The day the staff members got shot

Thursdays are the days of shots. Every week we have an immunization and antenatal day at our clinic. This week our staff members got a little bit of a surprise. They were "victims" of one of the immunizations. You see Jim found out that very few of our staff members have had tetanus immunizations since infancy. As health care workers, their risk of encountering tetanus is increased, and Jim decided it was in everyones best interest to be immunized. You would have thought he asked them to take a bullet in the arm rather than an injection from a small needle. The reactions varied, but NO ONE was excited to receive a shot in the arm. One by one they faced their fate, and were shot, twice, simultaneously. One shot from a needle, and the second shot from a camera. You see these momentous occasions must be documented. Some took it like champs with hardly a flinch, and others... well.... others reacted :)

So you see our staff members were shot this week, and I don't think they will every look at Thursdays the same. Don't worry... we gave them sweets when all was said and done. Sweets everything better whether you are 3 or 33.


When I first met Toto Lopeyok (Momma of Lopeyok) and Lopeyok I never would have guessed that they would be a source of joy and encouragement every week. In fact, my first reaction to these two was quite different. I was angry. Angry that a mother could find a few hundred shillings more important than the life of her son. Angry that her hungry stomach was more important to her than her son's empty stomach. I was grieved that this poor two year old was fighting for life, and his mother wasn't helping him.

You see this Momma showed up with her son one Tuesday wanting to have him admitted to our malnutrition program. He definitely qualified for the program with a MUAC (middle upper arm circumference) around 10 cm, and his height to weight ratio over -3 standard deviations from normal. The looked ill. He was listless, dehydrated and too weak to even sit on his own let alone walk. His tiny limbs were completely unable to support his large belly distended with hunger. Despite the fact that they qualified for the program, and it broke my heart to look at him so sick from hunger we had to call the director of the program to see if we should admit them. Why? This mother and child had been a part of another clinic's program, and the child was not improving because the mother was not giving the plumpinut properly (either selling or eating it herself). As a result she was chased from the program (or discharged is how you say it I guess). The director said to give her another chance, but to warn her that the child MUST improve or she would be discharged once again with no more chances.

Every Tuesday they come to the clinic. For the first few weeks, Lopeyok was sick. One week he had severe pneumonia and was struggling to breath. One week he was dehydrated from a stomach flu. One week he was sick with malaria. And then one week he arrived looking alert, active, and healthy. His belly was still disproportionate to his body, but his arms and legs were getting bigger. He even managed to walk while holding on to his mother's fingers! The weights plotted on his chart keep going up and up! He is still a good couple of kilos away from the target weight, but he is improving. His mother is grateful! Now that probably has a lot to do with the fact that I gave Lopeyok a blanket when he had pneumonia, but still... she greets me every week with a huge smile on her face, and Lopeyok is right there with her smiling at me and shaking my hand when she tells him to greet. That precious smile melts my heart.

So I keep on keeping on with this malnutrition program, and I think of Lopeyok and his mother every time we have to discharge another child as non-respondent to treatment. Every non-responder breaks my heart, but I pray that they will return with renewed vigor to follow the treatment plan like Lopeyok and his mother. I pray that God will protect the little babies with their bellies full of hunger. I pray that our clinic and malnutrition program will show them the One who gives food that satisfies eternally.

Shoe polish anyone?

So there are days that I wish I had the power to change my skin color. You see my skin color alone makes me stand out in this place, but sticking out isn't the big issue. It is the fact that because I am white I must be made out of tum-tums (candy) and money. Although it sounds like a lot of fun to just give away all the candy and money I can, it is not helpful. Sure it might make their day today, but did I really solve the problem of hunger? Did I really solve the problem of not having money today? More importantly, how did I help their heart? If I had all the money in the world, and could solve physical hunger, would it matter? Friends, each one of us needs to seek the living water. The water that satisfies. The water that lasts forever.

I cannot change my skin color. I cannot give candy or even food to everyone I meet on the road, but there is something I can do. I can pray to the King of Kings to redeem these people and satisfy them with the living water. I can share Him with those I meet on the road. That is what it is really about. It is not about me feeling harassed for assistance because of my skin color. It is not about me. It is about Him. In that knowledge, I can carry on.

About Me

My name is Jenny. I am a sinner that has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and I want to share the grace and love He has shown me with others. I am a nurse living and working in Uganda, and I am praying that God would make Matthew 5:16 true of my life.
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Enjoy snippets from my journey as I step out in faith day after day.