In the Field.

In the field… that’s where work gets done, right? It’s where seeds are sown, and where they are harvested months later, having been cared for and watched over carefully.

After months of planning, working, building up and training the LifeNet team here in Uganda, we are now visiting partner health centers!

We have been able to write about some of the struggles we have been facing along the way, and it’s definitely been a challenge. Obstacles continue to appear, typically at the last minute! I compare it to the speed bumps here in Uganda… they are huge, they are oftentimes unmarked, and you can even find them on highways! Even a watchful eye can be unprepared when the next one comes around the corner.

Looking back and seeing the challenges that we’ve been facing, we know more are coming. In the midst of all that, we have had an incredibly encouraging week, with time spent in the field.

LifeNet International partners with church-based health centers to providing ongoing medical and management training, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of care being provided, and the financial sustainability of our partner health centers.

That sounds like a lot, but what it means is this: We are working alongside these health centers to build their capacity so they can provide healthcare at the highest standards to those who need it the most.

This week, we’ve been able to move out of our Kampala office and get into the field, visiting one of these health center partners each day. What an incredible experience it has been, to spend time with these clinicians, nurses, and lab technicians working on the front-lines with limited resources to do whatever they can to make a difference.

To help our partners, we have put together a pretty incredible team.

There’s me of course, as the country director!
Nadine, acting as a medical consultant.
James, our Ugandan Nurse Trainer.
Prize, our Ugandan Management Trainer.
Steven, our Driver/Program Assistant
Molly, our Monitoring & Evaluation Officer.

I’ve just read my “incredible team” statement again, please know that I’m referring to our awesome staff, not heaping praise upon myself! I’m way too humble to do anything like that. 😉

In performing these site visits, we’ve witnessed the need for LifeNet’s program to address the gaps and deficiencies we’ve come across. During one of our visits, James and Nadine came across a young boy who had been brought into the health center by his father, with advanced malaria. The little boy had seized and was lying on the floor unconscious in the waiting room, and no one had attended to him, while his father just sat next to him, quiet with helplessness. James carried him into the treatment room to alert the nursing staff, and he and Nadine worked to make sure he received the care he needed.

The wide gaps and problems we are seeing is exciting. It’s exciting to be in the field, recognizing the work that needs to be done, and feeling up to the task of making a difference. In these first visits, we are sowing seeds, knowing that with hard work and diligence, soon we will be harvesting!

It’s just so encouraging, and affirming for Nadine and I, that we are doing what God is calling us to do. We are in the right place. It may not make sense sometimes, why we would choose to continue working out here, and continue to struggle and face challenges… we get asked that question often! It sometimes gets confusing for us as well! Yet, we are gifted with the understanding of the value of the work we are doing here. We see it as a great treasure that God has placed before us, located in a field, waiting to be discovered (Matthew 13).

So work is getting done, and the progress we have been steadily making is now manifesting itself as stories and experiences taking place in the field.

As we teach best practices in healthcare and management for our partner health centers, we are striving to achieve a quality standard across our network here in Uganda, continuing the great work that is being done by the team still working in Burundi. In the middle of all of the political turmoil going on there, the LifeNet family in Burundi is still working to meet the needs of 60 health center partners across the country.

Before leaving, I’d love to highlight an exciting opportunity for giving that can benefit the work LifeNet is doing here in Uganda and in Burundi. A donor has come forward that has promised a matching grant for every dollar donated to LifeNet in Uganda.

Nadine and I are still seeking support for our work with LifeNet in Uganda, through our partnership with SIM Canada. These donations will first fund our support, with every dollar raised above that going to fund LifeNet’s program here.

A generous partner recently gave a $50,000 USD matching grant to LifeNet! With this matching grant opportunity, every dollar given towards the Uganda program (that includes our support!) will be matched, up to $50,000 USD, and donated to the Burundi program.

This matching grant will only be released if we succeed in raising $50,000 USD for Uganda! It’s a daunting task, but if we are successful, it will mean a matching gift of $50,000 USD for LifeNet in Burundi. It’s an incredible opportunity we have to double down on our resources to make an incredible difference here in East Africa. All you have to do is donate to our LifeNet Uganda page through SIM Canada (for Canadians) or directly through LifeNet’s website (for everybody else), and we’ll take care of the rest! Even ongoing monthly donations will be considered for the match!

Click HERE to make a difference!

For those who are interested outside of Canada, you can visit the LifeNet website HERE and follow instructions for donating, and designate your funds for LifeNet in Uganda by simply mentioning the matching grant opportunity.

I just want to thank you all for your support through prayer for us. It makes all of the difference out here, we know! Reading our stories, both good and bad, is also a great encouragement for us, especially when you share them with others. We continue to move forward here and make progress, but it can only be done through your support and advocacy for us.

Pray for us and our team in the coming weeks as we continue to schedule and perform visits, build relationships and build our program here in Uganda.

Thanks for reading and for sharing! We hope to hear from you soon!

Josh.

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