Monday, September 24, 2012

Video of the GSF Babies Home

Here is a video tour of the babies' home at Good Shepherd's Fold. It is one of the newest, nicest buildings on campus. Cassia is the missionary who is overseeing this ministry. She also introduces you to some of the beautiful babies who are being cared for there. Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Trusting God with our health

As many of you know, Zeke had a pretty bad episode of wheezing that continued on and off for almost 2 weeks. He seems much better now, but this recent illness brought up my concerns for my children's health, particularly when we move to Uganda. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love my children dearly! Since the beginning of this process of sensing God's call to minister to missionary kids and orphaned children in Uganda, I have been wanting to make sure that we are also caring for the needs of our own children. Zeke's recent sickness brought up many of my fears and concerns, and probably did the same for some of you. I have recently spent much time praying about and thinking through these issues, so I thought I would share with you some of my recent thoughts on the matter. I will include some of the practical details as well as some Biblical perspective.

First, I am very thankful that God has provided us with many resources to address the health concerns that might arise. We have several friends who are doctors and nurses who will help to equip us in preparation for leaving and who will be resources for us via phone and email if necessary. God has also provided some amazing connections with our current health care providers. Our pediatrician and his family spent a month in Kenya last year while he was practicing medicine there. (For those of you who aren't familiar with African geography, Kenya shares a border with Uganda. See map) He has been helping and will continue to help us with the appropriate preventative medicine as we prepare to go. Also, last week I went to a dermatologist and, by the providence of God, she practiced medicine in Uganda for 3 months. During my visit she helped equip me with ideas about dermatological issues in Uganda and how to address them.

In addition to our stateside resources, there will be resources available to us in Africa. At Good Shepherd's Fold, there will probably be 2 nurses who will live at GSF and serve there. In the town of Jinja, which is about 30 minutes away, there are doctors, medical clinics, pharmacies and the "largest hospital in eastern Uganda." ;) If a medical problem arises that cannot be resolved in Jinja, we can go to Kampala which is about 2-3 hours away. This is the capital city which has more resources available. Recently, another Global Outreach missionary who lives in Uganda had a heart condition which could not be resolved even in Kampala. The health insurance, which we will also have, paid for an emergency medical evacuation to Johannesburg, South Africa. From what we have heard, medical care in South Africa is as good as what we would receive in the states. For that particular missionary, the problem was resolved there. We are thankful that our sending agency, Global Outreach, has this health insurance policy available for us.

While we want to be responsible and wise as we prepare, our greatest comfort should not be in good medicine, but in our loving, sovereign, compassionate Savior. Romans 8:31-32 says, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all  things?" And Matthew 7:9-11 says, "Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Earlier in the Sermon on the Mount (in Matthew 6) Jesus said, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?'  (or 'Where shall we get medical care?') or 'What shall we wear?'32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

 While we cannot guarantee that we will always have the best medical care, I am certain that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and our children, even more than we love them. And He is working for our good, for your good, and for the good of His kingdom by calling us to serve Him in Uganda. Sometimes things don't seem "good" to us at the time (like Zeke's wheezing), but our loving and gracious Lord, who loved us so much that He would sacrifice his own Son, has promised that He is working for our good. (Rom.8:28). Jesus is the "Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep."(John 10:11) But he also has "other sheep that are not of this fold. (He) must bring them also."

While we strive to be wise and responsible in caring for our children, who we love so dearly, we also want to trust in God's loving care for them. In addition, we want for ourselves and our children to have God's heart for the world and to "seek first His kingdom." We love the name of the ministry where God has called us to serve, "Good Shepherd's Fold," because it reminds us that our compassionate Lord is the Good Shepherd for us, for our children and for the orphaned children of Uganda.