Our Last week and thoughts on obedience

We just left Soroti and are headed back to Kampala for the night. The past week has been a pretty busy one with weird sleep schedules as we worked in the NICU with all our sweet preemies! We got 3 more admissions after the twins. The first one was little girl about 30 weeks and around 3 lbs named Faith. We switched the twins into 1 isolette and gave her the other. She did awesome and had a great sucking reflex so we got her breastfeeding and doing kangaroo with mom pretty quickly. The next admit was also a girl but this baby was full term. She was an emergency C section due to compound presentation. She wasn’t breathing and had to be resuscitated by the OR team, but she suffered a brain injury due to the lack of oxygen. She is able to breath on her own but seems to be having seizure like activity. There are not tests here we can do to check for seizures so we just started her on a seizure med. right now she is getting her feeds through a tube which she wasn’t tolerating at first but now is, praise God! I’m not sure what her out come will be but be praying for little Joanne. Our last admit was a sweet boy, our only boy admit! He was also about 30 weeks and weighed around 3lbs. He came with pretty severe distress. He spent a few days on 5L on the oxygen concentrator (approx. 35% FiO2) Yesterday he was breathing better so we were able to wean him down to 2L and start feeds through a tube. It was really hard to leave them knowing they are a little short staffed, but I know God is faithful. I am already planning my trip back and will hopefully be coming with Heather in end of November to help open their new NICU unit! So be praying for the Lord’s will to be done there!

One of the twins Apio

Jenn and the other twin Acen

Our 30 week girl Faith

Our term baby Joanne with a cute yawn

Our 30 week boy (he doesn’t have a name yet)

The new NICU building is coming along

Tomorrow we will start the long flight home! Although as I say long flight I think of the missionaries years ago who took boats and then trains and all the disease they encountered along they way without all the treatment that is available today! It really puts the “long flight” into perspective. I have so much respect for those missionaries who lived years ago. They truly left all, they didn’t have much of a choice. It was a few month journey at least just to get to their destination. They weren’t able to communicate back home very easily mostly by mail that would take months to arrive. On one hand I think wow we sure have it easy, but with that we are burdened with more distractions. The people that have gone before me (Helen Roseavere, David Livingston, Hudson Taylor, Jim Elliot, and many more) inspire me to live a life of obedience.

Jim Elliot once said,

“Rest in this: it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you.”

“I may no longer depend on pleasant impulses to bring me before the Lord. I must rather respond to principles I know to be right, whether I feel them to be enjoyable or not.”

God desires obedience over sacrifice. We could travel all around the world and “sacrifice” time, money, and comfort, but if that’s not what he called us to do or we are doing it for our own glory then we are living in disobedience. Obedience presupposes a defined authority outside of our self and allows us to participate with God in the works he has divinely prepared for us. Before Jesus asks you to do something he already prepares the way we just need to obey.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10

In order to be obedient we need to be close to the Lord to hear him. The way to do ministry is to humble yourself and be obedient. God is asking us to take steps of obedience. He might not give us all the steps in advance but He promises to be with us and to lead us in the way we are to go. We can have no influence without obedience. The choices we make influence those around us. Also Obedience protects us from danger and preserves God’s blessings for ourselves and those around us.

Spiritual people are indifferent to their emotions they are more concerned with obedience then happiness -Tozer

Obedience positions us to be all that God calls us to be and provides us with the grace to do all that he calls us to do

Are you committed to obedience? I pray that you are it’s a daily commitment for me and I daily fail but thank the Lord he is gracious! Obedience doesn’t mean it’s going to be some big act or that He is going to send you to a different country. It’s just living your life where he has you and doing what he puts in front of you whether that is being a stay at home mom, working in the corporate world, or serving in ministry.

As we wrap up this trip I want to thank you all for your prayers and support. You are all a blessing to me! Love you all!

-Courtney

Apio and Acen

Well it’s 1am and I’ve been up since 7am and at the hospital since 8am except for a few breaks here and there. I have a few more hours to go before Jenn and Elizabeth come to relieve me from NICU duty. We were blessed with 2 sweet NICU admits this afternoon. They are twins and about 2 months early. They only weigh about 2.5lbs. They are the cutest little girls. Apio and Acen (pronounced achen) those are the names always given to twin girls here in Soroti.

The day started with a group of kids here for their school check up. Jenn and Elizabeth took vitals and did pharmacy while I talked with some of the midwifes about plans for the NICU. (Not knowing that the babies would come that afternoon) and sat and talked with the kids for a while. The day seemed to slow down after all the kids had been seen and I was told that we were getting two premature babies and that we didn’t have any other information. The babies came by ambulance but with no isolettes. The midwife that brought them used a hot water bottle to keep them warm. I was handed one bundle of blankets with a squirming little nugget inside and one of our midwifes took the other. Though we have new equipment here we only have 1 massimo pulse oximeter and 1 IV pump. Thankfully we have 2 isolettes. We have had to improvise by switching he pulse ox and IV pump between the 2 kids. The midwife who came for night duty is alone and has 3 mothers in labor and delivering soon so I am taking the night shift with the babies and Jenn and Elizabeth will come early in the morning to take over. The NICU room is small and hot! They keep the door and window closed to try and reduce infection but that makes it sweltering in here and I can’t wait to go shower. I just heard tonight that the new NICU that is being built will have AC 🙌🏼 praise the Lamb! It’s really amazing to see what God is doing here NS has done since Heather and I first helped with the NICU in 2016.

Apio

Acen

Keep praying for Apio and Acen to grow and be able to catch on to eating quickly. Pray that they don’t get any infection and can continue to breath without oxygen. Thanks for all the prayer and support throughout this trip! I appreciate all of you! God bless!

-Courtney

First 2 weeks in Uganda

Hey all! 👋🏼 it’s Courtney here

Just wanted to write an update. Sorry it’s super long but I haven’t had a good signal until today. So thus a really long post!

I am currently in Uganda and have been here with a team from my church for 2 weeks now. I will be here for another 2 weeks with my little sister Elizabeth and her friend Jen who are newly graduated Nurses. I’m so excited to work with them and proud of all the hard work they have put into this degree!

So the first two weeks of our trip were awesome! We did medical clinics, nursing education, and VBS. The second two weeks will be spent back with the hospital staff in Soroti and will be most likely doing some training with the nurses on care of the premature infants. We are hoping to help them get there NICU up and running again.(its been closed due to equipment failure)

The first few days of our trip were busy with travel, between long plane rides and bus rides. We were able to spend sometime with my siblings over here (Anei, Majok, and Abong Lydia) it was such a blessing to be able to spend time with them as they are all indifferent parts of Uganda now. It was a reminder of what a sweet time it was two years ago when all our Ugandan siblings were living in Soroti with Heather and I for those 5 months.

Anyway we are all doing well and the Lord has been faithful! While in Soroti I spent time in the maternity ward with Elizabeth, Jenn, and Laura (an L and D nurse) while the rest of the team did VBS with about 300 kids. We were able to assist with a c-section for a young Mom who had been laboring at Home, but had not progressed in her labor. During the C Section before the baby was out the Mom suddenly stopped breathing and her vitals dropped. We began to help code her and when the surgeon got the baby out we took him and ended up resuscitating the baby for about 2 minutes. It was a long few minutes for us, but thankfully the Lord had us there to help. Baby and Mom ended up perfectly healthy praise the Lord!

The next day started off with another unexpected medical appointment. We were running late to head to a clinic we were doing for the elderly and as we were almost to the hospital we came upon a motor accident. A little boy had run out in front of a motorcycle and was hit. He split his head open and needed stitches. We quickly dressed the wound and loaded him and his dad onto the bus with us and went straight to the hospital to get him some stitches. He will be just fine as soon as the wound heals up! The rest of the day was a busy with the medical clinic for the elderly in the community. Most of the elderly in the community are not taken care of and are in a way cast off because of their age. We had many patients come through, and we were able to love on them, share Jesus with them, and treat there physical needs. My hand is currently sore from pumping up manual BP cuffs. Haha it really makes you grateful for our technology at home.

We made a quick trip to a village outside of Iganga to dedicate a church and a new birthing center that will be opening soon. It is called Hearts for Africa and the heart and desire of the ministry is to give mothers a clean and healthy place to give birth. It was started by a midwife from the US along with a doctor and his wife who is also a midwife. Along with the hospital they also built a church and my brother Majok Abraham is now leading the brand new fellowship! It was such a blessing to be there and watch him in this new role! I am so proud of him and excited to see what God is doing in him.

Next stop Midigo, we started our time there in church and it was so fun to catch up with old friends there. The next day we did a mobile medical outreach where we went to a nearby village and set up a makeshift clinic outside a school. We saw over 100 patients and were able to pray over them and share the love of Jesus. Most of these patients had malaria and had been living with malaria for a few weeks if not months. I love doing these clinics but they are also hard because there are always more patients then we are able to see. It makes it really hard to pack it up for the day. While the medical clinic was going on the other part of them team did a VBS with the kids from church. They had a blast! Tuesday everyone went to the refugee camp and spent time with the church inside the camp. Everyone was really blessed. Wednesday a few of us nurses did a some teaching to the medical staff on pediatric emergencies and the staff asked great questions and were really attentive which made it a pleasure to teach. Then we drove to Arua for Wednesday night service at Calvary Chapel Arua.

Elizabeth teaching on respiratory distress

Morning devotions out on prayer rock.

Thursday we headed off the our place near the game park. We stayed at a pretty cool place overlooking the Nile River. We stayed in super nice glamping tents. It was absolutely beautiful and so cool to see God’s hand work in creation from the animals to the beautiful Murchison Falls. Though I have seen it many times it never ceases to amaze me.

The view

Our tent

It has been such a blessing to serve with this team! I’m going to miss them all the next few weeks!

Currently Jen, Elizabeth, and I are all having a restful day with our sister Lydia before we drop her back off at school tomorrow and head up to Soroti to start working at the hospital.

As a team we have been going through the book Calvary Road by Roy Hession. If you have never read his book before I would encourage you to pick it up. It’s a pretty quick read but it cuts to the heart. It was written in 1950 (I think) but it is still super relevant for today! I have read this book before a few years back but it has been so convicting and yet refreshing to read through it again. This part of chapter 2 really got me.

“Only one thing prevents Jesus filling our cups as He passes by, and thaT is sin in one of its thousand forms. The Lord Jesus does not fill dirty cups. Anything that springs from self, however small it may be, is sin. Self-energy or self-complacency in service is sin. Self-pity in trials or difficulties, self-seeking in business or Christian work, self-indulgence in one’s spare time, sensitiveness, touchiness, resentment and self-defence when we are hurt or injured by others,self-consciousness, reserve, worry, fear, all spring from self and all are sin and make our cups unclean. [*] But all of them were put into that other cup, which the Lord Jesus shrank from momentarily in Gethsemane, but which He drank to the dregs at Calvary–the cup of our sin. And if we will allow Him to show us what is in our cups and then give it to Him, He will cleanse them in the precious Blood that still flows for sin. That does not mean mere cleansing from the guilt of sin, nor even from the stain of sin–though thank God both of these are true–but from the sin itself, whatever it may be. And as He cleanses our cups, so He fills them to overflowing with His Holy Spirit.” -Roy Hession, The Calvary Road

Again he Lord is gently telling me to lay down my own rights, and to surrender to His will and plans. To be thinking of others more then myself. To be open and transparent with those around me and to have true humility. I am totally not that person yet but I press on toward the goal of the upward call of Christ, and desire to be like him!

Thank you all for your prayers and keep praying for us that the Lord will Work humility in all of us and that we will be open and willing to do whatever the Lord has for us. Love you all!