March 21, 2011

Heading back to Sudan for a few months...

Aquiring my visa for Mozambique took many odd turns, so I felt it was a good opportunity to go back to Sudan for a stint—the country God had so intensely put on my heart for the 6 years I was serving there. I will work in the Nuba Mountains in a hospital built by the Diocese of El Obeid and headed by my friend Dr. Tom Catena. It will be a time of sharpening my medical skills, along with listening to the Lord as to if I am to return to Sudan on a long term basis.

My heart is to build the unity of the Church and assist the local people to care for the poorest of the poor and see God’s kingdom come through love, His healing, and miraculous power.

Please keep me in prayer during this transition and that I will really hear specifically what God is asking of me to do. If at the end of July, there is no clarity about Sudan, then I will happily return to Mozambique to continue to serve with Africa 180.

God is good and will lead me… thanks for walking with me!

March 05, 2011

What does Katie do all day in Mozambique?

You may be wondering what a typical day is like for me here in Mozambique. After taking my morning tea and home-baked bread, I went to our children’s clinic across the street that is appropriately named, “Blessing”. Some 30 mothers or Vovo’s (Grandmas) with their little ones were getting them weighed.

Vovo Adelina, who cares for 8 grandkids, has to come back weekly since Isabel is so sick with her HIV and also a horrible secondary infection from a dirty IV that was inserted in her head in the local hospital The Ibuprophen had no effect when I did the dressing on her infected scalp. Poor little 18 month old sweetie. To try to encourage this amazing ‘Vovo” (Gramma) so I gave her some multivitamins. “For me?” she asked—as if why should she care for herself when she has so many sick children to care for at home. Once convinced we also want to care for her, too, she got a big smile. “If you’re not well, vovo, these kids won’t be well.” I gave her 2$ for the bus ride to and from her house.

If we have the money, we give some little flour, oil and beans to help with the family’s needs—its’ not much, but very well appreciated. Fatima, a mother of 7 kids, has tried various means to help her hungry, sickly children. She had paid to see the “the prophetas” (a sort of witch doctor) but didn’t receive any help. She wanted food as her kids were starving and Fernando lost 0.5 kg these last 2 weeks. All we had was 1 kg of maize flour to offer her. I told her, “Fatima, there are many stories of how the flour never runs out when we trust in God our Father. I don’t now how God will help you, but let’s pray for you the same blessing.” She then broke out in a long prayer in her mother tongue of Shona, lifting her hands and face to her Father God. They never cease to amaze me. Pray for more help for our families concretely and miraculously.

The last girl I saw, a gorgeous 15 year old, held her beautiful 9 month old infant. “Why did you stop breastfeeding last week?” we asked. She thought she was pregnant. The pregnancy test we did confirmed it. The problem in this cultures it that it’s taboo to breastfeed when you’re pregnant. What then happens, the infant becomes quickly malnourished and often dies or contracts another disease because of the malnutrition.

It’s these little things that are saving lives here—any of you could do what I did today; it’s not hard—but it does take a lot of dependence on God for the grace, strength and endurance to face some 30 – 50 of such cases everyday.

It’s not all bleak though—many kids are getting fat, many of our HIV positive kids are fat and taking their HIV drugs regularly and hopefully will live fairly healthy lives for as long as possible.

Thanks for your prayers, your generous donations—we have a bottomless pit for prayers and financial help. I pray blessing on each of you also and that you are joining me to reach out to the poor and weak ones around you to show God’s love also.