a comment from home. At times we are emotionally drained….your comments make us laugh, cry….and sometimes let us feel your embrace. We couldn’t be here without your support of prayer. Mr. Knight, thank you for the reminder to “carry His name”. I. Often hear Christy Nockels sing that in my head and it puts my eyes back where they belong….on obedience and love for my King. I can feel the enemy’s attacks at time, and I pray my way through it. I keep hearing Jenn Johnson sing “forever and a day” from Bethel Live. One part of the song says, “give me visions to see things like you do….and I will love you all my days….forever and a day”. I’d give anything right now to be able to hear that.
I am very tired…I type these at night as I lay under the mosquito net in the dark. I know how much this means to everyone back home, and it’s my honor to do this. We miss you all!
I shake your hand and say, “Praise the Lord!”
Now you say it…..