Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Recounting my year in Uganda


1.    I am so thankful for the encouragement & support from friends and family back home! Thank you so much for the emails, pictures, cards, and care packages!

It says "Attention Beaware of Hot Dog
Eseza and Viola

2.     I am so thankful for each one of the kids at GSF (MKs and GSF kids). They are so very special to me and I can honestly say, I really love each one of them!  I’m going to really miss them all. The hardest part of ending this year was leaving these kids.

Some of the toddlers
3.     I am so thankful for the GSF missionaries. I thank them for inviting me to meals, for throwing me a surprise birthday party, for calling me when spotting a hyrax (my dream!), for helping me catch rats and bats in my house, for driving me places, for being my friend, and for their servant’s heart and ministry here in Uganda, at GSF.

Nurse Ruth & I
Some of our girls
4.     I am so thankful for each one of the GSF Ugandan staff here.  I thank them for being my nursing partner, for killing snakes and rats in my house, for teaching me Luganda, for scratching my back (I kept scratching my back during service and one of the aunties decided to scratch it for me…random, but nice), for teaching me how to cook certain things, for giving me treats and trying to feed me, for teaching me how to drive in Uganda, and so much more!

Pius, Paul, & Niko
5.     I am so thankful to be surrounded by God’s beautiful creation here in Uganda. Pictures don’t do justice

6.     I am so thankful for those days when I am so discouraged yet God provides me with pockets of grace through people here at GSF.

Like the kids teasing me and saying my name with a lisp (even though I don’t think they know what a lisp is). A boy telling me, “Nurse Kim, it’s snowing!” (even though it was just fog). One of them scaring me for no reason. One of them showing me how the farmers hang dead monkeys on the trees to use as a scarecrow. Ones that randomly run up to me and hug me.  Ones that randomly pray for me, “apart, together, Father God, we thank you for Nurse Kim.” Those moments are such a blessing to me.
Missionaries from GSF, sadly missing Tom & Sharon Batley

Caralina and Kenny
7.     I am thankful for some signs that I’ve seen. They just crack me up. (I know, I know, I’m a bit immature!). Signs like "How's your love life?""Attention, Beaware of hot dog" 

8.     I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to teach Sunday School. I seriously loved my Sunday School class and man, it was such a learning experience. I am thankful for their grace.

9.     I am so thankful for the opportunities I was able to take little breaks—whether to visit other ministries or to travel. They were much needed.

10. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work at a government hospital here. It was heartbreaking and frustrating, but such a sanctifying and good experience.

11. I am so thankful for all the people I’ve met throughout this missions process/year. I am glad I had opportunities to meet so many people from all over the world! It’s really cool hearing people’s stories and seeing what God’s doing in their life.

older MK girls

12.  I am so thankful that I was here during an Ebola outbreak (even though we were FAR FAR away from the outbreak!).  It gave me a new perspective.

13. I am so thankful for seeing the need of solid teaching and discipleship here in Uganda. It’s MUCH needed. I am thankful for those who are doing that here. 

Supposedly Studying
Some of the older kids
14.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be a nurse here. It was crazy at times, challenging, discouraging, and tiring but also a joy and a blessing.. P.S. GET YOUR MMR!

15. I am so thankful that I was able to experience a lot of “firsts” with some of the kids. Like ice cream, cold water, elevator rides, KFC (yup, they have KFC here now!), boda rides, bubbles, balloons, etc!

16. I am so thankful to witness some changes in some of the children’s lives.
From looking a bit more healthier and chubbier to hearts softening and attitudes changing.

17. I am so thankful that being at GSF has given me a clearer picture
of orphans, adoption, and the Gospel.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Recounting February Blessings!

HI All!

A quick update for you for the month of February! (Sorry I am a slacker)

1) Lisa came to Uganda and she was able to visit me at GSF. It was SOO SOO good. I wish I was still with her in Uganda, but I had to leave to go to Kenya. Anyways,  it was nice having my old roommate & close friend here! Seriously. I will be sad to leave her in Africa even though we aren't in the same country. Pray for her ministry in S. Sudan! She's been such a blessing to me, I know, even though it's hard in Nagishot, she will be/is a blessing to the Didinga and the other missionaries there.

Saturday off to tube down the Nile

2) Not sure if I mentioned this...but we got 5 new kids! Sarah. Baby triplets, Kaana, Teopesta, and Victoria and their older brother, Ashiraff. And another baby girl, Patricia! ( I think the MUMPS outbreak in the baby house is finally OVER)! GET YOUR MMR.


3) Chaperoned a Valentines day dance and movie party for our teens. I guess I didn't chaperone them that well--because 4 of the boys ended up dancing on a table... & I took a picture

4) Took my Sunday School class swimming.  It was my goodbye  to them and also to celebrate their last Sunday School class with me! Lisa helped me chaperone them!

5) Right now I am in Kenya. Long story short, but I found out my work visa expired the last week of February. After much prayer and confusion and sleepless nights (i was torn whether to leave now instead of renewing my visa), I decided I wanted to stay a little longer in Uganda to help out at  GSF (as of right now, there are no other missionary nurses who will be at GSF to take over). Soooo instead of heading home to the U.S. last week/this week, I am in Kenya. This was our best option in order for me to go back into Uganda and stay an extra two weeks. So I'll be checking out Kijabe hospital (a non profit hospital founded by missionaries) while I am here. It will be interesting to see the difference between government hospital in Uganda and here!
Kijabe -RVA missionary school


Saturday, January 10, 2015

LIGHTING up the old & new year(s)

We celebrated New Years Eve with the GSF family by lighting floating lanterns. It was a fun celebration and I think the kids were confused and too excited that they thought our camera flashes were “the lights!” 

The lights reminded me of the verse in Matthew 5:16

“Let your light shine before men in a such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven”

I pray (& please pray for me), like the floating lights/lanterns we set off on NYE, that God will continually use me as a light to the people at GSF, to the people in Buundo village, to the people in Uganda, to the people in this world. That is my prayer for myself, that the last 10 months I’ve been here, the remaining 2 months I have left here, and for the rest of my life (wherever I am) that God would use me as His light to bring glory and praise to Him.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Recounting December blessings

I love the winter! I especially love it in the States because of the atmosphere (and commercialism). You definitely can tell when it’s November and December (at least I hope/think so!).  The weather gets a little colder and crisper.  There’s the excitement of planning events for the holidays with family and friends. There’s the scent of Christmas trees  (I can just sit in a Christmas tree lot to soak (or is it sniff) up the smell). There’s the busyness of events during the holiday season. There’s Christmas music that starts even before Thanksgiving (although I do admit I like listening to Christmas music in the summer sometimes…). There are lights and decorations and red Starbucks cups. The malls, houses, and streets are nicely decorated. There’s just a sense of holiday cheer and atmosphere that makes it feel like Christmas!  

Of course, December in Uganda is not quite the same as back home (not in a bad way!). Unlike back in the States, it’s hard to tell…besides looking at the calendar.

The weather is definitely not cool and crisp. It is HOT. I’ve been sweating like crazy (sometimes I wonder if God is helping me sympathize with an auntie who I’ve been trying to explain menopause to….)

Besides the missionary houses, there aren’t really any decorations around my area except an occasional inflatable Santa and a Christmas tree here and there. Like I said earlier, there are some decorations like fake Christmas trees, other decorations, and lights that some of us missionaries bought (those lights occasionally electrocute people….but I still think they are beautiful! Beauty is pain) but that’s the extent of it.

I don’t really have the smell of Christmas trees instead I sometimes smell sugar cane and bat urine (seriously my house is infested with bats). (I also have smelt something funny in my house…I think it’s a dead rat or bat hidden somewhere).

You don’t really hear Christmas music playing around here. There are drive-by DJ’s in their trucks but they don’t really play Christmas music.

Even though there’s no “Christmas cheer” in Uganda, it’s been a blessing having Christmas here (and I’m not writing this to complain at all—I promise and I hope it doesn’t seem like that). God’s used this as a reminder that even though it doesn’t feel like Christmas or that there’s no “Christmas cheer” to simply come and worship and celebrate the real reason of Christmas-- for the pure beauty of Jesus birth.  It’s simple here and I love it because it is a good reminder for me. I love what John Piper wrote in his Advent Devotional-- “The reason he became man was to die. As God, he could not die for sinners. But as man he could. His aim was to die. Therefore he had to be born human. He was born to die. Good Friday is the reason for Christmas.”

Hebrews 2:14-15 “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery”

I’m glad I was reminded of how much I relied on the “Christmas cheer” and atmosphere of Christmas. So I am thankful that this year I was able to be away from the distractions of “Christmas cheer” and really be able to be reminded of the real reason why we celebrate Christmas-- -Jesus! (& I’m not saying I don’t like the Christmas cheer back at home or that it is wrong:) Hope this makes sense because i'm typing in a rush! 

Blessings/updates from the last entry!  

Blessing 1: Lisa Lock! Before flying her off to S. Sudan she was able to spend Thanksgiving with me and the missionaries at GSF. I was also able to take her around GSF, Kampala and Jinja before she flew out to S. Sudan. It was sweet and a blessing and i'm so encouraged.  I’m so excited for her and her ministry in South Sudan.
Lisa and I were also able to visit a mosque in Kampala. It was soo sooo good for us to go. It was very insightful, interesting, and sad. Please pray.



tower in mosque


Blessing 2: WATER! I did a hydration clinic with some of the aunties and I was able to give them some of the water bottles and encourage them to drink more water and the benefits of water. Thank you to whoever helped purchase them for us! I think when all the kiddos are here I will be giving them out to them and having a hydration clinic with them!

water bottles for the aunties

Blessing 3: Thanksgiving & Praise Day! I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving here with the missionaries (and Lisa!) and also we had a day of thanksgiving here at GSF with all the Ugandan workers. There were a lot of performances, worship and just a day set aside to give thanks to the Lord for all He has done this year.

missionary Thanksgiving--we played musical chairs 

Blessing 4: Christmas in November!  We had an early Christmas party for some of the kids who were going back to their village for the holidays.

lisa teaching the kids how to be a reindeer

Blessing 5: Being able to spend time with the kiddos like doing crafts or baking. Also being able to visit some of the children who were visiting their village/resettled.  


visiting some homes that some of our kids are at

Blessing 6: I got my Ugandan Nursing License! I am registered here!

Blessing 7: Graduations! K5 Graduation.

Blessing 8: Sleepovers! We had a MK older girl sleepover. They stay up SUPER late and watched so many movies.  Had a sleepover with some of the GSF girls who weren’t able to go home. It was fun and hopefully a blessing to them. The  4 girls were able to try spaghetti for the first time, hot chocolate, and pancakes. They were hyped on sugar.
I had some of the GSF toddler girls sleep over. That was interesting and fun.

older GSF girls sleepover with me&katie

toddler sleepover

toddlers sleeping til late

Blessing 9: Birthday! The missionaries surprised me for my birthday. I thought I was in trouble because I was called in for a meeting but instead they surprised me with cake. Later on some of them took me out for dinner. Such a blessing.

Blessing 10: Christmas Celebrations! We had many events with the kids, staff, and missionaries. We also had a staff party for the GSF workers. I am soo not a dancer.

GSF staff Christmas party for all the workers

caroling to the houses

christmas caroling to the houses

christmas story


missionary christmas brunch

christmas lunch with the GSF kids

opening their gifts

Urgent Prayer Request: Please pray for one of our babies. He is in kidney failure and we currently admitted him to a new hospital here in Jinja.  Please pray for him. He's one tough baby! 

Sorry for any craziness, typos or whatever. I am trying to get my blog post out before December ends and I need to go! BYE!