Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From Death to New Life

My friend Pasca is such a blessing to me.  She loves the Word of God, but her job has prevented her from studying with me.  I visited her at work, but she worked 7 days a week, with no time off, and no time for Bible study.

Last month, the company she worked for shut down, and now she doesn’t have a job, BUT she has time to study the Word of God with me.  When we started studying, she was 34 weeks pregnant, so I knew my time was limited before the baby came.

These are some pictures of her a couple of weeks ago.  One of them is with the Maama Kit I gave her plus some feminine items.  She was so excited to pose for the pictures.

Let me back up and tell you a story about Pasca. 

On November 13, 2011, when she was three months pregnant, she was struck by lightning, along with 5 other people while they were attending a burial.

In her pain, she felt herself rise above her body.  She could see everyone below, including her body.  She called out to Jesus, and the next thing she knew she was being taken to the hospital.  She had a black mark down her back where the lightning had left its mark, but when she got to the hospital, it was gone.

The doctors said she was fine, and they discharged her the next day.  I don’t know if she died when that lightning struck, but I do know it is a miracle of God that she is okay.  One of the 6 people did die.

Back to the present, she and I have been going through the book of Hebrews.  We only had three chapters left, and I was going for chapter 11 last Saturday, but when I reached her house, some man told me she was at the hospital in labor.

Well, the truth was that she started laboring on Thursday, but she waited until Saturday morning to go to the hospital.  When I found out, I went immediately to the labor and delivery ward to see her.

There are about 15 curtains in the room, and there were women behind everyone of them laboring.  Pasca was among the 7 on the floor still laboring.  She got up off the cement to come over to me, where I was standing with all the aunties, sisters, and grandmothers.  She said, “I think I’ll be done by tonight.” 

Who talks like that when they are in labor?  

Funny lady.

She also told me that five minutes after I left the labor and delivery ward, instead of 7 women on the floor, there were at least 40.

(That leads me to a side note and a truth one of the university boys who is here now researched and shared with me.  Uganda is either second or third in the world in babies born per capita.)

Pasca sort of verified it when she said that over the time that she spent at the hospital that weekend, over 60 babies were born, with one fatality.

On Monday (her 5th day of labor), Pasca was STILL at the hospital.  She reached 6cm and never went any farther, so they discharged her saying the babies being born were probably causing her stress, and she should go home and finish labor.

After being discharged, she sat outside the hospital “taking” tea, and pains started becoming worse than ever.  She went to talk to the nurse.  She was checked, and it seems she was back down to 4cm.  She asked the doctor to operate, sensing something was wrong. 

The doctor said he would be back in one hour to operate, but her never showed his face again.

They re-admitted her, and she finally climbed to 8cm around 6 pm.  At 8pm, the baby was coming. The midwife helping her had already clocked out of work, but was kind enough to stay with her…thankfully.  The baby couldn’t come out because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck three times, and there was no give.  She kept being pulled back in because the cord was too short.

The midwife took both hands, grabbed the head, and unwrapped the cord and pulled her baby girl out! 

Pasca finished the night there, came home at 11am on Tues, and when I walked to her house 5 hours later, I walked up to her outside, bent over, washing clothes!!

She was so joyous (as always), and told me what a blessing the Maama Kit had been.  Two women came to the hospital ready to deliver and since they didn’t have gloves, the nurses wouldn’t help them.  Since Pasca had the three gloves from the kit, she was glad to offer some of the other gloves her previous employer had given her. 

She also said babies were coming so fast all weekend, and there were only 2 nurses on duty.  Once, when three ladies started delivering at the same time, they could only help two, and the third had to deliver on the floor with relatives assisting.  And I’m sure that’s not the only time a relative had to assist during the weekend (or at any other time of the year)!

Meet Shawna Faith and her mother!

 And here are all the neighbors (along with two of Pasca's three sons) who were so excited about the new baby, they stayed inside with us the whole time we talked.

Thanks, Jesus, for this LIFE story.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More God stories

Another great story is what God is doing in the lives of some women I have met here.

I started meeting with Pasca at the beginning of June, and on our third meeting, she had invited two other women who live near here to join us.

I was also meeting with another lady introduced to me by a Fusion girl.  Her name was Betty.  At our second meeting, she had invited a relative named Stella.  Stella really said she wanted some change in her life, but she seemed detached during the whole study.

That Sunday, Betty and I walked to Stella’s house, and I shared the wonderful story about a Savior who came to love her and save her.  She accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior that day, June 3rd!

Betty and I meet about three times a week, and every time we meet, Susan, her best friend, comes to.  She is a believer, and they are both growing in the Lord.

Susan and Betty

This last Sunday when I went back to Stella’s house to give her a Bible, a journal, a pen, and to begin a study with her of First John, Susan joined us and Stellas’ husband also sat in on our Bible study.

I also took Betty with me to Pasca’s to meet the new baby this week, and it turns out that Betty and Pasca had met once before, and they were glad to meet again and find out that they both loved Jesus!

Pasca and Betty

The Lord is really giving me some amazing opportunities, and it all comes at the hands of God and in His timing.

I have time to join God where He is working because of two things.  One, is that I have not been doing any regular language lessons, and two, is on a sadder note.  My great friend Florence and I have not been to the prison since the Wednesday before Easter.

Florence never healed properly from her surgery that she had in December.  And because of that, she ran into a lot of complications.  Over the last two and a half months, she has spent about one and a half of those in Kampala, under a doctor’s care.  Without a translator that I trust to translate the Word of God accurately, I’ve not been able to go.

I know the Anglican and the Catholic church both send teachers on two other days, so I have hope that the ladies are still hearing Truth.

I think God had me there for a season, and I still might return some day, but right now, I am so thankful for the other opportunities He’s given me!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

God is doing amazing things!

There was a baptism last week for three guys.  Our pastor at Calvary Church baptized them all at the local swimming pool.  It was an amazing time, and one of the men who works at the pool asked lots of questions and wanted more information on Jesus after that.  We also took our two guards, a friend of the two interns that are here, and a national friend of mine with us so they could see a baptism for the first time.  They were all very interested and had lots of questions.

 One of the guys, Sunday, was led to the Lord by a Fusion team member,

Sunday and his mother Gloria

Sunday and Pastor David

and the other two realized they needed to be baptized after spending time with Will and Tyler and hearing truth.  Will and Tyler are two university students who are here with us now from Mississippi.

Richard, they met randomly on the golf course one day,

and Dennis, who has been in a story group with our other team members....they met him on our front porch, but didn’t spend any time talking to him.  BUT he went to their house a few days later and met them there. 

Dennis, Will, Sunday, Pastor David, Richard, and Tyler

Doug explaining things to our two guards, Jeremiah and Patrick

All three men have been meeting regularly with Will and Tyler and learning stories.  Sunday is talking to his brother now, who does not know the Lord, and he also invited another guy, John, to Bible study one day when Will and Tyler were coming.  After hearing the story of the Prodigal Son and The Four Soils, John accepted Christ, too!!

After three weeks of being here, Will and Tyler planned a dinner for their friends.  They invited the three men they’ve been spending time with plus a few extras.  It was a great “meeting” set up, but no one knew.

After dinner, Tyler talked to them about how they would start a meeting, if this was one, and then he asked Richard to share a story, who did so flawlessly.

They then went through SPEAK with the story, and everyone participated.  (Is there a SIN in the story?  Are there any PROMISES? Is there an EXAMPLE to follow?  How
can I APPLY this to my life?  Is there any KNOWLEDGE about God I can learn?)

They then asked Dennis to tell a story, and went through the same process.  Everyone did even better participating the second time.

When asked what the “Church” was, Dennis answered, “We are.  We are the Church right here.”

The "church" after their dinner at Tyler and Will's

Doug has two more students who have overcome a lot of obstacles with family trying to get permission to be baptized, and when school is out, these two young men will be baptized as well.  In the meantime, he spends time sharing with the baseball team and several men around town.

Coach Taylor :)

I love seeing God work! He gets all the glory!

NOTE:  For Tyler's version of all of this (and back story and pictures), you can go to this blog.
or this blog

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Karis "makes" 8

Our sweet Karis "made" 8 this month.  (That's how they say it here.)

Breakfast Muffin

All three of them were excited about her LPS gift.  They ran off to play together before we started school

Both girls enjoying new swim suits that arrived in the mail the day before her birthday!

Tyler and Will (two university students who are interns with Pinelake Church in Mississippi) went to town and bought hats and blowers to surprise the kids.

To be honest, they did more than me :) 

I just made a cake (but I let Karis decorate it).

My computer died (probably a "forever" death) about 10 minutes ago, and I can't get on to upload the picture of the cake, but thanks Doug, for letting me use your computer, even though you aren't home and don't know it yet :)

She's getting taller every day!

By the date on the picture below, this was one day before her first birthday back in Mississippi.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Service from the heart

While we were still in Kampala at a friend's house, Karis woke up early the morning that Doug and Kylie went to the airport to pick up our two new visitors.  She decided to fix breakfast for everyone.

It was so precious that I wanted to share it with you.

She "reserved" the table for us.

 Set everything up beautifully.

The menu was my favorite!  She took orders, and went to make toast if you wanted, and no one was allowed in the kitchen.  She even washed all the dishes afterward.

Then she wanted me to pose with her creation.



Not to be outdone, when Caleb woke up and saw the accolades that Karis was getting from me, he decided to clean the room where they were all sleeping, so I took a picture of his efforts as well.