Matthew 28:19-20
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have coommanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Luke 9:23
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

22 August 2010

While it has been 5 months today since I left my beloved Tunnel Hill and my friends and family back home. I have truly seen God move in some Amazing ways here and HE has taught me so much in these 5 months.

I got up and went to church and the sermon was on “Not judging and doing unto others how you would have them do unto you." It was also on A.S.K. Ask, Seek, Knock!!!!!!  Then the children presented a program of what they have been learning in Children’s church.

We all went to eat at Ling Lings for lunch and I finally got home just before 4. I worked some things on the computer and then went out to see my neighbor. She thanked me again and asked me to stay and wait on Stephanie to come home so she could see her shoes. She told me she does not know what she will do when I am gone.

Then I went in and was washing up the dishes while my roommate cooked. Just as I went to turn the water off the pipe under our sink burst and water was everywhere. She called her aunt who sent a guy out time he got there I had already empty our large basin twice and was about to have to empty it again. He cut the water off and said he would have to come back tomorrow to fix it.

So needless to say it was an other very long day. We did not eat until after 9 and now it is 11:35p.m. and I am still wide awake.

21 August 2010

I got up and went to babies home and did some things until 1:45pm then it was time. It was time for me to go and get Sophia and Stephanie to go buy school shoes. I got home to find Lois was not ready yet and that Stephanie was still in the village with her aunt and not going to get to go.

So at around 3 we left for town the 3 of us on a boda me sitting behind the driver holding Sophia side saddle and Lois side saddle beside me. Who would ever thought that you can get 3 adults and a child on one motorcycle all with no helmets. We got to the end of town to the nice shoe store. Only to find out that the shoes that Lois really wanted for girls where twice as expensive as she thought they would be.

They were 40,000 shillings ($20) a pair instead of the 20,000 ($10) she thought they would be (she was going to pay 20,000 on them and I was going to pay 20,000) so she told the man they were too much and we walked out. We went to another shoe store to look but they had none. She said we could go look in the market, but I knew she had her heart set on NEW SHOES for her girls not just a used pair from the market.

So I asked her if those were the ones she really wanted the girls to have for school and she said yes but they are to expensive. I told her if those where the ones I wanted go ahead and get them for them and she said if you will pay 60,000 I will added the other 20,000. So back to the store we went to by new shoes (because they have not had new shoes in over at least 2 years now).

Then I took the two of them to Ozzis to get a soda and cinnamon rolls. We ate them and Sophia was so happy and so was Lois. She thanked me over and over for what I did for her family. I told her I was thankful that GOD is the one who provided the money for me to it. I am very thankful for everything that GOD has done here and provided.

Then I left them and headed to Masese to see my “Sweet Betty” where I found her sitting on the porch when I arrived just like the big girl she should be. I just can not tell you what that means to me. I continue to PRAISE GOD for what HE is doing in her life.

I went inside to see Nabakoza who was wide awake and very alert. Such an amazing change from the other night. PRAISE GOD. Wednesday night/Thursday morning I truly did not think this child would make it. Then today she has been up and out of bed with help. I can’t stop PRAISING GOD for what HE is doing.

I said good bye to my Betty and walked to find a boda. I have really come along way in just 5 months. Here I was in this little town/village all by myself with all these little kids run out from huts, homes, school houses, fields and tiny stores to shake my hand and holler “Muzungu how are you”. And feeling like this is truly where GOD wants me to be. Then a boda pulled up and said I take you where? So off to my part of Jinja again.

I got back to town just about 6:30 and just stayed in town because we were having a surprise party for Pastor Terry at 7:00 at the Keep. So I stayed for the party and came home around 9:30 or so.

20 August 2010

It seems like I had just laid down when the alarm went off for me to get ready to leave for Kampala. At 7:15 a.m. the driver hooted to let me know that he was here so here I get into a car with another man I did not know. As I am getting into the car with this stranger I am thinking to myself I has taught as a very little girl to never get in the car with a stranger and here I am almost 39 years old in a 3 world country where I am on a daily bases either get in the car or on the back of a boda with a man I do not know. And I thank GOD that HE keeps me safe.

We pull in to Amy’s and wait and wait, then she finally come out next we go get Ashley and Dianna. Then by 7:45 a.m. we were off and on our way. It is about a two hour drive to Kampala. When we reached Kampala traffic was terrible (and got worse as the day went on). I just do not see how people drive here in Africa to me it is worse then driving in Atlanta. Everyone drives on each others bumper and bodas weaving in and out in such small spaces. I truly do not see how they do fit in between those cars the way they do.

Amy and I went to the local craft market while Ashley took Dianna to her doctor appointment. Then Amy and I went to find the lady who was making the uniforms and we drove and drove and drove to find her place. I took her the material but she did not have the other uniforms ready for us.

I sent Renee a text to see how everything was. She said that Nabakoza was up and eating some real food. PRAISE GOD. Here mom got there yesterday and they really did not think that she was going to make it but PRAISE GOD she has.

Then Amy and I went to find African fabric and our driver let us out in a place we did not know where we were really. Then this total stranger came out of no where to say Muzungu you come with me I have a shop and material. He took us down all these streets and back allies and I was very thankful that it was day light and that I was not alone. We when in and out of all these little shops but it as all more than it was in Jinja.

By now it is time to meet Ashley and go get some lunch. I picked up two Africa charms one to add to my PRAY CHARM BRACLET and one for my necklace. This way I can look at these when I am back in the states and remember my African babies the same way I look at my charms from home now and remember my babies from home.

Amy took me to a place you can actually buy things from America at but she also told me that I would have to really want it to pay the price they where asking. She said the carry things like stove top stuffing for 30,000 shillings which is $15 a box and things like that. I did not even look because it was all so high. I was just happy and thankful that I had people back home who loved me so much that they where willing to send me things from home. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

We then went to the lawyers office to turn stuff and ask him some questions then we went to do a little shopping in the BIG grocery stores before heading back to Jinja. We started back around 7:15 p.m. or so Dianna set in my lap in the front sit and slept. This something else I have had to get use to here kids not being in safety seats or seatbelts.

We were headed home and just through the forest then our drive said we have a problem. We ran out of gas, he left us on in the road and kept wanting to turn the emergency lights off. Until finally Amy asked him to get us out of the road. Then after a very long time in the dark on the side of the road a boda brought us gas.

It was now almost 10:00pm and we all went to Sandy’s who had use salad and hot dogs ready to eat. And the keys to the babies home van so I had to take Amy & her boys and Ashley & Dianna home then myself. It was almost midnight now. Another long day and very, very little sleep.

I am very thank for that GOD kept us safe and got us home in one piece.

18 August & 19 August 2010 (TWO DAYS IN ONE)

Today was defiantly on of those days that kept you on your toes and on your knees in prayer……. I got up and went to the office to get a few things done before our Wednesday bible study where I ended up with a sleeping baby boy on my chest the whole time (which you know I loved).

Then when we returned to the babies’ home to find Mama Catherine crying and several of the other mamas around her. I asked Souixanne what was wrong and she said that they had come last night to get her and tell her that her daughter-in-law had died. Now standing there with those mamas we found out just what happened, she died from complications from an illegal abortion and we also found out that her and Mama Catherine‘s son, David, had been living together for two year but where not married. She was 2 ½ months and she was just 18 (he‘s 21). She went to a midwife and got herbs to abort the baby but her body did not abort it like she wanted it to and she hemorrhaged to death. Then we also found out that they had just arrested the midwife for giving her the herbs and David because the girls family did not know where she was (she had been missing for 5 years but she had only been with David 2 of those years, don’t know where she was the first 3 years). He was arrested because he did not pay the bridal price for her hand in marriage to her father and she was still a minor.

I felt so sorry for Mama Catherine, her pour family has had a really bad year. You see just a year ago July 25 her youngest son (which she had adopted from Amani) was electrocuted by a neighbors fence which was hooked up to way to much voltage illegally. He and several of his cousins were play and decided to see who could race to this fence first and he touched before the rest of the boys did and he was killed instantly. And her family has been through several other things in the past few weeks.

While I was there with her I got a text from Renee to tell me that Betty weighed in a whopping 7 kilograms which is 15.3 pounds. She is 14 years old and weights least than 15 ½ pounds. Praise GOD she did not test positive for HIV. The other little girl (who I would find out later is actually 23 years old) weighed in at 17 kilograms so around 35 pounds.

Because of all of what was going on with Mama Catherine and the fact I could not get a hold of my interpreter I did not go out to teach my street boys. Instead I took plumpy nut and some special milk powder out to Masese to Renee. Who told me that the other little girl Nabakoza was not doing good at all. They got all the jiggers out of her feet, bottom and arms but they were really bad and really long because they had been there for along and there was a lot of infection. She also had some really bad bed sores (about the size of a silver ½ dollar coin). She has been throwing up and diarrhea all day. If she does not improve then they will have to take her to a hospital.

I visited with my “Sweet Betty” for a little while. She was so happy and she is doing so good here. Then I had to say good bye to go back to finish up some things at Amani. Mama Agatha, Mama Susan and Mama Lois where in the office when I returned and they asked about Betty and Nabakoza. I told them just how bad she was. I finished up some things and Amy called to see if I waned to meet her & the boys for coffee so I did that is where this day went into over drive.

Around 7.…..

My phone rang just as we had finished our coffee and it was Renee with this slight panic in her voice I hate to asked, are you doing anything (I could tell something was wrong) I said no, can you come ……. Nabakoza has taken a turn for the worse and we are heading to Kampala with her to the hospital. So can you come stay with Betty and the other kids……. I told her let me run grab a few thing from home and I would be on my way back out.

I have learned that that when there is a sick child you really don’t think about anything else especially about your own safety. Here it was dark and I am about to get on the back of a boda head 20 minutes or so out of town back to Masese. Remember it is not safe traveling in Africa after dark especially alone so what was I thinking……… that is just it I was not think about anything but that sick child who was very close to dying. So all the way there I prayed for safety and for this child and me as my boda driver darted in and out of traffic and in-between cars and down all these long very dark roads. .

I reached Renee’s but her and Shana had already left to go with this child. I walked into a room filled with several Ugandan ladies and several crying babies. I was the only Muzungu in the house or on this compound for that matter. I walked up to the kitchen counter and told the lady who was cooking I was Auntie Tracey and Renee asked me to come stay while she took the sick child to the hospital. She said I am Mama Joyce and you are most welcome.

Then for the next few hours I set there holding baby after baby. Especially one set of the two sets of twins that are there. At one point I had a twin in each arm and another child on my lap (the little girl on my lap was about 4 or 5). She kept getting closer and closer to me until she was leaning on me and pushing on my legs so I asked her if she was wanting on my lap and her shy little head barely gave a nod yes. So of course I picked her up. .

I also sit there and watched as Betty’s sister fed her and cared for her. Then she laid her on the couch while she helped washed the supper dishes. Betty laid there and smiled and laughed the whole time she was in the kitchen. Then she took her and bathed her and got her ready for bed.

Later Mama Joyce brought me another little girl and said will you hold until and I am done then she finished cleaning and I took this child to change and bathe. When I was done she took her from me and told me it was bad time and that I was to sleep up stairs in Renee’s room and that I would have Selah to take care of and her bottles were already up stairs (this is Renee’s little girl that she is adopting).

I went up stairs to shower and write awhile so here is where is day gets even longer……..

at around 11:44pm I growl in bed with Selah who about 1 year old. So course I can’t sleep I text Renee to see how Nabakoza is and she text back that so far they had not found a hospital to take her. I just dozed off not long before the little angel laying beside me wanted to be fed which was 2:05 am. So I got up got her bottle ready and feed her then of course that led to a dipper having to be changed. I got her back to sleep and had just laid back down myself to close my eyes when I heard the van horn blowing and the gate being opened. 3:15AM


I got up but pillows around my sleeping Selah and down stairs I went, Mama Joyce was in the kitchen and told me they are in there with her and pointed to the other bed room. There I found two very tired young ladies and I very sick and very, very lifeless little girl. I asked how she was. Renee said not good and she said that they when to 4 different hospitals and no one would take her. She said , one hospital never opened their gate to even let us drive in, another came out to the van, looked at her and said she is too bad you take her somewhere else. Then the next one they waited on the floor for over an hour for them to put in a drip and all they wanted to do was look at her and say they have never seen anything like this ……. an adult case of malnutrition ……. I looked at her and asked how old is she, she said she is 23 years of age and weighs all of 17 kilograms. One doctor all he could say was I wish I had my camera. Then when I asked them what were they going to do to help her they said she is to bad you just need to take her home.

Shana said the doctors and nurses really gave Nabakoza sister a hard time about her being in this shape (which they should have) but she would say she had CP their tone would change they would said I see why she was neglected that so okay. Like having a child with CP gives you the right to do this to a child. (I keep asking myself: How could anyone say they are a mother or family and do this to a child especially for 23 years? How has she survived like this for this long? It is truly by the GRACE OF GOD.)

They went to a forth hospital and they were the same as the last one they said, we can do a drip but that is all. So they just brought her home and made her comfortable, hung a drip (IV) & covered her with every blanket in the house because she was so, so cold. I truly did not think this child would survive and all I could do is pray that GOD’S WILL would be done.


All the babies were crying and Renee asked why. Mama Joyce told her the stove had ran out of propane gas so Renee called Katie to see if Shana could come get her tank. I rode with her to get it. We started out of Masese and looked down at the gas hand on the van which was on E and either one of us brought our wallets. I prayed that GOD would get us there and back safely on Empty. We arrived at Katie’s and blew for the night guard to let us in but he never came finally Katie came out with the tank and a key to open the gate. We never did find out where her night guard was. So here Shana and I go droving back to Masese and we arrived safely and we Praised GOD HE got us there and back on EMPTY.

We heat water for bottles and make hot water bottles to but around Nabakoza because her little body was so cold and could not heat itself. We also realized that vain the iv was in had stopped working so had to find another one. Shana had doze off for a little while so I give Nabakoza juice by a syringe while Renee searched for a vain. Put there was not one to be found I started praying and praying even harder then I had earlier for this frail little girl who was now so lifeless and final Renee found one that the needle would go into. So by now it was almost 6 in the morning. Renee told me to go back up stair to try to get a few hours sleep before I had to go to work at Amani.


I got back up stairs and had just laid down when the beautiful little girl beside me decided that it was time to eat again. So I fixed her second bottle fed her and changed her again and held her until she was back to sleep. I laid her back down about 7 and lay there myself listen to the sound of an African morning.


She was awake and so was I (oh that right I had never really been to sleep to start with).

So I changed my little stinker and took her down stairs to find her mom. Who was laying by Nabakoza (who PRAISE GOD had made it through the night). I then went to check on my “Sweet Betty” and head out to Amani.


I walked up the hill from Renee’s with tears in my eyes as I heard several children howler Muzungu, there is a Muzungu, then come running toward me so I waved and said good morning. I walked up the next hill and was started down it with all these people looking at these Muzungu walking through this village when finally a boda come towards me and said I take you? I take you where? I told him I needed to go back to Jinja and he you sit and we go. So here I was on yet the back of another boda head back to Jinja.

I arrived the babies home a little after 9. And started another long day. I was still praying for Nabakoza to make it and for Renee and Shana as they care for her. I asked several of my Ugandan mamas just how a family (a mother) could let a child live like that in those conditions for 23 years. None of them could make an sense of it or understand themselves. The other question I had was how could 4 hospitals turn down such a sick child and still call themselves a hospital. The Mamas all said they just did not want her to die at their hospital.

It was almost 12:30pm when I text Renee to see how they all were because I was not the only who did not sleep last night. She text back that Nabakoza had opened her eyes and they had bathed her. I was praising GOD for this because this was a great improvement over last night.

It was a bout 1:30pm or 2pm when Siouxanne and I went to get lunch. I still can’t make since of how things are her in Africa and how no one really seem to care or want to do anything about these kinds of situations. I know I can’t change the whole world but I can help one life at a time and try to make a difference where ever I am especial with GOD’S help.

It was about 3:30pm we stopped by the PO box and there was another one of those wonderful slip for me this one from Pat Helton and her ladies Sunday school class ( I had told Siouxanne I was looking for this one to come). I rushed to the back of the post office quickly signed in (this is something we now have to do since the bombing) and ran inside. Handed the gentleman my slip and said I am here to pick up a package for me. He went to the room to retrieve it and came back with this BIG postal bag I paid him my 3,000 shillings.

He said it is heavy and how will you take it, I told him I had a friend on the other side of the build with a car today so I would leave it with him and go ask her to drive around but about that time my phone rang and it was her, she asked where I was and I told her I was on the back side picking up a package and she said she would drive around. He then said that he had to have the mail bag back so I asked him would he carry it out for me so he did. He got to the car with it and cut the rope of the bag and dumped the package in the back seat.

It was then we knew why the box was in the bag to start with it was all busted open. So we took it back to the house instead of the babies home. Then I went back to the babies home and worked until about 5:15pm or so since I won’t be here tomorrow. I am going to Kampala with Amy & Ashley. We have to take some things to the lawyer, I have to take material to the lady who is making our uniforms and Dianna has a DR appt. I have not been to Kampala since before the bombing.

Then I walked home with Lois and thought I would come straight in, bathe, eat and go to bed. But instead I came and opened my wonderful package. I got markers, crayons, paper, construction paper, scissors, glue, candy, pencils, colored pencils, craft stuff and bible story books and even one with a DVD just to name part of it. Considering how bad the box was looked for the most part everything was in pretty good shape excite for one box for crayons, a box of chalk that was in a million pieces and several things where out of their boxes. Thank you so, so very much for all that you sent and for loving me so much.

Then I took a two of the coloring books, crayons, scissors, glue, and pencils out to my neighbor for her two little girls to start school with in a couple weeks. She was so thankful to get those things. I visited with them for a while and then she asked me what time can we go Saturday. I am taking her and her two girls to town to buy school shoes. I had promised the girls if they got good grades this last term of school that I would take them to get something in town and they mom asked me if I would get school shoes. I said that was fine. She told me the day grades came out the girls could not wait to get home to show me what they did. They told their mom we have to see Auntie Tracey, we have to show her, she promised she would take us to town if we did good. So they are so excited about what they have earned and so is their mom.

Then I came inside, fixed me something to eat, feed me and the guard and made him his tea. Then took my bath and instead of going to bed I started typing and now it is 12:26 a.m. and I am sill wide awake and have to get up at 6:40 am in the morning to be ready to leave for Kampala by 7:15 a.m. So I guess I had better go to bed and try to sleep. While I tried but still can’t sleep so here I still on the computer WIDE AWAKE at 2:37 a.m.

17 August

Today I got up early to get a couple things done in town before going to the baby home. Then I went to the office to work and around 12:00 I ran to town to get some cinnamon rolls for Mama Agatha, Mama Lois, & Mama Maggie. I got back just before one of the BIG RAINS for today.

Several of us got together to take Mexican pot luck over to Siouxanne’s so we could be with Ashley because not only would yesterday have been Peace’s 1st Birthday but it was a month today since she died. Then afterward we all went to “the Keep” for coffee.

Ashley told me she might my “Sweet Betty” and that she has fallen in love with her too. I told her that was not hard to do. She was telling me what Renee said about how different it was going to pick up Betty then it was Nabakoza. Betty’s family had just finished feeding and bathing her and had just dressed her in her “smart” clothes for Renee to pick her up and how different her sister Lidia was than Nabakoza sister Lidia was. Betty’s sister has help bathe her, feed her and even help with the dishes at Renee’s unlike Nabakoza sister she has asked to give her a bath and all she did was take her and sit her in a basin of water.

16 August

I did not go to bed until 3 then I got up real early because today is the day my “Sweet Betty “ is going to get some much needed care and feeding at “Serving His Children”. But today is also a sad day because it would have been “Baby Peace’s” 1st birthday today.

I went into town early to get internet renewed for another month and of course it has gone up we I first came to Uganda I could get unlimited Internet for 90,000 shillings a month ($45) but now you pay by the G it cost me 250,000 shillings for 12 G which barely lasts a month ($125) and then it was off to the post office to check our box and there was my favorite thing to find a package slip with my name on it. This package was from my mom, sister and her family. It is always so exciting to get packages from home. I rushed back to the babies home to open it and of coarse Mama Agatha and Mama Lois had to watch me open it, they have helped open all my packages. And they always tell me they must really love you and care about you back in the states. And we are thankful that they do because we also benefit from it.

Then I went back into town and took care of some Amani business. It is always a good when things balance and there is money left for another day especially when you are dealing with caring for 53 children. I worked on some other things well I waited for my phone to get that text saying my girl was safe and sound.

Then finally I got it little after 2. Renee texted to tell me she had “Sweet Betty” and an other little girl who was worse than Betty and they were headed home. I could not wait until they got back to Masese. So to kill the time I played with Lois little girl Sophia. I sat in the yard in front of the clinic for awhile and then she got me by the hand and said “come it is time we go to the office” I look up at her mom and said you heard my boss she says I need to go to the office. So she and I went to the office to color and I taught her to color by numbers.

At 3:30pm I could not take it any long I had to go to Masese to see “Sweet Betty” and this other angel. I got a boda and head out. I tried to take in the sights, sounds, and even the smells of that drive but really all I could think about was Betty and this other angel and praise GOD that they were going to get help. I arrived at Renee’s home and entered the compound to be greeted by Charles who say “you are most welcome”. I thanked him and rushed past him to go inside to see “Sweet Betty”. Renee met me at the door and said they had not been home long I asked where she was and she was laying on the couch. I went in and set down beside her and talked to her for a few minutes.

I went back to Renee to thank her again for helping these two little angels and she took me to meet the other little girl Nabakoza. She was about the same size as Betty but she was not taken care of like Betty. Renee said when Moses took her to the home of this child where they found her naked sitting in her own waste and beating a cup on the floor. She had not been bathed in a very long time and not eaten in days. She had really bad bed sores where she had sit and lied in one place to long (thankful Betty had none of those). She also had jiggers all in her feet, in her bottom and in her elbows from where she had been on the ground for so long.

As she was telling me about this poor little girl all I could do is THANK GOD that she was going to get help and that she was going to have a chance. I was also PRAISING GOD that Betty had been taken care of as well has she had. I then left the room of this dear angel and went back to see my “Sweet Betty”. I told how much I loved her and how thankful I was that she was going to get fat. I told her Auntie Renee would take good care of her. She just looked up at me with those big eyes and smiled.

I can’t wait to see what a difference GOD is going to make in these to angels lives. I know HE is going to do some amazing things in their lives and mine. Then I got back on my boda and stated back to Jinja. I went back by the babies home to check on a couple things before heading home.

I was so tired when I got home that I laid down for an hour before doing anything else.
I shared with Helen about Betty and the other little girl over dinner.

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