Uganda Update #2

Greetings everyone,

Wednesday…Another special day for us in Uganda.  We started out at New Creation Children’s School and enjoyed a wonderful time as they performed songs, poetry, dancing and worship. These kids are so amazing with their gratefulness for the opportunity to go to school, get a meal and to be loved. Without this opportunity, there would be little hope for them or for a future.
One of the boys, 15 year old Gerald, shared how grateful he is to have found God and been given a chance at the school. His mother has died and he has no father and his aunt left him and moved away.  He actually is living in a tiny room at the school and helps with cleaning to earn enough money for meals on the weekend.  He gets meals at the school during the week.  It’s hard to imagine so many kids who have no one and nothing but for the grace of God and generosity of ministries such as ours.  And we realize that this little corner of the world represents such a small fraction of those in such desperate need in our world!
Friday…..Stephanie and I have been talking and reflecting more and more about all that we are seeing.  Having been here multiple times now, the situations with which we deal, the horrendous plight of all these people….it’s very difficult to reconcile ‘them’ versus ‘us’.  I know God says, “The poor will always be with us,” but the disparity is profound.
In a morning devotion, one of our team members shared observations from The Global Orphan Report which encouraged us that it’s not to be about the ‘outcome’ so much as the process.  The author is a Christian and his point is that each touch or connection we make has the power to multiply in mighty ways through the power of Jesus Christ as it is actually His touch, His power, and in His name. “God has something bigger in mind in the rich-poor exchange than the outcome of physical rescue.  It’s the process of life change! Transformation”
And that is what we pray!  Transformation of hearts and minds as we seek to meet the immediate needs for medical care and the most basic human needs.  We can’t ‘fix’ everything but we can make a difference.
A couple of those ‘differences’….15 year old, Joseph, one of the young men at the school who is being sponsored by Stephanie’s women’s Bible study group. His humble, almost tearful, gratefulness for the opportunity that has been given to him was beyond touching.  He clutched the letters and pictures that Stephanie had brought for him as if they were a most valuable treasure…because they were!
And George, the young boy we wrote of in the first update. We did learn that his desperate condition was not a result of poisoning but, none the less, desperate.  His chest had literally been cut open at a village hospital because of  typhoid. Totally NOT the right procedure but it was done and we ‘found’ him when we visited Mulago Hospital.  We know God brought him to our attention because he was in such desperate need and would not have been treated without an advocate.  The conditions in the hospitals, even the ‘better” ones are abysmal. Families are responsible to bring blankets, food, whatever is needed for their loved one.  And in George’s case, his parents are still not here as they are unable to get here from the village and were burying another son.   And even the most basic procedures are not followed. And the lack of skilled help and attention is astounding!  So God showed us him….and that became our mission field for both his physical needs and his spiritual need for Jesus.
The good news is that he had a successful surgery yesterday. Now we pray for his recovery and that journey has just begun.  His little body is so frail, looking like the pictures you see of African children in a famine,
But God had us there, “for such a time as this,” that we could intervene on his behalf.  And so we pray that this will have a ripple effect to affect to touch the many who have seen Jesus through us.  In particular, 20 somethings, Tyler and Kelsey, have literally spent countless hours at George’s side and that has impacted him and all those watching as Jesus has been proclaimed.
Soon we leave for the Home for the Elderly then we will visit the Restore Int’l Home which is rescuing young girls from the streets and prostitution.  This is a ministry that Horizon, our church, supports which we visited last year shortly after it had opened.
Thank you, again, for your thoughts and prayers.  Know that they are felt and deeply appreciated.
Love and blessings,
Jan and Stephanie
Stephanie Malme
2nd Grade Teacher
(858) 756 • 5599

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