Showing posts from July, 2014

In the Shade

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The graceful lifting of the elephant's ears works to cool down his body temperature. The slinky body of the crocodile slides into the murky waters. The hippos lounge peacefully next to the equally powerful water buffalo. And the lioness wanders from the hot sun to the cool thicket.
All things wild come to a resting point under the hot African sun, and we are doing the same. Our work has halted and we are regrouping before our transition back to home.
What have we learned, while in Uganda?
1.  God Cares. We saw the poorest of the poor and those who came to help them. There are no government agencies to bail them out, but people like you and me who come in the Name of Love. We are the hands and feet of Jesus.
2.  God Calls.  Most everyone I know feels insignificant to world events. Yet The Lord anoints each of us daily to be His ambassador to a hurting world.
3.  God Provides.  On the days we felt like we had nothing left to give, He replenished our stores..…

July 31 2014 Thursday

On the way to our safari we saw banana trees and tea plantations. Finally we got to the hostel and we were all ready for bed. It wasn't the nicest place but we had a roof over our head, beds, and nets. We got up the next morning at about 6:00 or 6:30 to ride in the van. I was ready to see God's beautiful amazing creatures. Our driver,Richard, put the roof of the  van up. I had a quick idea of sitting on the roof but it came and went until I saw Anna fearlessly sitting on the roof of the van. I sat on the roof with pillows to cushion the bars on the top of the van. I felt like a fearless bird on the roof. I has to call the elephants out from hiding in the tall grasses. We saw a family of thirteen all together. We drove for a little while until we saw water bucks eating and sleeping. We saw a skull of a waterbuck and some other bones. I was hoping that we would see a lion but I was happy with we just saw the leopard. Our driver was even surprised to see a leopard. He said that w…

Off to safari - Tuesday, July 29th

Began our day very early, as safari vans picked us up for the 11 hour drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park.  Our ride included a stop at a grocery store to get bottled water for ride.  Just as in most other shopping adventures in Uganda, we had to get through security to shop.  Our drivers, Richard and Ben are quite personable and drive quite safely. After driving through a brief rain, we stopped at the Equator.  We all took pictures of each other, some straddling the famous north-south line.  It just makes for a memorable moment for sure.  Mbarara was our stopping point for lunch. The menu included some American sounding foods such as the Apple Bacon Salad which I ordered.   It was actually a couple of leafs of lettuce with several large pieces of "bacon" (not cooked crisp enough for me), slices of a nice crisp green apple, a few rings of purple onion and some Ugandan style honey mustard dressing. Not too bad, I'd say!  And on the side, I tried the deep fried eggplant…

Monday, July 28,2014

Monday,Monday....sounds like a song.  Today was catch up day.  Catch up on laundry, some more shopping, and napping!  I participated in all three!  So since this was a rest day I would like to reflect on the past few weeks and some of  the people I met that inspired  me.
  Generous was the pastor of the church in  Kasubu.  This woman's faith and her servant heart for trying to make an impoverished village better.  She knew the only way possible was through her trust and love for her Savior Jesus Christ.  Her drive and love of God was inspiring. She has life forever.
  Mosses and Sundae are our two drivers who have been with us all two weeks.  Mosses smile is so contagious that you can't be sad around him.  He is kind and soft spoken. He loves Jesus and his life is one of a true servant of God.  Sundae is the enforcer of the two.  Younger in years he took charge the one day when the crowd got unruly.  His village in Gulu was our last visit and he is so proud of the v…

Now Is The Time Of Worship

July 27,  2014

Sunday began with an early breakfast.  Sundae had to pick up 8 goats.  We were giving them to members of the church that were in need.  Never saw how he got them there.   It kind of made me chuckle inside.   We were wrapping up our time there.  It would be hard to leave.  We had been there for three days and had started to build relationships with people there.  For each one of us, I am sure there is at least one person that is imprinted on our mind.  For me... It was Oketbush.   Better known as Bush.  Every day when we arrived it seemed as though we sought each other out.   Then everything was going to be okay.  He was about ten.  He became my interpreter.  He was a leader amongst the crowd of children.  He translated for me, organized activities, and helped me pass out candy which was a hard task to do.   The other children looked up to him.  This young man had no one to support him so he could not go to school.  Like many of the other children.  Somehow he learned ho…

Gulu - Saturday, July 26

Psalm 26:12 GOD's Word gives us firm footing, and equips us to bless His Name.

What a powerful anointing on the time with the Pastors' Wives! I talked about the benefits of journaling and used material from Moms In Touch International, and Kathi Lipp's book, "I Need Some Help Here!" We shared concerns with each other in small groups, and prayed for one another and for our children and grandchildren. It was beautiful to hear them read Scripture in their own language, and to know The Lord will multiply that in the women's hearts. The Busti Church of God Women's Connection sponsored the journals given, and ladies... you would have loved the smiles when they received their gift of pen and journal! What do we have in common with women of another culture? A love for The Lord, concern for our families, and a desire to connect with each other!

Winifred & Margaret, local TAPP coordinators, took four of us on TAPP visits (Ugandans living with Aids).  We t…

July 25

"The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing...Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.  Say to those who are fearful-hearted, 'Be strong, do not fear! ...He will come and save you.'  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing...They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
These portions of Isaiah 35 speak of a land that was once ravaged and desperate, that was now being restored and rebuilt.  They are reminiscent of the area that we are visiting this weekend; a land torn apart by war and plunder and fear.  Our driver, Sunde, is from this area, and it is evident that returning to his homeland stirs up much emotion and meaning.  He spoke of the horrors that occurred here,…

July 24

Today began with a leisurely breakfast while we waited for some work to be done on the van.  Morning turned into afternoon before we headed off to Gulu, a village in the northern part of Uganda.  The eight hour trip was filled with the smells of smoke, dust and exhaust.  Some of the sights along the way included a variety of small stores and markets, goats and long-horned steers, stereotypical huts and people carrying anything and everything on their heads.  It's incredible to observe how many things can be strategically balanced on a bicycle or motorcycle!  The severe rattles of the van were headache-inducing and the bouncing has the potential to shake any loose! : )   We took a little snack and bathroom break (oh the joys of the "squatty potty"!) about halfway into our trip.  The most famous landmark that we witnessed was the Nile River!  It was gorgeous and majestic, powerful and wide.
The journey was long, especially the second half, because the road was so treacher…

Off to the Village of Gulu

Just a quick note to let everyone know that we will be off grid for the rest of the week as we are preparing to leave for Gulu in northern Uganda. This is the village where our driver Sande is from. We will blog again on Monday. Thanks for your continued prayers. And know that we have been, and will continue to pray for our church family and the family of Kathy Lawson as her body is laid to rest tomorrow. Thank you Pastors Scott and Danika for ministering in such a loving and compassionate way!
Pastor Roy

July 23 - A reflection of what God is doing

Today was the last day for Rob & Carol Robison and Donna Morhous to be with us. We spent the day shopping at the Open Market and the shopping mall in Kampala. It was good to have a day to relax after an intense several days scurrying to see as many people as we possibly could in the eye clinics that we did.

Since I can't imagine that anyone wants to hear of our shopping exploits, I want to just reflect on some of what God has done during our time here so far. In Joshua 3, as the Israelites were preparing to cross the Jordan river and conquer the land that God had promised to them, Joshua challenged the people by saying on the eve of their conquest, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."

Since before we left New York and Ohio, respectively, our team has been praying and been prayed for. We have consecrated ourselves by submitting to the power of the Holy Spirit to do through us what we would not be able to do on our own.

We ha…

Tuesday, July 22nd - Kisugu Eye Clinic

After a nice "pancake" breakfast, we headed to Kisugu for our last eye clinic with our Cincinnati team. This part of Kampala is what we westerners would call the slums, or ghetto! The poorest Ugandans were living in clay & tin rooms built right next to each other. A railroad track ran through this section of town with tiny stands selling foods and various goods. A woman named Generous, who runs the TAPP program in the area, as well as various other projects, organized this clinic which we were excited to do! Our setup worked well for Dr. Donna and our various stations. There were many people patiently waiting for us to begin.  The volunteer interpreters were run through the clinic first and given Abbey Rose T shirts. Very few people here spoke any English.

I began my day in the registration area trying to figure out the issues with people's eyes. I have learned a great deal during these clinics!  We were able to see 50 people before lunch. Generous led us all through…

Saturday July 19

Hey team supporters!  We returned to the same location so the workday started easier, as we had left our equipment at the church.  We saw 86 Africans through all the stations and getting them prescriptions  and many more with sunglasses.  We came expecting the majority of our patients to speak English, but it became the minority.  There are 52 dialects here and they mainly spoke Luganda, so we needed interpreters at each location.... Sigh....... But, we did not work the details out. God did.  At each place we were pleased to welcome enough volunteers to interpret for each station.  We had not factored that in at all.   God did.  Today a lady came through needing help with her legs.  Well, that wasn't something I could help with, but Pastor Roy stepped in and anointed and prayed to the Great Healer.  God has provided ways to grow our faith as we have seen so many needs met.  There was no internet for 3 days.  When I came, I thought there would be no phone or internet service.  As w…

Worship Ugandan Style

Sunday, July 20

The internet was down for the weekend, and our posts were lost in cyberspace on Monday, so hopefully these messages will reach you this time...

After a breakfast of crepes with Nutella, we split into groups and headed to two different churches.  Rob and I, along with Sally, Norma Jean, and Donna went to Mutunga Chuch of God with Logan Stevenson.  The rest of the group attended Bakasa Church of God.  When we arrived at church, we were greeted at the van with joyful tribal shrieking.  They were so excited to see us!  We were escorted to the first two rows of chairs where worship had already begun.  These people really know how to praise God with song and dance... Lots of dancing!  A group of children sang and danced, another group performed a dance, and a young man wearing a "Snowboarder" shirt danced also.  We're certain that he has never hit the slopes, but after seeing his moves, Sally said she's pretty sure that Michael Jackson is from Uganda!  For …

Monday clinic in Bukasa

Monday and we are off to Bukasa where some of us worshiped yesterday.  We got a late start as we were waiting for our ride.  We arrived about 10:30am but after set up the first person started through at noon!  We stopped for Lunch at about 1:30pm and only 25people had gone through and it seemed like we may not be able to process many today.  Our awesome God had other plans!  We  saw 100 more people which made the total to be 125 plus extra sunglasses for many more.  Here is the cool part, although that is awesome, we had glasses for everyone and there were a lot of happy people.  We had given a lot of readers away and common prescriptions but He found a way for everyone to get what they need.Faith, I have grown to know that is the only way to live.  Every part of this trip God has shown up and showed off.  This is my first mission trip but God has blessed me in every way!  From getting me through long plane rides , giving me a peace beyond understanding, to keeping me healthy.  God is…

Friday July 18 -First full clinic day

Today is Friday, July 18.   Last evening we completed a short trial run clinic at the Stevenson's home. We tested and provided glasses for 13 of the workers that assist the Stevenson's with their mission here in Uganda.

This morning we left for the village of Busujja.  A short 1 hour ride.  (That translates to about 1 and half hour in Uganda time)  When we arrived we were quickly greeted by many people anxiously awaiting our arrival.  We got a late start waiting on all of the vehicles carrying our equipment but we are learning to let God take care of the details .  We finally sarted the clinic at around noon.

Before we started our clinic a small group of children from the village shared a song and dance for us. We were  all impressed with the moves and flexibility of these children.  Pastor Roy desperately tried to join in with the dance but we convinced him that we were not equipped to put his hip back in place if he tried to dance with the kids.  Maybe he will do an interpre…
It's 6:37 am and the sounds of dogs barking, roosters crowing, and exotic birds making their uniquely native sounds, fill the air. People are already beginning their commute to work, many on foot, and the sounds of their feet shuffling down the road have awakened these animals from their slumber.

When we arrived on Wednesday, Anna was at the compound waiting for us and helped to open the large iron gate that protects the Stevenson's residence. It was so good to be able to wrap her up in our arms and give her a long hug. Unfortunately, however, she informed us that my maternal Grandmother died the day before while we were flying to Ethiopia.

My grandmother was a beautiful woman, kind and loving in so many ways. There was one relationship that she and my grandfather had that stands out as I reflect on their lives. Nancy and Leroy were talked about often, and if you didn't know them, you would assume that by the way my grandparents talked about them that it was a typical exam…

Thursday & School Visits

We awoke to sunshine and a symphony of birds today. Psalm 17:15 declares, "I will be satisfied with Thy likeness when I awake." We certainly can agree that we see God's hand all around us... tropical plants teeming with colorful blooms, welcoming faces that beam at us when we arrive at each location, a feeling of belonging.
I've been surprized at the lushness here. The bright red-orange dirt mingles with palm trees and varying degrees of greenery.
And the people! Oh, the people! Every skin color imaginable and so many! Everywhere you look in the city, there are people in the streets, on boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis), and hanging out of the windows of mini-buses.
We began the day with orientation. Our missionary host, Tim Stevenson talked about differences in cultural norms, learning to see the world from a different perspective, and ways to deal with jet lag. We brainstormed different ways to respond to new environments, and sketched out the schedule ahead. Tim &…

Tuesday and Wednesday.... Reaching our destination....

Greetings in the precious name of The Lord Jesus Christ, We left our hotel in Canada at 6 :30 a.m. Tuesday and arrived in Uganda at 1 :30 p.m. Wednesday. Most of the time was in the air since we covered 7,126 miles. Just checking in alone took 3 hours because we had so many bags of mission gear. And it took 3 hours to let them let us leave the airport once we got here. We took 200 bars of soap, 600 sunglasses, 2000 prescription glasses, and 70 bibles. We were amazed at the diversity of people groups on the airplanes! We sensed a sweet presence since we have arrived at our compound. Although we haven't "worked" yet...we are exhausted from travelling and carrying and training on the plane. We can see God uniting our hearts as a TEAM. With great expectations, we trust that The Lord has great things in store. IN HIS HANND ARE THE DEEP PLACES OF THE EARTH, THE STRENGTH O FTHE HILS IS HIS ALSO. PSALMS 95"4 HEY EVERYBODY.... !!! So excited to blog with you …
We're in Toronto eating at Swiss Chalet. So anxious to get on that plane to Uganda tomorrow morning! Rob,Carol, and Donna arrived safely too. Cold pool to swim in and several games of Uno added to our afternoon fun. Catch up to all tomorrow! Blessings, Lana & Norma Jean

Preparing for our trip to Uganda, East Africa

Dear Prayer partners, Welcome to our blog. In the coming months we will be posting prayer requests and updates as we prepare for our trip to Uganda, East Africa. We will leave for Toronto on July 14, and depart for Africa the following day. Dr. Donna Morhous, Carol and Rob Robison will coordinate our eye clinics, which will be our primary project, Keith McEntire will lead the hygiene workshops. Keith's wife Melissa, their daughter Rachel, along with Norma Jean Angelo, Sally Ferguson, Lana Lanphier, Teresa Stevens, and myself will assist with our projects. While in Africa, Sally and I will be leading conferences for Pastor's and their wives. Keith, Rob, Teresa, and I will be preaching at various times as well. For now, we would be honored if you could pray for Donna, her husband Jeff, son Jeffery, and their soon to be daughter Ella as they go through the adoption process for her. Please pray for Keith, Melissa, and Rachel as they will be staying in Africa so Melissa can tea…