Last Sunday, Doug and I drove up to Karuma Falls on the Nile River to “pick” a friend who was arriving by bus after attending the pastor’s conference in Midigo. We stopped on the way in Lira at the Otina Waa Orphanage/School/Café for a cup of coffee and the only cinnamon rolls found in Uganda. We have become friends with the missionaries that run the orphanage and have been able to help them out by shipping dental chairs on the container for use in their newly opened clinic. The café has a small gift shop selling items made by local Ugandans. On the wall was a hung a round woven mat that we bought to hang on a wall in our new “etogo” (house) in Soroti.
This simple mat, hand woven in a circle from banana tree bark, has become a symbol of God’s provision in Uganda. The last 6 months has been a type of “wilderness experience” where like the Hebrews during the Exodus circled around the Sinai Desert following the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night we have been traveling around Uganda. In the last 6 months the longest we stayed in one place was a month in Midigo. During this time, God has been ever so faithful in providing food, lodging, protection, good health, new friends, Christian fellowship and guidance. Like the skilled hands of the mat weaver who tightly interlaced the banana bark, God has been strengthening our faith, trust, patience and reliance on Him. We praise God! “O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”(Isaiah 25:1)
One of the most significant provisions that God has provided us is our own new home on the hospital compound in Soroti. The home is small but very comfortable and includes all of the comforts that we enjoy in the United States. The only difference is that there are many power and water outages as lightning and thunderstorms are a nightly occurrence and always seem to hit the electrical and water grid like a bull’s eye. Our new home has a lightning arrester which is mandatory with a metal roof. From our front porch we look out over Dr. Juventine’s forest of pine trees which provide us a great deal of peace and relaxing solitude.
Doug has agreed to disciple and lead a bible study for the workmen who are living on the hospital grounds during construction. There were about 22 men in attendance the first week as he taught on “Living the Lord’s Prayer”. This week, Doug will teach another bible study on “Salvation” with weekly basic messages for new believers. Many of the men are Catholic or new believers and do not have a firm foundation of faith. With Dr. Juventine’s move to Soroti, Doug’s Bible study will become our Wednesday night service and Pastor Juventine will start our Sunday church service. We are praying and looking to buy land along a main road for a church.
Dr. J recently hired day and night security guards. There is no fence around the hospital grounds yet although workmen are currently in the process of putting up concrete posts. The next step will be to put in the chain link wire. However, God has been faithful in keeping us safe. We are not worried about being bodily injured but theft in Uganda is a big problem. Most theft is one of opportunity so we have to be mindful and keep things locked up.
The hospital construction continues as the tiling is completed, doors are hung, mosquito screens installed, and plumbing pipes and fixtures mounted. Although we have yet to begin the foundation of the operating theater, God continues to provide financial support to start this next part of the hospital. Thank you all for your prayers and support that God is answering as we watch Him work wonders in Soroti.