Monday, February 6, 2017


Restoration Gateway, UGANDA
¨Peee-rrruuu!¨ Shout the Ugandan orphans as we pass by.

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¨SIdjfk dkjlie, woilet¨ says the Ugandan child to me. ¨What are you saying?¨ because it sounds like made up words and not the Loa that the people speak. ¨I am speaking in Spanish,¨ he proudly informs me.

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¨It´s ours! It´s ours!¨ shout the kids as the competitively play Ultimate frisbee without my help 15 minutes after learning the game.

And every afternoon at 4:30pm as a passed by they´d ask me, ¨Will we play Frisbee today?¨

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¨David plays soccer well!¨ Pious the coach and PE teacher of the orphans informed me.

¨David says your boys play well! They´re fast! And when they have a fault commited against them they don´t throw themselves down on the ground dramatically! And when they commit a fault the admit it!¨ I responded.

¨That´s because it they do I suspend them from playing soccer for several days¨ smiles Pious.

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¨Let´s read!¨ plead the orphans of the home where we ate lunch during our time in Uganda.

So I´d read book after book from the orphanage library.

¨Another, another, another.¨ they pleaded.

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¨Polycarp, you just have to convert one of your villages into a city and you win,¨ I informed one of the social workers at the orphanage as we played Settlers of Catan one night.

¨No, more roads, more roads, more roads!¨ he insisted, even though he already had the two extra points for longest road.

¨10 points,¨anounced David a little while later, while Polycarp continued building more roads. ¨I win!¨

¨Rematch tomorrow night!¨ announces Polycarp.

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¨When are you coming to work with us?¨ Morris, the clinical officer ( like a PA) who worked in the RG clinic, asked me. We were trying to see everything and meet everyone, and since David couldn´t communicate, we were together trying to divide up our time trying to abord and learn as much as we could in such a short time.

¨I´d like to work with you tomorrow and learn from you¨ I informed Morris, knowing the they treat alot of malaria, which I have little experience of treating.

¨Learn from me!...I want to learn from you!¨ he responded, with an eagerness to learn.

But I won....the next day he explained to me for an hour clinic presentation and treatment of malaria, as well as other commonly seen enfermadies in Uganda.

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Restoration Gateway is a project that was started about 10 years ago by Dr. Tim McCall (American family practicioner) and his wife Janice McCall (a teacher). They started by opening an orphanage for children who were left without families by the Ugandan civil war and by AIDS. The orphanage currently has 144 children. They are divided up in to ¨houses¨. Each house has house mom, eight orphans, and upto one of her own children. THey now have a school that currently goes until 9th grade, with plans to open one more grade each year.

Restoration Gateway has a clinic, and this year the plan is to open their new hospital. The government hospitals in Uganda are ¨free¨, but though you´ll be admitted into the hospital, the doctor comes once a week. If you want the doctor to recomend treatment you have to pay him something. Any medicines he recomends you also pay for. For the poor, there is no hope. Trying to meet this dire need is the mission of the hospital, especially in the poorer northern part of Uganda.

During our stay in Uganda we had a chance to get to know this country and some of its people. The vision of the mission is to glorify God and help Uganda help itself. Almost all Ugandans will claim to believe in God. But the majority don´t know the Abundant Life that Jesus promised us. They hear messages of giving everything you have to pastors so that the blessings of God will fall down on you. But they haven´t heard of the God who hears the faintest cry of their hearts and longs to have a personal relationship with them.

At RG they have a church where they worship together every morning and on Sundays. Each house has a time in the night for devotions. We attended the nightly devotion of our lunch house. They sang several songs and closed with a Ugandan prayer. The typical prayer here is similar to how the older women in Curahuasi pray: all at the same time repeating words to God. But with all we have seen and observed, David and I feel one of Ugandan´s greatest needs is discipleship.


Mukinge Hospital, ZAMBIA
¨What time are you leaving Monday?¨ Claire the director of the missionary elementary school asked us at the Friday night missionary potluck.

¨Midday, I think,¨I responded. ¨Why?¨

¨There´s a little boy in the second grade class that really wanted to meet David.¨Claire responded. David had visited several classes Thursday and Friday, but in that he doesn´t enjoy teaching the lower grades as much, he didn´t visit their classes. ¨Well David must have really impressed him when he shook his hand because the little boy kept asking when the Mazungu (foreigner) was going to visit his class. He was told by his teacher if he worked hard the Mazungu would visit. So he worked hard all day but you never came by.¨

So David went by Monday morning and met his class. All the kids started talking and talking and talking to him. ¨I don´t speak English.¨ informed David, but it didn´t make any difference. The older students understood, but those of 2nd grade somehow didn´t understand this idea, so kept right on talking.

His first day visiting, David entered a class and pointed on the map were he was from. Zoomt....all the kids surrounded David to see. The kids had never met anyone from South America, so naturally all thought he was from China.

In another class David taught the kids to sing ¨Hallalu Hallalu praise ye the Lord¨ in Spanish. As they left for the day all of them left still singing the song.

I was surprised by the children´s great need for attention. Uganda I saw it too, but that seemed more obvious because of the lack of father figures in the orphanage. But in Zambia the school was mostly the children of middle class buisness people. Just resently the school has created a scholarship program so that the poor can study there too. When I later asked why the kids were so excited to see David, Claire explained the culture. While you´re still nursing the parents dote on you. But as soon as you are weaned, then they no longer have time. ¨Leave me alone, I´m busy¨ is the attitude.

Then David when to watch 6th grade P.E. The teacher greeted DAvid and then left. David waited for a while but the teacher never came back, so David started to teach. He taught them a game where you say a country and throw up a ball. Without help he was able to explain the directions in English (I was at the hospital). When each child was choosing their country one girl said, ¨America¨. David wasn´t able to explain to her that that was continent and not a country (in the Peruvian system North, South, and Central America for one continent, not two like in the UsA system). ¨No.¨he said. ¨Hollywood¨ she said. ¨no...¿Uganda?¨He suggested. ¨Uganda!¨she finally choose.

As we said goodbye to all the missionaries on the airstrip I asked Claire if the little boy in the second grade was happy. Discouraged Claire replied, ¨Sometimes you can´t make anyone happy. Now he want´s David to teach his P.E. class too!¨

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I was in the ER of Mukinge hospital with one of the new Via Christi International Fellows (a year long program after they´d completed a family medicine residency), who had arrived at the hospital only 2.5 weeks earlier. A couple in the 50´s entered with a baby who was breathing fast and deeply and looked bad.

Through a translator we learned Jenifer, the baby, was maybe 9 months of age. Her mother had died of unknown causes, and these were her grandparents. Jennifer had been ill for three days with vomiting, diarrhea and fever. After struggling to get a line we placed an interoseos line. Malaria test was negative. Conjuntiva was pale. Even if we could have drawn blood complete blood counts were sent to town once a day in the morning and the results came back the next day because the machine at the hospital was currently broken.

We carried the child to the sick pediatric ward (they also have a very full Pediatric II ward that is dedicated to children with malnutrition). Their the nursing student (there´s about 7 for every nurse because of the nursing school there and the governments new mandates that forced the program to accept twice as many students) tried to take the cap of the IO (interoseous) line to connect it to the fluid but end up pulling the whole thing out of the bone. Calmly the Fellow place the IO again, but with time the liquid started passing to the tissue and not into the bone. Dr. Darren, the longterm FP there, took the baby to the OR and cut the skin to a vein in the leg where the IV was place. Blood was taken and blood and fluids and antibiotics and antimalaria medicine where passed (the babies blood glucose was 17, very low, when she arrived which is typical of malaria, even though the test was negative). The next morning at 9:30 am Jennifer went to be with the Lord.

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Mukingi Hospital in Zambia was started in the the 1950´s. Despite its longevity many basic resources are lacking. This hospital is different from Diospi and Uganda. At Diospi I feel like the lab and imaging we have access to is better and even in a rural hospital in the USA. But to be sustainable there´s a little cost. There are donations for the poorest patients, but sometimes its hard to identify them. The rich put of a fight demanding a discount. The poor just disappear without doing any of their exams or buying their treatment. To reach the poorest of the poor Mukingi Hospital receives government support and one charges them for their hospital record the first time. AFter that all treatment and hopsitalization and test is free.

The good thing is they can treat the poorest people. The bad thing is I feel the level of care they can offer is very limited. No Heparin for a patient with a DVT/PE. No CBC for a very sick patient. No CT scan for a 2 year old with seizures and focal neurological findings over the last 4 months.

With the nursing school and hospital staff there is lots of need for discipleship as observed by us and expressed by the missionaries here. The elementary school still is refusing to accept government support so that they can choose good Christian teachers, so always operate on a strained budget. The ¨mission secondary girls boarding school¨is no government support but serves 900 girls who suffer alot of emotional need and psychological stress, and also direly needs more discipleship/mentor programs.

The majority of the missionaries, if not all are overworked. Looking at Mukingi we hear the words of Jesus, the fields are ripe for the harvest but the workers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more workers.

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