Kaihura and Kyongera, Team At Work (by Teri Reisser)
The group is gathering in the dining room at Faith’s house for what smells like a delicious rice and beans lunch. We have spent the morning seeing the agricultural project at Kyongera with the incomparable Anthony (the guru of “how to be self-sustaining on an acre of land in Uganda”). Our brains are currently working overtime thinking about how to help them get water for irrigation at the project. Currently, the 14 boys who live there (who somehow sleep in six beds) must hand carry water from a site a quarter mile away to irrigate the several acres on which they are growing pineapples, tomatoes, eggplants, bananas, etc. This project has the potential to not only feed the entire Bringing Hope to the Family staff and orphans (which would save a lot of money currently spent on groceries), but become a source of revenue for the ministry as well.
While we were looking at the agricultural project, Jackie (who is definitely the child magnet of the group) zeroed in on a very little boy whose finger was badly swollen. She asked the child’s daddy if Paul could look at it, and the child was whisked away to reappear five minutes later dressed up in his “Sunday best.” Paul decided that the finger looked infected, and the child and dad went to the clinic. This afternoon, Faith and Richard (the clinic director and medical officer) will lance the finger to extract the pus, with Paul assisting (actually, he’s a little terrified, as this is a procedure he would normally refer directly to a pediatric hand specialist because of the complexities involved).
On Monday, Teri (accompanied by Kathleen of the million-volt smile) taught an afternoon seminar on counseling women after an abortion to a staff of 22 at the Kampala Youth For Christ/Crisis Pregnancy Center. Although abortion is illegal in Uganda, the staff assured us that this training is, sadly, relevant to their work in Kampala.
Yesterday we made the long and DUSTY drive from Kampala to Kaihura (including 30 miles of torturous roadwork that would make the most fearless adventurer end up in the fetal position). After a warm reception at the ministry compound and our first village meal, we all stumbled into our various beds and fell asleep to the sounds of a torrential downpour. (In Uganda, it is considered to be a good omen when a visitor comes with rain.)
The rest of the day will be spent in various activities. Patients are already lined up at the dental clinic, and Marcello and Ann (assisted by Karin and Christine) will be extremely busy with this work for several days. Teri and Paul are preparing for the marriage seminars with the Asaabes. Jackie and some Bringing Hope to the Family staff will be receiving training from the two women from AWANA who came with us from Kampala to help Jackie start this program in the Kyenjojo area. Laine and Francis (a lawyer and a chef—go figure) are backfilling a retaining wall at the vocational school. David and Will are teaching a pastors’ conference in Koreng. Kristen and Kathleen are tackling The Sorting of the Suitcases. Our work has begun in earnest!
More later, internet connection permitting…
Four hours later: Kathleen, Kristen and Teri are sweating profusely from going through more than three dozen suitcases and sorting all of the various things brought by the team. You think this sounds like a cushy job? Try going through a bazillion school packs and checking to make sure they are all equal (because dozens of great-hearted people put these together), and removing glue and scissors! It’s been a long afternoon, but we have hundreds of ties, school packs, toiletry packs, children’s clothing, etc. with which to bless the people of this area. It feels good…very, very good. Now they’re asking us to clear the area we’ve been working in so dinner can be served. …
Your faithful blogger,