Yesterday (18 February) Uganda’s polls opened for the 2016 Presidential elections. Widespread delays in polls opening, oppression and even the arrest of opposition candidates, blocking of internet access, and rampant reports of vote tampering and rigging have plagued Uganda over the past 36 hours. Riots and significant police action have characterized several neighbourhoods in Kampala. We remain in perfect safety and security, and will take every precaution moving forward. Given how things have
progressed repeated themselves from 2011, there is the potential for small pockets of organized protests and violence in Uganda over the next few months. We will do a much better job of working to keep you updated, but please follow me on Facebook (the only Joshua Guenther in Kampala!) or Twitter (@J_Guenther) as I’ll be updating those spaces more frequently. Please pray for this country, for its leaders and its stability. Please pray for the millions of young people growing up in a stagnating economy, where jobs are nowhere to be found and education remains a distant priority for the government. Just pray!
— We now return to our normal blog post!!
One year in Uganda!
It was January 27th, meaning that 12 months prior I had just finished the two day journey of driving our truck – packed with our belongings – across 3 countries, to land here in Uganda, our new home.
It’s taken a lot of grief, frustration, blood, and tears to get through this past year, but adventures like this tend to come with their fair share of danger. Though sometimes, it feels like more than the fair share.
It’s strange, over the past 12 months, I’ve felt like disagreeing with God…. a lot. Probably too many times (is “one” too many?). Yet it’s also put me in a place of recognizing my own fallibility and errancy, next to His plans for us. It’s easy to look back, see what God has done, and think “Whoa,” but it’s SO MUCH harder to think the same thing in the moment as it’s crushing you. We put God in this box we call “time” and we don’t understand it. That’s the temptation at least, for me.
So I feel like God is teaching me to be able to step outside of my own understanding and ATTEMPT to see things from his perspective (Proverbs 3:5-6).
It’s one of those lessons you’d never ever want to learn, but you turn out to be supremely grateful for it afterwards! God is teaching me, and I am growing. This holds true for both Nadine and I.
The lessons come through obstacles, but they also come through progress, and wow, is progress being made! Just this month, we are finalizing our next group of partners as we move from 10 to 20 health centers! Whoa! My local team has grown from 6 (including Nadine and myself) to 10! We are officially registered as an NGO here in Uganda! We are laying down the ground work to move to 40 health centers this summer, as we work to pursue even more funding to expand to 120 health facilities by the end of 2018. God is providing awesome partners, local priests, reverends and healthcare workers with a desire to provide the highest quality of care possible to Uganda’s poor.
One health center we recently visited was built because mothers in the area had to travel at least 4 hours on the back of a bicycle to deliver in a medical facility. Another partner we visited, had only three healthcare workers working to serve over 500 patients each month in a run-down health center that looks like it should be condemned! These three are so passionate about providing care, and running their health center in the best way possible, that they had charted out their patient volume numbers on a piece of old cardboard, and then nailed it to the wall! They’re using every resource they have to improve the care they can provide, and we can help!
You can reach out and support the incredible work that is being done here in Uganda, as we improve the healthcare for tens of thousands of patients, by visiting our project page at SIM Canada HERE (http://www.sim.ca/projects/LifenetUganda). Your continued support will help us reach our goal of providing training and capacity building to 40 health centers this year, and improving health services for more than 24,000 patient visits each month.
Please, work to share this message and continue to let others know how they can get involved in LifeNet’s work here in Uganda.
24,000 patient visits a month?