It’s that time of year. We gather together, and reflect on what is most important to us. Family. Friends. Church. Jesus.
We tell and we listen to the Christmas story, a journey of God incarnating himself into the form of a baby, given to a virgin girl, who was promised to be married to a young man. They knew nothing of what would come ahead. Angels, wisemen, kings, and giving birth to the most powerful being that has ever walked this earth in a small cave near the town of Bethlehem.
To me, it’s a story of birthing power into poverty. Jesus as a grown man went on to say “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20)
I have a story of my own to share with you today, about a midwife here in Uganda. A woman who chose the incredible profession of protecting mothers at their most vulnerable state, during delivery, and working to preserve their lives and the lives of their babies. Let’s call her Mary.
Mary went to school and graduated a midwife, which would have been a very proud day for her and her family. She might have been the first in her family to ever finish high school and move on to get a diploma. As a midwife, she was taught how to deliver babies safely. She received a good education, she had thought.
As Mary graduated, and found herself working in a rural health center, she found it so hard. Sometimes, babies would be born and they would be struggling to breath. She didn’t know what to do. She would try and try, but at least once a month, a baby would be born, and it would be quiet. Too quiet. She found it so hard to help these babies on her own. In a place like that, so far away from any hospital, or any ambulance, or any doctor, there was just nothing more she could do.
One day, a trainer from LifeNet, named Fred, came to her health center. Fred spent the day with Mary and the rest of her staff, teaching, supporting, and helping treat patients. Fred taught Mary how to help babies right after they are born, when they need help to breath. A few weeks later, he came back to teach more, and to help Mary gain confidence in her ability to save lives.
Over the next month, Mary saved two babies using the knowledge that Fred had given her. She no longer worried about what to do, or what might happen if a baby was in danger during delivery. When she was alone, the only one who could help these mothers deliver safely, she felt confident and proud.
Just like the babies she now delivers, Mary was born in Uganda. She was born in a nation where the average person earns less than $2 per day. She was born into poverty. She lives in a community where there are no doctors. She worked hard and received a good education, and a good job where she gets to help others. But she couldn’t help these babies on her own.
LifeNet works to transform African health centers to provide quality, sustainable care. Trainers like Fred partner with nurses and midwives like Mary to bring power into poverty, through transformational training and mentorship. Mary is already saving lives with her new knowledge.
This is just one story of many that I could have chosen to tell today. We have seen the blessings that Jesus grants to those that are “poor.” Mary may not be her real name, but this midwife exists and is making a difference because of the work that LifeNet is doing here in Uganda.
How does this story end? What other stories can be told? What’s your part? As we reflect on what we have done this year, and prepare for another year of expansion and growth, I wanted to ask you to join us in this story, to help us tell more, to help us do more, by donating to LifeNet over this holiday season.
We need your support! To help others like Mary, so they can become difference-makers in their communities. As you have the opportunity to give, you have the opportunity to participate in the stories to come. Any amount will make a difference. $20 will help put fuel in our gas tanks. $400 helps us support a health center with comprehensive training for a month. $10,000 can allow us to add an entire new health center partner to our network. It’s all possible with your support.
This is a story that continues. We are privileged to be a part of it, and to share it with you this holiday season. As you reflect on what is important over the coming days and advent, I pray that you would consider supporting the amazing work that is going on here in Uganda. Help us find other nurses, other midwives who are doing their best but still failing. Help us bring transformation into their health centers so they can save lives.
Thank you for your prayers, your support, your love for us. It’s what made Mary’s story possible. Help us tell more in 2018! Please share, comment, like, subscribe, just anything! And click HERE to donate! You never know what story you could be a part of next!
A joyful, peaceful and very Merry Christmas to you all.
Love, from Uganda,
Josh & Nadine.