Wednesday, July 23, 2008
by Dave Peters
It is hard to believe we have only five more days here in Tororo before we begin the trip home. For me the time is much too short. The trip here is a long one, and with our touring in Western Uganda (which was incredible), most of us were pretty beat when we arrived. There is so much to experience and absorb here that it is overwhelming at times. Many of us “hit the wall” a day or two ago, but are getting our second wind and taking full advantage of our time here.
My church, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Torrance, CA, and Messiah Lutheran in Yorba Linda, CA, have been the principal sources for the building and maintenance of the Medical Center at True Vine. I have spent much of time the last few days with the Center staff, particularly the Administrator Irene Okwenje. I met Irene last July, not long after she was hired. It has been a pleasure to get to know her and work along side her. I have been main liaison between Irene and Hope 4 Kids (a position I am poorly qualified for and hope to turn over to a team of medical professionals in the coming year). It was a great joy for me to deliver the proceeds of our recent fundraiser for the mid-wife/pediatric program at the Center. A new house for the mid-wife and one other medical staff person was started about 10 days ago on the mission site. Believe it or not, the brick foundation and walls are up, the tin roof in on and the floors are being installed. Plans for soliciting applications, interviewing and hiring the mid-wife are underway. On Thursday Tom Eggum (H4K) and Pastor Wilbur of True Vine will be traveling to Kampala to look at used minivans which have been refurbished in Dubai and are waiting to be entered through Customs in Uganda. The van will be used by the mid-wife and medical staff for emergency transport, community outreach, immunizations and other needs. I met with the medical staff yesterday to announce the plans and they are thrilled about the new program. We are also pursing plans to purchase an x-ray machine for the Center. LCGS is able to contribute a significant portion of the cost and we are looking into ways to finance the balance of the cost to purchase and service the machine. Thanks to all of you who contributed so generously to the program. It will have a huge impact on this area where the needs are so great.