01 November 2008

On the blog again

Sorry for the long delay in writing! Internet access has been a bit non-existent lately.

Quick recap of the week plus since I last wrote:
We were in Kajo Keji for some five days, and it was a really relaxing time for me. I had my own tukul (say “too-kull”), and got some much needed alone time. I got to see my very favorite baby, Sarah, who is walking now (is a sponsorship director allowed to have favorites? Well, I do.), and one night had the great privilege of sitting outside a tukul watching a tremendous lightning storm while stroking the heads of small children as they fell asleep in my lap. On Sunday I had a brief malaria scare (NOT pregnancy scare!) when I threw up after church, but I eventually determined that I had thrown up because I didn’t eat breakfast when I took my malaria medicine, so the medicine made me sick. Once I threw up I felt totally fine, but I used it as an excuse to go lie down for much of the day with a little baby asleep on my chest.

On Monday we went to the community of people with leprosy in a place called Mogiri. There were about twenty-five of them there, representing the nearly two thousand who have been identified in the surrounding districts. Of those two thousand, thirty-five have been classified as “pure disabled”, meaning that they’ve perhaps lost all their fingers or are unable to walk or have lost their sight. The tragedy is that leprosy is totally treatable. It’s not even existent in the West, because the medicine is readily available, but there are a bevy of reasons why these people have not received those drugs. We brought them some supplies of cassava flour, beans, washing soap, and salt, and after preparing special bags for those pure disabled, we left the rest for the somewhat self-appointed aid workers to distribute the remainder. One of my team members had a difficult time believing that we were doing a good thing, since there was a certain amount of desperate greed present – we had to specifically measure out the same number of cups of flour into each of the bags rather than estimating, because those who were receiving wanted to be assured that every person got exactly the same amount. Our friend Jose was adamant that it was a good thing, and pointed out that that kind of greed is ugly and that it should make us uncomfortable to be around people who are reduced to fighting over half an inch in a bag of flour, but that doesn’t mean that we’re wrong for doing what we’re doing! Sometimes it is more important for us to see that ugliness to shock us out of our comfort zone.

We returned to Adjumani on Tuesday, and I got a call on our way back to Adjumani that the kids were really excited to see me. I was, of course, thrilled to see them, and immediately started checking the wounds that I’d treated the week before, especially Korsuk’s leg (see pictures in last blog post) and Seme’s foot, which had a hole in the heel that wasn’t healing. I was hoping for clean scabs with no pus, but both boys have new skin there! They’re nearly healed, and they all assured me that the boys I left in charge of the supplies had been changing the band-aids every day. I can’t tell you how gratifying and encouraging that was! We also measured all the girls for bras, since they told us last time that they don’t own bras (and they should). While I measured the girls with a piece of fabric, then measured the fabric on a twelve-inch ruler to find their sizes, they began discussing things, and when we finished I asked if there was anything else they needed or wanted to ask. One of the girls said “well, we don’t have any panties….” I nearly started crying, especially for those older girls who are menstruating. Fortunately the Berean team decided to bless the kids by purchasing two panties, a slip and a bra for each girl and a pair of boxer shorts for each boy when we returned here to Kampala.

So, long story wrapping up, we’re now in Kampala, and have purchased all the necessary items. I’m embroidering their names on the slips and the shorts at the request of the staff here so that they won’t get mixed up in the washing. (Five slips down so far, six to go, in addition to the eleven pairs of boxer shorts.) My team leaves tonight, and I’ll have three days off before the Warner Pacific duo arrives on Tuesday evening. I’m planning to meet some friends for pizza, meet with Jose to discuss some sponsorship stuff, and meet with Annet the nurse about some health things for Amazing Grace. I’ll also read a lot, watch a lot of movies, and finish my embroidery.

I’ve been hearing that a lot of people are reading this blog now, and I’d like to make an appeal to you. Would you consider getting involved in one of the following needs?
- The team coming doesn’t have the funds to purchase supplies for the people with leprosy, and I’d like to buy blankets and/or petroleum jelly, things they expressed a need for. Obviously we’ll buy as many as possible with the funds that come in, but I’d like to raise at least $250 to purchase at least for the pure disabled.

- The girls at Amazing Grace are going to run out of the sanitary napkins we brought within a few months, and I’d like to make sure that they’re set up for at least six to twelve months before I leave. That would be about $50.

- It’s a small thing, but if anyone would have a chance to get twelve small, simple solar-powered calculators to Dan Holcomb at the Lahash office, there are several kids entering exams who have asked for calculators, and there are no solar-powered ones here that I can find. Please email dholcomb@lahash.net to arrange for a transfer before Sunday night so that the team who is coming can carry them to me. (And if that same person wants to send me some peanut M&Ms, I’d be grateful!)

To donate to any of these causes, you can go to www.lahash.net and go to our online donation page. Just mention my name and the thing you are donating to in the "Other:" box, and I'll be able to access that money.

Thanks for your continued prayers. Please pray for some rest for me this weekend! (The picture at right is me with a kid called Mak Wei at St. Bartholomew's Orphanage. The man at right is the child sponsorship director for IWASSRU, Sokiri Benjamin.)

Blessings to you all,



Jeannie said...

We're on the calculators, just FYI.
Love you Leisha!
Jeannie & Mike

Leisha said...

Thank you for reading the blog and for being willing to buy the calculators and send them! I love you guys!