24 October 2008

We’ve arrived now at St. Bartholomew’s in Kajo Keji, but last night as I was lying in bed listening to the rain, I was thinking about the children at Amazing Grace Orphanage. The past few days that we were at Amazing Grace were really special and really difficult days for me.

Since my last visit here to Amazing Grace, I’ve been really focused on the children of Amazing Grace, knowing that I’d be going back shortly. I made it a priority to learn the names of each of the 22 children, and it paid off. I feel like I made huge strides in developing deeper relationships with the children, who have become so close to my heart that I was moved to tears last night as I prayed for them.

I observed a couple of needs that the children had that I could meet, so the first afternoon I pulled out my sewing kit and began mending school uniforms and play clothes. One little boy, Bojo, was running around each afternoon in trousers that had a hole ripped clear up his butt, like those old-fashioned footie pajamas with the flap over the butt that detaches. I found some jeans for him to wear while I cut the pockets out to make patches for his play trousers (not pants, pants are underwear here…a mistake I made when I asked one of the boys if he wanted me to buy him pants with the money his sponsor had sent for clothing…I got a long stare). I also ran out of black and blue thread repairing torn sleeves in school uniforms and tears in skirts. There was only one pair of shorts that I couldn’t do anything with, they were nearly shredded, so I had to admit defeat on that front, but I told Waran that I’d try to bring him some new shorts when I return from Kampala in a few weeks.

The Berean team had collected a number of supplies from the members of their church and other communities, including some first aid type medical supplies. I had noticed one of the boys, Seme (say “Sehm-me”), was limping, and I asked him to show me his foot. He had a sore on the back of his foot that had probably started as a mosquito bite but he’d scratched it until the skin broke and it became infected. As we were sitting looking as his foot, he had to practically hit the flies to keep them off of the wound. It’s no wonder, between the dirt and the flies, that it had become infected. I’m concerned that the infection has gone even to the bone, but I did what I could. I showed his brother, Sule (say “Soo-lay”), how to apply antibacterial ointment and bandages to his foot, and wrap it in athletic tape to keep the bandage in place. Once I’d bandaged Seme’s foot, many of the other boys started coming to show me their wounds. It seemed that nearly everyone had some kind of cut or sore on their legs or feet that had become infected. One boy, Korsuk (say “Kor-sook”), had such a bad leg that I couldn’t use band-aids. I felt like some kind of field medic trimming a bandana to use as a bandage for his leg.

We showed them how to use salt in warm water to clean their wounds, and gave antibacterial soap to each of them for cleaning the wounds each day. I instructed the two oldest boys in how to clean and bandage, and gave them all of the supplies. We did a little lesson that night on keeping bodies, clothes, and bedding clean in order to keep mites and bedbugs away, and I explained about getting hydrocortisone for things that itch and antibacterial ointment for things that break the skin. I asked them to change their bandages every day while I was away, and when I go back on Tuesday, we’ll see how they did!

Teresa, Rita, Christine, and I had a small meeting with the girls who’ve begun menstruating. We had asked for sanitary napkins for the girls, and some were donated, so we distributed those, and answered the questions that they had about PMS, how often to change the maxi pad, and the questions they began to ask about sexual activity. One girl shared that a friend of hers at school had been advised by a doctor to have sex in order to bring regularity to her cycle, and they were wondering if that was good advice. We shared with them that sex is a beautiful thing created by God for a husband and a wife to enjoy within the commitment of marriage, and that no matter what a doctor may say about the physical benefits of having sex before marriage, they did not account for what God has said about waiting for marriage or for the emotional and spiritual impact that sexual activity has on a woman. It was a beautiful time, and although they were very shy, I think they were encouraged. I know I was.

This blog post is long enough now, but please pray for the following things:
* People with a heart to give for the medical needs at Amazing Grace Orphanage.
* Sponsors for the remaining children at Amazing Grace (contact me at ladams@lahash.net to find out more)
* Grace and strength for me as a team leader. We’ve hit some rough patches, and I’ve questioned my ability to lead this team. It’s been discouraging and frustrating, and I’m still having a difficult time.

Blessings to all of you. Thank you for your prayers.

Oh, and I almost forgot my biggest accomplishment of the trip so far! Killing this thing!


annie skroski said...

i am impressed by your sewing skills. i know i had nothing to do with them, but i am going to pretend i did. i'm glad you are developing such strong relationships and bonds with the kids there. you are all in my prayers (say a special hello to piting for me). for some reason the picture of whatever that thing was that you killed doesn't show up, but i'm sure it was impressive. i'm pretending it was a man eating lion like in the ghost and the darkness. accurate, yes?

Leisha said...

Actually it's a giant, hairy spider.