Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Real Healthcare Crisis + Uganda Update!

Hey guys! First, I wanted to say thank you all who have shared my blog post, shared the message on facebook, instagram or where ever and second thank you for your prayers! Refuge 127 has become such a huge part of our lives, but especially the team that is in Uganda and I know they feel your prayers!

Today, I was able to not only speak with Seth - me and the kids were able to face time him for a little while this morning! They were at the hotel in Kampala, Uganda and had wifi (not the best connection, but hey it worked for a little while!) I was also able to speak with my sister in law Mandyand my friend Lacey! They were suppose to head to the orphanage today, but due to plane delays (by hours!!) they got pushed back a day. So, as I type this message they are headed to the orphanage (which is about a 5 hr bus ride from where they are).  

My husband teaching Francis & Geoffrey how to catch an American Football!!

Thank God for modern technology, wifi, and Facetime! Uganda doesn't seem so far when you can see the people you love!

Hearing Seth's voice today was really nice, but the change in his heart is pretty incredible already. It's all very humbling and I am not even there! Seth shared a story with me today on the phone and I wanted to share with you guys because it moved me to my core. Because the team are all Americans their is an unspoken rule that they at all times have African men with them. One it helps with language barriers, directions, buying things (apparently when they go to the market - they negotiate prices - I mean could you see us at Rouses Supermarket - "Yes, would you take $1 for these bananas?") and mostly safety purposes. One of the African men with Seth and the team is named Francis. Seth told me Francis is married and has 6 children of his own and has adopted 7 children. He is the worship leader at his church and also has a day job as a taxi driver. In the past he has owned his own taxi, but recently wrecked his taxi so he is now renting one from someone else . Because he is renting one now - it cuts a great deal into his income. He is paying close to 50% of his wages to just renting the taxi, so he told Seth he is saving up to purchase a taxi so that he can increase his income and be able to adopt more children. Right now he can't afford to take care of any more children, but once he can save up enough money he will purchase a taxi. In the United States people spend between $30,000 to $40,000 on average on a vehicle - in Uganda $10,000 will buy him a taxi and provide him with a decent wage which will allow him to adopt more children in need!

Last year's mission trip - my sister in law Mandy and a team member Ronnie.

He then told Seth today that his wife was in the hospital and they believed she may have Malaria. So, I get we think we have a healthcare crisis in America - but we have no idea what a healthcare crisis really is!! What we have is truly the best healthcare in the world!! We have the best doctors in the world with access to modern medicine and the latest greatest technology. The people of Uganda know all about healthcare crisis - their crisis you ask - NOTHING! There is no health insurance, covered services while in the hospital, routine check ups, access to good quality medicines at your finger tips - it is humbling how little availability is out there. If someone enters the hospital in Uganda, they have to pay out of pocket for all the services performed and medicine given. In Katie Davis's book Kisses by Katie - she writes about the healthcare system in Uganda and states that if you are unable to pay for services you are basically left to die in the hospital. The doctor doesn't make rounds and check up on you, food isn't provided for you, medicine isn't given - nothing! Seth began to tell me that Francis was only going to be able to keep his wife in the hospital maybe one day because he wouldn't be able to afford her continued care. I mean my heart broke - she is a mom with 13 children and possibly can't be treated for Malaria!! Well that is when God steps in - you see I believe it is no chance of luck that Francis and my husband crossed paths. None at all. It was a divine appointment. It was Seth's chance to bless someone who is sold out to God, but financially doesn't have the ability to continue to pay for his wife's medical care. She will stay in the hospital and Seth will provide him the money each day - because after all - $16.00 American dollars will get her the daily medical care that she needs to become healthy again. Can you imagine that? We live in a country that you don't have to work and you get free health insurance and someone across the world may die because they can't afford $16 a day for a hospital stay with the proper medications. God Help Us Americans. We have no clue! I have never taken healthcare for granted, but really won't now - not ever!!! Today, as I brought my little boy to Urgent Care and he was diagnosed with the Flu I thought to myself - Wow - in the matter of 30 minutes I will have medication for him (that was electronically sent to the pharmacy of my choice) and within 24 hours I will see many of his symptoms disappear. In Uganda that never happens. Never.

The story continues...While in the market today Seth and the team noticed child after child roaming the busy city streets of Kampala, Uganda - completely homeless, orphaned, starving, dying and ALONE! Parentless! Imagine driving through all busy city in the United States and seeing 3 year olds roaming the streets - would you not stop dead in your tracks or possible notify police?
 Seth noticed a child who was around the age of 3 and he only had a shirt on - no shoes, no underwear, nothing but a shirt and people just continued to pass this child by one after another. You see this is a regular sighting for them - they have become so immune to homeless children wondering and living on the streets that they don't even stop any more. Why stop? What can they offer them? Well you see this is where Francis steps in - he wants to open his home and adopt more, but is limited on income now and wouldn't be able to provide for there basic necessities. How many more good Ugandan people like Francis are out there, but are limited due to such low levels of income. Well this is where Refuge 127 steps in - its our heartbeat and I hope that it can be yours. Not everyone can be missionaries - God didn't call us all to be missionaries - but he did call us to be his servants. We can all serve in different ways, but no service goes unnoticed in God's eyes. None too small - none too big! Let's go and take care of his sheep.

If you want to know more about ways you can support our work - go to Refuge 127 and you can become a monthly sponsor. But, we don't just need money to keep this going - we need prayers, laborers, and willingness to be used in any way possible! I am praying about a medical mission that I would love to see take place - Refuge 127 has been in contact with Thibodaux Regional Medical Center and I would love to see a medical missions take place in 2014!! I am praying for doctors, nurses, and any medical professionals who feels the burden to come forward in 2014!!

This little girl that Seth is hugging - her name is Praise. Her father is the Bishop (pastor) and director/owner of the orphanage.

Thanks for reading!

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