Tuesday, January 21, 2014

So many needs.....!!!

Yesterday and today, I visited two very interesting places.

Yesterday, I visited Bududa, a rural community where Compassion International has a children's project. Apparently there are about 230 children enrolled in the program. The reason for the visit is that our family supports a Compassion Child....we have been doing this for some time and this is my third visit to our dear girl. It was lovely to see how she has grown and how she is maturing as a young woman. It is amazing how she has overcome and is overcoming so many challenges.

Today, I visited a Nutrition Program at the Mbale Regional Hospital. This program has been on my radar screen for some years. I had wanted to visit to see if our support money was being used effectively. In this day and age of so many needs, I believe as Christians we must spend God's money wisely. I am pleased to say that the program is helping many mothers and children is some of the most dire circumstances. How can we preach to hungry bellies? How can we ignore the second to last born that is most vulnerable to malnutrition as the mother pushes them off the breast? What I saw today, broke my heart!! I have been visiting Africa for ten years now and have seen many sad sights.
Slow cooker, Ugandan style!
Perhaps because I like to eat, this touched close to home? Perhaps since we have so much available in the USA, it struck a guilty cord? Perhaps!? What struck me today is that these children have come from families who are within reach of bananas, mangoes, cabbages etc, yet due to family strife, ignorance and multiple health factors (TB, AIDS, malaria etc) they are denied food and neglected.

It was encouraging to see the mothers being taught by the nursing students.
It was encouraging to hear the nurses reports of families who are helped.
It was encouraging to walk in the garden at the project and see the bounty that is available for those who are willing to put in a little sweat equity.
We watched a mother prepare a nutritious meal for the family using potatoes, g-nuts (peanuts), dried fish powder, salt.....It was interesting as the technique is like our slow cooker method. The water, potatoes etc were measured into a single pot which was covered with a lid then banana leaves. This pot was then placed in a bigger pot with water. More banana leaves were tucked around the pot with the food in it. The inner pot with the ingredients was then left to steam for some time while the mother attended to the garden, laundry or other work. The mothers liked the idea of cooking like this as it freed then from stirring and attending a pot over a hot fire. It is sort of like a woman here who puts on her slow cooker before heading out for work or errands for the day.

Both of these visits reminded me of:

Red Sea Rule #5

Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work.

In each of these places, in each of these human lives, there were huge challenges. For my Compassion child, she has financial, economic and social challenges coming from a remote village in the mountains. Sponsorship allows her to go to school and receive some practical training at the project. For these mothers and malnourished children, their challenges are immediate, life threatening and enduring except for intervention.

In each situation, the problems are difficult, complicated and messy!

It will be many days, weeks, months and even years before positive results are seen. So we must stay calm, confident in what we have been called to support, we must do our part trusting the LORD's mercy and grace......and give God time to work!

Yes, there is progress......but there is still much to be done. We must be patient to let the LORD transform individual, families, communities, and nations. It all begins with trusting God to work...beginning with me.....and you.

So many needs......nutrition and love!

Sweet reunion with my dear girl and family that I sponsor!

She is growing into a beautiful young woman who loves the LORD. She is using her gifts to lead others to love and praise God!

Nutrition Center visit with Grace (from CURE) next to me,  followed by Janet and Amina, the nurses who run the feeding program

Dear little one who has edema from malnutrition. The poor little one could hardly walk as his feet and legs had edema too!

The faces of HIV, TB and malnutrition....pitiful!!

This twelve year old girl has never been to school, she has been orphaned and her grandmother has not been able to provide adequate nutrition....see the edema again....this is the face of malnutrition......her poor feet were also swollen.

Grace was encouraging the young mother and little child in the program.

My face is smiling because these dear ones were in my arms and I felt that at least I could hold them for a minute while I was there.....will pray for them for a long time. The girl with the dark dress is called Florence....she wants to be a nurse. She is absolutely precious!! I wanted to bring her home with me!

Mama counting potatoes for the 'Slow cooker' meal

No comments:

Post a Comment