|One of our final trips to Lake Nabugabo |
before leaving Uganda
So this last 3 months has flown by and yet it now seems a long time ago that we were bidding Uganda a fond farewell.
Here in Bristol we have been blessed with a fantastic house, a nursery place for Noah (whose behaviour has shown a marked difference since starting), lovely weather to ease our transition, and the provision of jobs. Sarah is getting to grips again with the demands of being a part time GP (which entails a lot longer hours than we had expected thanks to the nature of our NHS and ridiculous workloads), and Tim has just started part time with an organisation called Urban Pursuits, delivering alterative education and mentoring to young people at risk of exclusion, or having been excluded from school. Then of course Noah and Emily take the rest of our time!
We certainly miss Uganda, and there are times when we feel very homesick for Masaka, all our friends there, the pace of life, and the ongoing work of Synergy and the Baby Unit.
Brian and Abbey have been doing a fantastic job of pushing on with the work of Synergy as a new season is now underway. Two particularly exciting developments have been the launch of a more intentional work with girls, which Abbey has taken on, and also setting up our first Synergy home group. Brain has located a house for rent which he is now sharing with a number of our Synergy players, and is using the garage as a space to hold regular bible studies and prayer meetings – something we talked about a lot after the success of the Talk faith course earlier in the year! If you are the praying sort, then please do pray that this would continue to develop and bare fruit!
And on the Baby Unit the team there continue to push forward with the important work of helping little newborns survive and thrive. Three particularly encouraging stories of late have been that of mothers Kamidah, Nakaweesi and Margaret.
A mum of five already (one of whom had already passed away), Kamidah was undoubtedly apprehensive when her sixth child arrived – a little girl, weighing just 800 grams. She delivered elsewhere, but knew her baby needed special care, so rushed her to Kitovu Baby Unit to seek help.
Her little one had a bit of a rocky road to recovery, and when she was finally discharged, she had to be re-admitted with anaemia and poor growth a few weeks later. A good dose of malaria subsequently landed her on the children’s ward. But since then, she's been going from strength to strength and is expected back for review soon.
Nakaweesi landed up at the baby unit after her newborn had had convulsions on & off for two days. On being told that the baby would need to be admitted, she refused and said she wanted to go home. Unlike in the UK, in Uganda there’s nothing the police or social services would do about that.
But thankfully our nurses worked with her, and persuaded her to stay, and this gorgeous fella lives to fight another day! Not only that, but he’s breastfeeding well and behaving like a perfectly normal baby. Amazing!
|Nakaweesi with her baby boy|
And finally there’s the lovely Margaret with her beautiful daughter Maria, who was born way too early and way too little. An initial good recovery was encouraging. But then it all went wrong, when Maria suddenly deteriorated and stopped breathing. For 2 whole hours our head nurse at the time, Cathy (now on maternity leave with her own sweet baby Jemimah!) faithfully bagged the baby, pushing air into her little lungs to keep her going.
Against all odds, Maria started to improve. And within a couple of weeks, that little girl was fully recovered and ready to go home.
|Margaret & Baby Maria|
We feel so thankful that despite having left Uganda, all this work continues to be a blessing to so many. It's comforting to know that God is in control and that those we have entrusted to lead these ministries are faithfully taking it forward! Thanks to you all for being a part of it with us and for having supported, and continuing to support both Synergy and the Baby Unit!