All posts by ENID TWONGIRWE

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FK/NOREC AT YIVU ABEA HEALTH CENTRE III, MARACHA DISTRICT UGANDA. BY ELIZABETH KHATIALA

My name is Elizabeth Khatiala. I was born and brought up in Kenya. I studied Foods, Nutrition and Dietetics at Undergraduate level. As a Global Link Afrika and NOREC participant 2018/2019 in Afya Bora Exchange Program in Uganda, I was placed at Yivu Abea Health Centre III, Maracha District, Northern Uganda.Our main goal was to offer Primary Health Care services to the community.

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While there, I was exposed to several global issues besides a different culture. I realized that it is actually possible to live in a different culture! You just need to appreciate and respect it, not criticize it. It may be different from mine, but not necessarily right or wrong!I learnt to ask questions in seeking to understand the new culture, but also adapt to it.

The needs for primary health care services, especially in the marginalized communitiesare huge. Among the many factors affecting health, I learnt that culture plays a very big role here. This challenged my thinking in light of knowledge acquisition; one shouldn’t just acquire knowledge develop the mind, but aim at sharing it with the community ,to help in  perspectives and behavior change. Language barrier was a major hurdle in settling in. That meant me learning a new language. This was not easy, but I learnt to persevere through it.

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As a nutritionist,I not only stuck to my career path, but learnt to beflexible, open minded and willing to learn new skillsand acquire new knowledge so as to be equipped to meet the needs of the community. I was also challenged to embrace teamwork amidst team dynamics to help achieve a common goal.

According to the health facility’s records, we realized that the community was not fully utilizing the available resources of the health center. We then resolved community awareness, health education and outreaches to sensitize the community on this. I am happy that this bore fruits. The attendance gradually increased with time. I also made new friends in Uganda!

While there, I participated in the following;

  • Nutrition assessment and counseling/Education
  • Nutrition supplementation (IFAS)
  • Malaria Outreaches in U5s and pregnant women
  • Health Education
  • Attending Trainings for capacity building
  • Immunization

A very big thank you to NOREC for bringing change to the community through exchange if ideas and knowledge. Thank you for the exposure.

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NOREC/FK IN LOTIRIR PARISH BY ESTHER WANJOHI.

Primary health is huge and very vital thus a very key focus of FK, it’s the heartbeat of FK and it has to beat in the hearts of participants and all stakeholders if any impact to the target people is to be realized . I’m glad I was able to achieve this goal as a NOREC participant.

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Being a Kenyan and having to serve in a different country, in a different culture was one of the worries as I stepped in the land of Karamoja as an FK participant. Fear of the unknown almost took all my confidence away, But, The joy of seeing improved primary health care was more motivating. Now I can attest of success through the one year as an FK participant in Lotirir Health center 11 and Moroto in general.

Work done.

Serving in Lotirir health center 11.

I have been serving in the health center at various capacities but mostly focusing on nutrition. I was the nutrition focal person. Malnutrition is one of the key health issues in the community. Throughout the year we recorded very high admissions for supplement foods mainly for children below 5 years and pregnant women. This happens at different times of the year.

Community dialogue. We conducted community dialogue only that we only managed to have the village health workers. In this they helped us understand what’s happening in the villages. Three health issues were reported as observed to be  prevalent during this rainy season. These are Malaria , diarrhea,  and cough.

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Consultative meeting. We held one consultative meeting. Various stakeholders came together; Karamoja church of Uganda development department, the facility staff, GLA FK staff, village health team and the health unit management committee. Various issues relevant to FK work and functionality in that area were discussed.

Outreaches in the villages. It has been wonderful to go to all the 9 villages for outreaches. The major focus of the outreaches was; malaria, nutrition, hygiene and immunization against tetanus and human papilloma virus for girls. Under hygiene we realized a very large number of people especially children who have conductivities/trachoma as a result of poor hygiene especially failure to bath. Since the medication for this is readily available, as FK  we could only major in talks about hygiene and deworming.

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Health talks. We did health talks at various forums; when patients are gathered at the facility for treatment, during outreaches in schools  and during meetings. Health talks were focusing on malaria and its prevention, teenage pregnancy, danger of HPV that causes cervical caner in women, HIV/AIDS, hygiene and nutrition.

School outreaches .We conducted various outreaches malaria testing and treatment, deworming and vitamin A. The level of hygiene is a bit high in school thus few cases of conjunctivitis were reported. The pupils utilize their mosquito nets, especially them who board, thus reduced cases of malaria. A very good turnout for TT and HPV vaccine  has been recorded. This proves the importance of education and knowledge.

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Impact on the Community

Its evidenced that the community has in one way or another benefited from the FK activities.  As a result of village outreaches which involved encouraging the community to always come for medical services , we have recorded an increased OPD attendance and deliveries.  This has also resulted in more pregnant women coming for ANC and  mothers bringing their children for immunization.

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HOW CAN DEFILED, WRETCHED SINNERS SERVE A HOLLY GOD? (SPECIALLY IN MISSION)

I have come to a conclusion that sometimes God calls people not because he needs them, but because they need him (God). Salvation is entirely the work of this holly God. But how could he use even broken sinners like me to reach other sinners? Going through the book of Zachariah (3) helped me get the answer to this question. God cleanses sinners through Christ on the basis of His grace and then uses them to serve Him as they walk in His ways, for his Glory.

Therefore it is on this basis that I, an undeserving sinner am serving in Kenya, through an exchange program between Global Link Afrika and iserve Africa.

My name is Drani Emmanuel, an Enrolled Nurse. I come from AruaWestnile, North western Uganda.

Having served one year in western Uganda, I was sent by Global Link Afrika to serve in Kenya so as to gain understanding of cross cultural mission.

This was done through partnership with a likeminded organization in Kenya, iServe Africa.iServe Africa is a Christian organization that exists to raise a generation of gospel hearted servant leaders through training, mentoring and equipping emerging leaders for holistic transformation in Africa and beyond.

I am placed at the office of iServe Africa, in Kiambu County, Kikuyu Township. I’m also attached to a local church called Grace Point in kikuyu. IServe Africa has a number of programs TransformD discipleship program, Apprenticeship program, Cross camp among others.

We are six Ugandans serving in Kenya. I majorly coordinate the Ugandan team from their different placements to the office, majorly the implementation of Preventive health in the different health facilities they are placed in and yet using those as opportunities for preaching the gospel. I am also involved in the discipleship programs in iServe Africa office which aims at teaching scriptures to teenagers from high schools and those who have finished high school and are waiting to join Universities. I help in one on one with the teenagers assigned to me and leading small bible study groups, as we seek to grow in the knowledge and understanding of God. The discipleship program is a residential program for six months, and we do these activities on daily basis. Besides teaching the Bible, the young boys and girls are given life skills. As a nurse, I teach them a full package of First Aid. This is just an avenue of opening up to them and having an opportunity for conversations concerning the gospel. In Grace Point church, I serve in music ministry where we hope to grow in music as part of worship and especially congregational singing.

 I have come to acknowledge that salvation is entirely the work of God. He convicts sinners by his spirit, justifies them and uses them for his glory. I normally find it hard to say I did this as an impact of the mission work. However I believe God is at work in the hearts of these young brothers and sisters. It has not been one person working, but a team work of over 20 people discipling 30 youth for six months. Just a day ago, three of these youth acknowledged the saving power of Christ, and surrendered their lives to Christ. But discipleship goes beyond saying “I give my life to Christ”. It is amazing seeing these young people getting the gospel truths from the scripture, zealous to read and understand the scripture, and asking alt of questions from the scripture. And again, some gaining interest in Missions. In late march, we will be taking them for a short term mission experience in northern Kenya among an unreached people group to practice what they had learnt.

As the pattern seen in the bible, God’s work is supported by God’s people. Partnership development has not been easy especially when I transited to Kenya. Communication has not been as usual, it is hard to communicate to those who are not on social media. But I thank God for the few partners who have continued to Support me financially, spiritually and emotionally.

One thing I will never fail to talk about is the rich trainings I am getting at iServe Africa and the opportunity to serve in a bible teaching church “Grace Point church”. As Paulstresses the need of equipping the gospel workers in 1 Timothy 3 and 4, this has been an important aspect of my involvement in mission. I have been a student of “Utumishi Course,” a 10 weeks course facilitated by iServe Africa, aimed at faithful Bible teaching and servant leadership. It has been a real joy sitting under people who have walked a head of us in the faith and teaching of the word, and growing in understanding of the Bible.

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father of the son and of the HolySpirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age. Mathew 28:19-20.

Emmanuel Drani

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KARAMOJA! THE KARIMOJONG!

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MY ENCOUNTER WITH THE REALITY AND IMPACT OF SIN ON A CULTURE! Impressions from my Mission placement! – ESTHER WANJOHI MISSIONARY KARAMOJA, MOROTO DISTRICT LOTIRIR PARISH 2018-2019

Let me start by saying that I look forward to serving for a long time as pioneer missionary; it is something I have felt called to do for some time! It is thus with this commitment clear in my mind that I accepted this call to serve for one year at this place that the Lord through GLA posted me for a year. I’ve been here for three months now. The greatest achievement I can count so far is what I think I have seen and possibly learnt about the Karimojong through observation, from one-to-one conversations and through questionnaires.  I am posted to operate as a laboratory assistant in Lotirir Health Centre II and thus I’ve had opportunity to interact with the locals.

Karimojong are a beautiful community with a very colorful culture, yet it also a community in need of liberation from deep spiritual darkness! In some ways it seems that many in the community are totally lost and in deep spiritual darkness, strongly bonded and embedded in their good and evil cultural practices and traditions. They worship their gods in shrines. They do sacrifices to appease the spirits and as a means to get forgiveness from the elders when one has done something termed as sin. The girls get married without their consent as long as a man is available ready to pay enough cows worth her price. Very few are learned and generally no big difference between the learned and the non-educated. Mainly because their problem is not education as per say but like all men everywhere the problem is sin and the need for savior!

This community has only one farming season where they plant maize, sorghum and sunflower. This happens between March and September. After harvesting, they feed on this harvest until the next harvesting season. During the harvest period the major business that happens is preparation of the local brew (Ngaguwe), selling and drinking. This means that the whole community (breastfeeding to the elderly) feed on this local brew. It is as if no other food is existed apart from Ngaguwe. This drink happens to be very strong and thus everyone who takes it is always drunk (young or old). Am convinced that this is not actually their major problem but sin and they need a savior.

By mere observation, the Karimajong community in Lotirir do not smoke. But what is hidden from outward capture is the small containers where they carry tobacco. This is taken through nasal inhalation mainly by men and women. Many in the community are truly addicted to tobacco but that’s not their major problem but its sin and they are in need of a savior.

As a normal human being, walking through the villages (Manyatta’s of a whole clan enclosed by a single fence and each households Manyatta separated from the other by an interior fence) would expect to find the usual components of a complete homestead. One of these is latrine. This community does not have latrines. Even when taught how to construct one, they don’t know how to use them. They direct the human waste anywhere on the open ground. The air in this place is always odoured. One might wonder “how then can they be helped?” If the gospel was there and in effect in their lives they would have understood SHALOM (WHOLESOMENESS) and thus I insist their problem is not latrine or inability to utilize them but sin and are in need of a savior.

Hospital records and the results of the questionnaire survey indicated a very high prevalence of malaria, (8 out of 10 treated people are diagnosed with malaria). Watching keenly at their Manyatta’s are mosquito nets made into strings for fastening the sticks of the houses and fence together. It’s a huge challenge that as the facility we intend to focus on education and treatment outreaches. Many organizations have come and dealt with this and many other diseases but the solution is not yet found. I would imagine such a community enlightened with the gospel like most of us and realizing the beauty of prevention is better than cure and so their problem remains sin and they are in need of a savior.

Hygiene is very poor. In fact they rarely bathe. Neither do they wear shoes. Actually men (older ones and young boys) just apply lesu on their body. Women try their best to make skirts out of the same lesu’s. The tragedy is these lesu’s for men and skirts for women are worn without being washed until they are rendered non-usable. I’ve not witnessed utensils used in Ngaguwe preparation being washed. Neither the containers used for storing and drinking. Thus the cases of diarrhea are very prevalent. And so I ask “how can they learn how to prioritize, appreciate and practice personal hygiene, isn’t the solution found in the light of the gospel?” and so I re-echo that their problem is sin and are in need of a savior.

Any one of us who proclaim Christ as the Lord and Savior would agree with me in the fact that “the gospel has power to save individuals and to bring wholesome transformation to individuals and communities.” Am not trying to be ignorant of these very immediate needs of this community but am just pointing out the real urgent (emergency case) problem. And as believers we have the solution right in our hearts, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

If you are there enjoying the comfort of worshiping the one true God, strongly believing that the greatest problem of humankind is sin, acknowledging Jesus Christ as the final sacrifice for the atonement of sin, offering your body as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship (Romans 12: 1b), enjoying the comfort of basic requirements of a complete homestead (latrine), enjoying the knowledge and wisdom from God on how to take care of your body and to stay clean, healthy and well dressed, if you really bless God that He saved you from any forms of addiction and the world, I have a charge for you. Christ Jesus left His glories above to come and experience our life so that He may save us. He showed and modeled an unconditional love for the lost and frequently affirmed “the son of man came to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10).” The Karamajong need to hear this truth. We thus need to arise brethren from our comfort zone and join other men and women who are reaching these people and other tribes with the gospel, if you can’t Go, get on your knees and intercede for these communities asking the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers to the harvest filed that is very plentiful (Matthew 9: 37-38) and as you pray channel your resources for the support of this great and noble task (financial support) for the work of the kingdom is funded by gospel minded people.

ROMANS 5:16-18 “again the gift of God is not like the result of the man’s sin: the judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses brought justification. For, if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.”

Jesus Christ is the only way to the father. The only solution to sin and all human problems that springs as the consequence of sin. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them I the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20).”

MISSIONS EXIST BECAUSE WORSHIP DOESN’T (JOHN PIPER). SHALOM!

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ITS GOOD NEWS.. ITS URGENT.. WE WILL GO TELL IT OUT.

 

ITS GOOD NEWS.. ITS URGENT.. WE WILL GO TELL IT OUT.

GLOBAL LINK AFRIKA – GLA·THURSDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2018

Its “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” yes that’s the mandate. We are followers of Jesus and just like we follow him we help others follow him.. Are you part of this as a believer? Are you making disciples of all nations?

  1. a) Go therefore … does anybody stay nooo we all go . ITS THE WHOLE CHURCH TAKING THE WHOLE GOSPEL TO THE WHOLE WORLD. You might be asking how do i go?
  2. The practice of literally going across cultures as a missionary ,God is still calling people with great or small professions, old and young, married couples or single people to cross cultures and make disciples.
  3. The practice of welcoming : The nations we are talking about are living next door. They are here. How intentional are you to get to them in their houses next door .. in our nation right here in Uganda we have millions of refugees that have been brought to us through war. How can you be part of this?

its welcoming the missionaries in your home listening to their stories and refreshing them, its providing member care to them as they stay front line ,its visiting the field and praying with them.

  1. The practice of sending; Giving financially to those who go. writing cheques and doing standing orders , its sending food and other resources that are needed. I write in Bold Money doesn’t save souls its more than throwing cash ,its creating a rich relationship with the missionary and the mission field.
  2. The practice of Praying : We advance the gospel amidst opposing powers and their is need for people that intercede for the efforts that are put in mobilization and even implementing the strategies. Our strategies can only be only effective if birthed in prayer.
  3. The practice of mobilization: working to cast vision for the whole world in such a way that other believers can see Gods story and find ways to be part of. its networking and rallying people to take their positions . creatively finding ways of reaching all Gods people to tag in as we face the task remaining.
  4. b) Make disciples – any follower of Jesus should be making disciples, its people in need of change helping people in need of change. Its the ability to draw attention of people to Jesus who transforms them.
  5. c) Of all nations- this are not political entities or countries but “a people” There are many nations which are not reached even within politically divided nations like Uganda.

We still have many Un reached people groups, and so we must GO .

For many Christians the apostolic passion has died in our hearts , Instead of dreaming of the whole world covered with the glory of God, We have other dreams.

TEST YOUR PASSION TODAY

  1. The passion has died when we rarely spend time with the Lord of the harvest . If you hang around Him , He will give you a new assignment.
  2. The passion has died when we keep going to church and sing about heaven but live as if earth is our home and get attached to the things around here.
  3. The passion dies when we dream more about visas,plots,cars.etc instead of dreaming of nations worshiping God.
  4. The passion dies when we keep planning to go and be involved but our hearts are willing to stay and do nothing.