Friday, March 29, 2013

He Found Me Part Two








Finally the post you have all been waiting for :}

Unfortunately internet in Uganda is not a steady thing.

Frequently I will lose internet for days.

But the exciting news is I officially have internet again!

Oh how sweet and thankful I am to have it!

Being out of the outside world is harder then I imagined.

So thankful I am back again.

Now back to Eessa's story...

"He Found Me"

Part Two..


......................................................


We began the long drive to his village.

He clung to my hand as we wound through the city streets.

I can only imagine the fear he was feeling inside.

About an hour into our journey,

he pointed and in Luganda he shared with us

that very soon we would slope down...

As we turned off the main road onto a busy village street.

Dirt village roads and crowded streets greeted us.

As we got closer to his village,

His anxiety got worse.

My mind kept trying to imagine what we would find.

'I prayed that he would be welcomed home.

I imagined the worst...

What if he isn't welcomed home I asked myself?

What would I do then?!

I knew there was no where I could take him since it was the weekend.

No home was available.

Would I be forced to turn him back to the street?

I knew in my heart I wouldn't be able to turn him away.

We had to find somewhere for him to stay...

The clock was ticking..and I knew I didn't have a lot of time, before it was dark.

I pleaded with God that he would be welcomed home...'

I knew just one thing for sure, God had placed Eessa in my life 
and I would go wherever God called me to.

As we drove further into another village

Eessa said his home was just ahead.

Quickly we parked and got out.

The minute Eessa's feet hit the ground he ran ahead of us and around a house.

I saw just a glimpse of him as he lifted up the curtain door to enter.

We waited in front of the house.

He came out confused.

His Mama was no where to be found.

Could she have just disappeared?

Or was he gone longer then two weeks and simply lost count of how long?!

About this time we turned around to see the villagers stepping out of their houses.

As they appeared they all began shouting!

I turned to Joyce to ask what they were saying?!

She smiled as she shared with me what they were shouting,

"It's a miracle. It's a miracle. It's a miracle"

A woman rounded the corner of the house.

As she saw Eessa she quickly turned around and ran.

Minutes trickled by slowly.

Where was Eessa's Mama?!

Joyce was able to translate for me as we shared with the villagers 
how Eessa had found me.

The villagers continued to emerge from their huts, 
and in amazement they continued to declare in Luganda;

"It's a miracle. It's a miracle"

I felt like we were in a movie..

Something like this just doesn't happen everyday!

Finally the woman rounded the corner with someone in tow behind her.

I looked behind her to see a woman with a swollen belly and a baby in her arms.

She came over towards us as she nervously greeted us.

His Mama was amazed.

He had been gone for two weeks.

She didn't think he would return again.

But he did! 

She shared some of her story.

She was pregnant with baby number eight..

Eessa was the oldest child.

The Dad was not around...

She was alone to raise all of her children.

No money for school fees...
So they stayed in the village with her all day...

Struggling to get by.

We asked if we could pray with them?!

They were not saved and of a different faith...

She said we could.

We crowded in a circle with the children all around..

We began to pray for Eessa and his family.

That they would find God and for healing in their relationship!

During the prayer I glanced up to look around and see if 
everyone was actually praying with us.

I looked around our huddled group of villagers and Eessa's family.

In Awe I watched..

God had brought him home.

Home to his family.

Just this morning he was just another street boy...

One of the 10,000 that roam the Kampala streets...

A nameless face...

By the evening he was reunited with his family.

God is so incredible how he works!


As my eyes looked over the group I saw
 someone huddled on a mat...

I knew at that moment that God
 had used meeting Eessa so that He could lead me here..

Stay tuned for part three :}

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Surgery For James


Today surgery was scheduled for 2:30 pm.

But at 12:00pm he was rushed back.

Some how an opening came sooner then they had thought.

Together we sat with Nakato on hand woven mats that covered the ground.

It was so peaceful and so wonderful to be sitting in the simplicity of an African hospital.

Little by little other patients gathered to join us.

We spent the time by reading the Bible out loud as Nakato and I shared our favorite stories.

We shared about how the disciples must have acted, at first seeing God provide.

It was unreal as we marveled at the situation.

The very same thing had happened for James.

God had provided more then we could think or ask so that he could have surgery!

After 4 hours of waiting,
 a rickety cart with a doctor pushing it
came by.

Nakato jumped up and immediately fell to her knees when 
she saw her sweet boy roll by.

Her knees hit the ground and her arms went up!

She began to praise God for all that he had done for James!

As she thanked the surgeon, my arms were covered with chills.

I stood amazed by God.

She ran over and quickly hugged me.

She whispered again, "Thank you Emma"

But it wasn't me -  sweet friends.

It was all God who through the generosity of people giving to Ruby's Friends
 that allowed James to have his surgery 
and, truly, I couldn't be more amazed that I would get to be a part of it....

Continuing to praise God for His provision and protection of sweet James!

We are praying and asking God that we would be able to journey home on Friday.

Please continue to pray for protection and a quick recovery! 

- Love from Northeastern, Uganda
-Xo


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Bottle For A Weapon...

Northeastern Uganda.

Is such a beautiful place.

Surrounded by mountains and jaw droppin' gorgeous! 

You all would just love the beauty that surrounds Mbale.

Wild flowers roam the streets and trees line the roads.

It's a piece of paradise.

It is no wonder that they call Uganda the "Pearl of Africa".

When I began to prepare for coming to Mbale for surgery I began to plan.

At first it would just be James, Nakato - his mom, and me.

But one bummer was I'd be alone at a hotel in the middle of northeastern Uganda.

Alone.

I was at first a bit afraid so I prayed.

A last minute plan changed everything!

Yippee Jesus! 

My sweet friend Lynne was about to be arriving in Uganda.

Just four days until the scheduled date to leave 
she would land in my Uganda.

Only God.

I wrote to Lynne and sure enough she agreed to join me for this adventure.

I hired Joseph {a dear friend of mine} to drive and rented a hotel room for Lynne and I.

Early Monday morning we set off for Mbale.

As soon as we arrived here we immediately headed to the hospital 
and waited for an appointment.

We prayed for favor and actually the doctor was able to see us right away.

We waited and waited for results.

They decided to take some blood work, and we continued to wait.

 We prayed that they would be admitted 
{meaning that the surgery would happen this week}

After about 4 hours of waiting and no news I decided to let Joseph 
head back to Kampala.

We would remain and wait and, Lord willing, 
James would have surgery this week.

First though, I requested that he drop Lynne and I at our hotel
 with our bags so we could check in.

He drove us there and we quickly checked in.

We said our goodbyes and Joseph headed back to Kampala.

I looked at Lynne and declared,  

"Wow...we are alone now."

I knew God was with us but still there was a sense of urgency.

Us being alone in Northeastern Uganda for the first time.

Our room wasn't ready so we decided to grab a bite to eat since
 it was 4pm and we hadn't eaten all day.

I called Nakato and asked if there was any change in the situation.

There wasn't.

So we waited after about 2+ hours and finally got word that our room 
was ready so we moved our bags in.

Lynne and I smiled and thanked the staff for our room.

With closing the door we decided to explore our room more.

With a closer look holes in the door made it visible to see the outside world.

We decided we would be able to survive.

At least if a stranger knocked on the door we could see them first :}

My phone rang and Nakato shared how she had been admitted to the hospital.

We cheered.

 Such good news!

We grabbed her things and headed to the front desk to grab
 a taxi that would take us to the hospital to give Nakato her things
and take her some food.  We would only be gone long enough to do that and 
then return to the hotel.

The front desk called someone "they trusted".

I asked if they had set a price yet with him and she said she hadn't.

Oh great, I thought to myself, now here comes the bartering.

When I met the driver I immediately didn't trust him

and he wanted way more then was reasonable.

With the sun quickly sinking we agreed on the price and hopped in.

First I told him he would have to stop by a store so 
I could buy some food for James and Nakato.

He left us standing there, rounded the corner and disappeared.

He then came back and shared how the guard was just getting 
off duty and was insisting on a ride.
I didn't feel safe with the driver and now there would be two men in our car.

Red flags went up!

He wanted a ride?!

What?!

We are paying for the taxi, but with no way to decline, the man hopped in the car.

We drove outside the gate and headed for town.

Over dirt roads we pressed forward.

I listened nervously as they talked in Luganda.

The longer I am here the more I understand.

At one point I heard something that made me cringe...

"Stranded"

What?

 I thought to myself the word "stranded" means 
they are going to hurt us.

How am I going to protect Lynne and get us safely out of here?

He had clearly said "stranded" in Luganda.

What would I do?

Two men.

Against two small women.

Our chance was limited of escape.

What have I gotten us into I thought to myself?

I am the one responsible.

Lynne is new to being in Uganda alone.

I hadn't even shared with anyone where we were staying.

How would people know where to come looking?

I quickly started to think.

I will start asking questions in English and try to figure out 
what they are thinking.

I rattled off and asked the most random questions 
so I wouldn't sound sneaky.

I tried to memorize any land mark so we could find our way back
 to where we had come from...

About a half hour past and we made our way to a grocery store.

Lynne and I jumped out of the car and I led her to the back 
and we quickly grabbed some items from the store.

At one point we grabbed some crackers and juice.

I nervously looked around and asked Lynne if she had a bad feeling about the men.

She nodded in agreement.  She felt the same thing. 

She shared how they could easily overpower us....

Then I felt the Lord tell me to grab a glass Soda bottle.
I figured I would use the glass bottle to hit him in the head, if need be.

But inside I kept the urgent part of what God had put on my heart a secret.

Then the driver stumbled in the store and asked for his money now.

I told him "No" as he left us and waited outside.

I knew we didn't have much of a choice but to hop back in the car 
and continue to pray for protection.

I shared with Lynne my plan of action...

"If the man is still there and we are driving and I lean against the door get out asap!"

It would be our secret language.

I shared that if we reached the hospital we would to take a boda home.

Yes, it was almost dark but safety was first.

Or at least sort of..

Both were dangerous but I'd take one man versus two.

As we left the store and got back in the car the other man was gone.

But I looked down and began to panic.

On the front seat where the other man had been was his coat.

Which meant he was coming back.

I told the driver,

"The other man left his coat"

He looked panicky as if I had just read his plan as he quickly shoved the coat under the seat.

and loudly said "No, ummm that's... mine."

I wasn't convinced.

We finally reached the hospital as I grabbed the suitcase and Lynne grabbed the bottles and bags.
We couldn't get to the ward fast enough.

We were safe.

We quickly gave Nakato her things and headed out again.

The soda never left my bag.

I held tight to it.

If needed it would be used as a weapon.

Now I shared with Lynne what the soda bottle was really for.

She had actually caught on after all.

We rounded the corner and quietly climbed back in.

I watched anxiously as we drove back towards our hotel.

With every land mark becoming familiar I began to relax.

When we reached our hotel and the driver pulled in..

We jumped out as fast as we could, and quickly I paid him.

He asked if we wanted his number.

I shared how I was sure if we ever wanted his number again the front desk had it...

We couldn't get to our room fast enough.

God had watched over us.

We were alive and the soda bottle was still whole.

Needless to say we moved hotels and have put the whole sketchy scene behind us.

We are so thankful to be alive and safe.

Today I was at the hospital as James was having more tests run.

Tonight we received such joyous news!

The surgery has been scheduled for tomorrow at 2:30pm Ugandan time.

Making it 12:30am PST.

Please be praying for peace, comfort & protection for James, 
his family and for us as well.

Sending lots of love from Uganda,


-Xo


Monday, March 18, 2013

James



Early this morning we began the long journey to Northeastern Uganda.

We arrived late this morning in Mbale and headed straight for the hospital.

Several tests were run and James & his Mama were admitted right away.

We have had such favor with the doctors and the staff.

All glory to God!! 

Tomorrow Lord willing we will find out when the surgery will be scheduled! 

Please pray for God speed and that he would be scheduled for surgery soon!

James is beyond precious and his little giggle fills the day with such a sweet presence.

You all would just love him! 

He is clearly excited for this adventure as is his Mama.

Please pray for peace and comfort.
 These next few days are going to be difficult for both James and his family.

Lots of love from Uganda,

Xo

p.s.
I am sorry to have to delay part 2 of Eeesa's story, but since posting part 1,
 internet has been sketch,at best. Stay tuned for part two.