Thursday, 12 September 2013

Camp, Cold, Christ.

"Christians love camping"
I think it's a stereotype where most people envisage a loads of weirdo's sitting around a campfire singing kumbaya and playing the tambourine.

But I want to amend that:

Christians love Community. A majority don't actually enjoy spending days in the rain and freezing their butts of at night under canvas. (I actually do, but I've always been a weirdo!)
So why do it? Not for a love of tents, but for a love of something greater.

Life with Jesus is the ultimate freedom, we want to celebrate the fact that Jesus is always bigger and greater and in control of everything that we face. The creator of the universe loves us so much that he sent his son to die so that we can be with him for eternity. Not many places are big enough to house thousands of Christians who want to learn how we can better share the awesomeness of salvation, so we trade our beds for roll mats because learning more about how to share the hope of eternity is totally worth it!

Spending 10 days of my summer in a tent wasn't a chore or my worst nightmare. It was one big family holiday, where we chilled with our almighty father and encouraged each other and had a whole lot of stupid fun, because that's what we were made for :)

Friday, 16 August 2013

Why not having a freaking clue is okay!

Why don't I have all the answers? Why don't I know the outcome of every single what-if statement that floats around my head? Why-It's probably a word I've written about too many times already but today I wanted an answer.

Why is it that I don't understand? Understand what? people, situations, pain, myself. The thoughts of my own head, my life, my rollercoaster of emotions, Where does that "got out of the wrong side of the bed" feeling come from? And where do I go from here?

I guess the answers I found were in the peace of knowing it's okay not to have all the answers. The world teaches that knowledge is power, but real power is in Christ not answers. Not having answers doesn't make you weak, and strength is found in trust in the Lord. I've found it's so true that the poor are blessed because they need FAITH! And the riches of faith are far greater than worldly wealth or possessions I have known greater joy trusting God when I have nothing than having a life where all my needs are met. Why? Because we don't need anything besides Jesus! and it's okay to be lost, or confused or hurt and it's okay to be happy without needing reason. Romans 12:13 says "Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep" It doesn't tell you to change the way you feel but It encourages you to embrace your emotions and stand in what is. It doesn't tell you to look for the answers or to ask questions about the situation. That doesn't mean being inquisitive is bad, but it does mean that when you don't know, that's okay!

So where do you go when you just don't know? Honestly I don't know! but I know that God does and that's all that matters!

"In those times I can't seem to find God, I rest in the assurance he know where to find me"- Neva Coyle

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Homeland or Foreignland

So my Year For God is entering the final stages and quite rightly people have been bothering me to tell y'all whats been happening! The reason i haven't yet is because i'm been trying to make sense of it all myself and i guess now i've come to the conclusion it doesn't make sense!

A few weeks ago we started the goodbyes as Katie and Tess left for their Debrief, We then celebrated the DTS graduation for the Febuary DTS, it was in Uganda style long and tedious but i was so proud to see an amazing group of people finally graduate after seeing them all arrive in Uganda 5 months ago not having a clue what they were getting into. I had a great few days with them as we prepared to say goodbye, unfortunatly that day came far to quick and all i have to say is thank guys for blessing my life and letting me be part of this time with you!

For me the hardest goodbye came all too soon, my partner in crime, sister and friend, the girl i don't think i would have made it without even if she did make me crazy sometimes :) Becca I love you and i know that this whole going home process would be easier with you! When you've been with people for so long they do become you're family, and when you're gone through so much together especially at Amecet you get someone that can fully understand what you've been through and expereinced. I guess on leaving thats what was the most scary, i knew that although home had changed i would be able to understand it and catch up with the changes, but would others be able to understand me? unless you've been there you can't ever imagine what it's like, because it's crazier and more intense and more amazing that anything you could imagine! Through the last 11 months 6 girls have understood that and have seen the change in me, not only was my environment changing but the people who i'd had to support me through the last year weren't going to be there, i seriously didn;t know how i would cope.

The one comfort i had, the greatest comfort is that i will always have a constant in my life, someone who will understand me more than anyone, that has been with me more than anyone and that gets me more than i do. Almighty Father, Loving God, who tells me time and time again "i can do all things though Christ who gives me strength." Because of that i knew that i would make it and i Knew i would be ok, God called me for a year but he knew i would be going home at the end of it and so he would be there and will contiune to be there.

Going home i can't even tell you how i felt, i kept wanting for someone to tell me how to feel but no one could, i fugured that was okay, i didn't know if i was excited or sad i felt guilty for the sadness and for the excitement, i was a mess of emotions, i had imagined the day so many times i didn't even feel real. The only feeling i was sure of as i walked into the airport was imense pain... from my foot!!! Yes in true Verity style i had fallen down the steps of the bed at the motel and broken my little toe!!!

Since being home life has felt like a dream, sometimes i think being here is a dream, sometimes it feel like the fact i went was a dream, i'm pretty sure all the people who have unexpectedly found me standing in the kitchen or on their doorsteps thought they were dreaming, but it sure was fun making them scream!

And now i'm back!!!! Life goes on and contiune to try and find my way!!

Follow my next adventures:

Monday, 9 July 2012

Moving back to Jinja!

So I kept writing blog posts and then not having internet to post them so here is my week!

From: 2nd July!!!

So i don't really have that many words to say, tonight is my last night here in Soroti!!! i have had the most amazing last couple of days which makes it harder to leave but hey it's good to end on a high!

Rose (whom i love to bits) started calling me 'auntie tee' which just break my little heart and the kids have been super cuddly, we've had lots of run chilling on the trampoline and sitting with them.

This evening the older kids did a dance for us they tied banana leave grass skirts around their waists (traditionally) and shake their butts!

 it was so fun and really great! Then all the kids prayed for us (yes i teared up) and 2 year old Cathy came and laid her hands on my head!!!

i know i should really say more but i don't have the words (shocker!) The KIds have amazing heart and the aunties do an amazing job, i am going to miss them all so much and i have been so greatly blessed these past 3 months!

oh one more thing... we got t-shirts!!!!

3rd July!

Well it took me and Becca 8 HOURS to get back to Jinja on Tuesday, about 1 hours into the journey the wheel locked and we all ad to get off the coach in the middle of a swamp while we waited for a new coach, then they actually managed to fix our bus so we were of again. Our bus ws almost going backwards t was going so slow and we waited a Mbale (half way point) for 2 hours while we were picking up new passengers! So yeah that was a long journey but we made it and arrived with all our bags on bodas at about 5pm J

4th of July! (celebrating not being American!!)

Wednesday we took some time to relax and catch up with the girls that were already back on base, we spent a lovely few hours at a hotel on the Nile, we sunbathed and swam and got sunburnt :/ but it was fun! And yes Uganda is nice and hot and sunny!!!!

5th of July, Thursday’s prayer and fasting!!

We had a good morning of base prayer and fasting, praying for the team that is hopefully going to be going to London for the Olympics. We also had a great time of reflection about this year which is crazy to think about all that has happened and all that we have achieved! In the afternoon I went with the Evangelism team to Jinja Main Men’s Prison. It has the most amazing location looking over Lake Victoria. The prison wasn’t as extreme as I thought it would be, that doesn’t mean it was nice but there was a big court yard and the rooms were on the corridors that overlooked it, we went up to the 3rd (top) floor and in the far corner in the 4ft wide corridor was church!!! There were probably about 50 prisoners all dressed in yellow having church! It was insane, they were prising and worshiping with more enthusiasm than I have ever seen in a western church. And I wanna know why, really in the west do we take that much for granted that we can’t fully appreciated what we get from God? If we were in prison would that do what it takes for us to fully understand all that we get from God rather than taking everything for granted? It makes me wonder what we think we need to bring us joy and happiness. Are you fully content with what you have or are you always wanting more. These prisoners had nothing they were sleeping on mats on the floor, with all that they owned (mainly washing buckets) piled at the end and yet from their faces you could see that they had everything! They were fully satisfied and content in Christ, doesn’t that just show you how great God is and how much he provides and satisfies you!

Friday= shopping day, truthfully I don’t have so much to say about his day! We shopped till we dropped but I think I have everything I need to take home, I just hope it all fits in my bag!!!

Saturday we had  YFG outing to the Kingfisher Resort as all of us were back in Jinja so we spent a day relaxing and catching by the pool (I promise you we don’t just relax and sunbathe ALL the time) but it was a good day and we had fun sharing, praying and encouraging each other!

So it’s been a pretty good week! Sunday the DTS returned from outreach, it was good to see all them again, hear their stories and be together again, I also went to church with Naomi, church is outside the pastors house so we enjoyed sitting in the sun string at the blue sky and being amazed at how beautiful God is!!!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Reunited with the father

They say life’s a bitch, and death? He comes like a thief in the night and takes those you love from you.
When Jesse first arrived
Yesterday we lost Jesse, at 3pm Els picked him from his bed to find she was holding a lifeless body, people had been in the room the whole time and heard nothing, he’d made no noise, there had been no fight. Jesse had been doing well, making so much progress he’d come so far we were sure he was going to be fine he’d gone from 780g to 1170g in just a week, i guess that goes to show how fragile life is, especially for premature babies. We don’t know what happened, and we never will it’s not like in the west there are no extensive checks, he was here, now his not that’s all we know.

They say death comes like a thief in the night and takes those you love from you, but I disagree.
Yesterday when I looked down on Jesse he was the perfect picture of peace, the corners of his mouth were almost curled upwards in an almost smile. Death is the most powerful expression of love the earth has seen; almost 2000 years ago Jesus gave his life to show how much he loves us, to give us eternal life and to give us the chance to live, with him, forever. Try telling me death isn’t beautiful.

We talk about someone being taken away, Jesse wasn’t ever ours to start with, we were his guardians, looking after him for his almighty father, and his father decided it was time to have him home, he wasn’t taken he was returned, he went to a better place. Does that mean it hurts any less, that I haven’t asked myself a million times why him, that I’m not angry or upset? No. I had to say goodbye to a beautiful baby boy, goodbyes are hard, I don’t understand why he had to go. But I know God’s plan is bigger than mine and he knows what he is doing. I will see Jesse again, and on that day when someone has to say goodbye to me, I’ll be safe, I’ll be home, I’ll be celebrating with him in paradise.

See how big he got!!
Death isn’t about pain or suffering, Jesse isn’t hurting anymore, he doesn’t have to be tired and exhausted after feeding, he doesn’t have to struggle for breath or fight to keep is warm. Jesse’s face told me he was in that place with no more pain, no more suffering, where no more tears will be shed; he’s where he belongs, with his father.

We mourn the lost, but we will not lose hope.

I wanna run on greener pastures,
I wanna dance on higher hills,
I wanna drink from sweeter waters in the misty morning chill
My soul is getting restless for the place where I belong,
I can’t wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song.

 I will not be afraid.

Rest in Peace Jesse, I love you, I miss you <3

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Miracles and Medicine!!!

This past week I have been reminded that Amecet is a very special children’s home and we have the ability to care for children in extraordinary ways!!! Yes working with HIV positive children in Africa you expect illness and we’re often treating fevers and making trips to the clinic for malaria tests, however the house (well at least the medicine room) now looks more like a hospital than ever!!!

Evalyn trying to drink from a bottle
but she was to weak
I can’t even tell you how it all started the last week has become a bit of a blurr, so I guess well just start with the smallest! Amecet not only takes in HIV positive children but also babies who have lost their mothers, last saturday Els came bac from the hospital with the tiniest baby I had ever seen (at that point) Evalyn was born at 7months and was already 10days old, her mother has pre-eclampsia and so the birth was enduced to save the life of the mother, fortunately both mother and child survived the birth however the mother was paralysed down one side along with many other illnesses and was sitting in the ward on the floor, the baby being held by her 10 year old sister. Evalyn came into out incubator and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to learn how to feed her. She has a feeding tube that goes through her nose into her stomac and we push milk straight into her tummy by syringe, this quite simple task can go terribly wrong if the tube is in the lungs or you push the milk in too quickly so each staff member is being trained and until more people know how this is a time consuming job.

Putting a feeding tube into Eunice
Since I’ve been at Amecet babies have been like busses we have no new ones for a while and then they arrive in pairs, and this was no exception a  few days later our second prem baby of my stay arrived, Eunice, also born at 7months and 2 weeks old, her mother was in a coma and died just 2 days after Eunice came to us, Eunice started out well and was even able to suck from a bottle however this made her tired and she too went on a feeding tube, A few days later Eunice started having problems with her gut and went from one extreme to the other, currently her dihorrea is so bad she is dehydrated and is being fed ever hour milk or rehydration fluids. She was taken for an IV however after it taking almost 15 attempts to get it in and then only staying right for 45 minuets we had to give up on that for today, her veins are so so small that the IV isn’t taking, tomorrow maybe we’ll try something different and for tonight we’re praying she stays strong and keeps her fluids.

Jesse's first meal at Amecet
Eunice wasn’t the last arrival either, bus number 3 arrived Thursday, another premature baby, born at 6 months and a couple of weeks old, his single mother seemed ignorant to the severity of Jesse’s condition at only 20 years old she hadn’t been aware of the abnormality of how small and weak  he was. Jesse weighed only 780grams (1.7lbs) when he arrived and he was almost starved to death as he was too weak to drink. In 3 days with an IV and a feeding tube he made it to a Kilo, still very small but going in the right direction! I was given the challenge/privilege/scary job of feeding Jesse for the first time through the tube, my hands were literally shaking but he took the milk really well so all is good!!!!
It is amazing babies are alive, they are 3 liiving miracles and each day as they gain strenght all we can do is be thankful that God protceted them untill they came to us, and feel so blessed that we have the opportunity to help them!

All this drama is exciting, scary and sure does keep us busy feeding the premmys (or peanuts) is almost an ongoing job but they really are fighters!!! Still while all this is going on the rest of the house is not immue to sickness!!!
Today rather than taking the children to the doctor, the doctor came to Amecet (luckily the clinic is right next door, we eben have a connecting gate!!) Mary, Musa, Rose, Sarah, Norah and Levi have all come down with Malaria in the last 2 weeks, last Sunday we had 3 children on IVs because of the dehydration the Malaria had caused, Rose made the start of my night shift fun by vomiting up her dinner all over the living room for the second night in a row, she continued to throw up after meals and now has dihorrea. Musa is in a bad way right now, he vomited on me when we went for a Malaria test and I’ve had to clean up pooop galore from him the last 2 days! He has dehydration and is just so weak a boy that would polish off 200mls in a matter of mins only drinking 40 you know something isn’t right and after a few weeks of this and 2 treatments of malaria we’re worried about him, he doesn’t seem to be getting better we can only pray his new medicines work!

As well as the malaria’s baby Benna is also suffering, and has dihorrea and is lethargic and weak, Abai, Mary and Charles have all had fevers, pains, some of the girls have bad coughs and I forget how many children are on antibiotics!!!

I also wish I had time to tell you about our adventures to the villages yesterday however I’m gonna let Els do that, check out Amecets blog:

Once again i'm sure i've forgotten to tell you so much stuff, maybe i need to write more often, then my posts wouldn't be so long!!! And please continue to pray for all of our children and al the aunties who are dedicated to okoing after them!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

That one is my prayer

Give me grace, give me Wisdom, give me love unfailing
Open my eyes to give and not grieve
To seek without ceasing
To serve without payment
Free my heart to strive and not stumble
To fly without falling
To release, not from repentance and free form resentment

Hallelujah my king my lord and my saviour,
 My comfort and shelter, protector triumphant
Teach me your ways Lord,
To shine in the darkness, to hear from your greatness, to see without judgement and speak fourth the kingdom.