dr soxx

 This woman was an integral part of a three week life change I went through last year. When I was in Uganda serving beside her, she showed me a life so potently selfless that my whole heart was challenged by her. She called me her adopted daughter. She climbed up in my bunk to talk with me when I was struggling with the realities of AIDS and orphan abuse.

She made Africa a home for me.

I want you to meet her, and this is the best shot I've got at making that happen:

I give you Dr. Soxx:

Tell me a little about the organization you work with?

I volunteer full-time at Amani Baby Cottage as part of the Administrative Staff. ABC is a Christian based Non-profit orphanage. We house and care for currently 57 children ranging in age from newborn to age 5. We provide, food, clothing, shelter, love, nuturing and health and medical intervention as well as some education.

What do you, specifically, do? 

I am the Medical/Health Director. It is my responsibility to see that these needs are met and carried out. Whether it be medicine, nutrition and diet or HIV or TB treatment or training, I see that it is carried out or facilitated. Though  many times I assist with many other administrative duties, My primary focus is the health and medical care of not only the children but the workers and the volunteers. I also midwife the missionary community as well as some of the Ugandan women in my circle. Since I am trained as an Obstetrical Nurse and have delivered many babies, I have put my training and skills to good use here in the third world country where medical care and availability is minimal.

What do you see as the biggest needs for the people you work with?

The biggest need is constant education and RE-education regarding simple measures such as handwashing, avoiding using the same towel or burp cloth on more than one child, feeding schedules, nutrition and diet regimes. Also the availability of specialty formulas like for lactose intolerance. This is hard to obtain here. Learning and retainment of previous teaching and consistency is the difficulty. Funds for expenses and care of the home and its occupance.

How has your time in Uganda changed you?

I have learned to be content and do with much less. I have learned I don't need them to survive. I have learned that there is so much horrible poverty and child abuse and neglect and abandonment and so much need for the love of Christ and the need for nurturing and loving people. I have learned how to trust more than I ever thought possible.

What have been some unique struggles?

Perhaps not being able to speak to my children, grandchildren, mother and other extended family when I want. Not being able to attend my home church and be with my friends.  Dealing with diseases and illnesses that I have never seen or been exposed to prior to coming to Uganda. Dealing with less than adequate power supply, or medical care. Not being able to access emmergency medical when needed. Learning to have eyes in the back of my head, in regard to driving on less than adequate roads with way less than adequate drivers on the road.

Some unique triumphs? 

The joy of seeing the smiles and welcome from the children. Having these children come running to me with hugs and I love you's. Being able to provide a need in this town that would perhaps not be available had I not heeded God's call on my life. Learning more than I ever thought possible about Tropical Diseases and Third World Medicine. Stretching way beyond my scope of practice as a nurse. Learning that God does not dwell in a box, with a cookie cutter dimension. Being able to get around this country safely.

Tell me one of your favorite stories from your time there?

Well, there are so many and so varied that is going to be hard. How about if I just tell you about the most recent. Our Home Supervisor for the workers, Lois, was married in the church almost a 1 1/2 yrs ago. Traditionally, they have what is called an "Introduction" (Kwandula)before the wedding. She was given permission from her father to hold off on the kwandula until they could pay for it. Well last Saturday she did. AS I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, I  had to stand up for her at the kwandula as well. This is completely different from the Christian wedding. We wore traditional  "Gomesi" outfits, listened to a lot of really long speeches and then finally ate a wonderful traditional African meal. The trip there took over 2 hours and was way out in the bush. On the trip there we ended up having to drive on a train bridge (the road and the train track merged into one to cross the river). It was unnerving for everyone on the Coaster (bus). The trip back was very late and as we were driving in the dark on this back Ugandan road we saw thousands of fireflies in the fields along the road. The constant twinkle twinkle twinkle was a sight to behold. The drive back across the "Train Bridge" after dark was even more unnerving and you could hear us all "praying in the spirit" as we rattled across it. The sound was so much louder in the dark than in the daylight when we first crossed it. We all made it back to Jinja safely and very late, and had a wonderful time.

Your motivation for being there?

This country and the people got under my skin the first two weeks I came here. My motivation is love for my Lord and Savior. He has entrusted me with this task. A bigger task than I feel I have ever been asked to do. I am honored and completely overwhelmed at times that He asked me to do this, that I have so much responsibility. I am motivated by God's continual love for me and for the needs of the peoples of the earth. God called us to go into all the world and preach the gospel, to minister to widows and orphans, to heal the sick and love those who persecute you. Well, this is the Great Commission and my part in it. That is my motivation.

What do you hope for in the future?

We just want to be able to provide for these children and keep this home over our heads. I hope that God will continue to bless me as I serve him and help me to continue to trust him and have faith that he will provide for my needs and the needs of Amani Baby Cottage. The financial situation in the USA has greatly affected those of us completely dependent upon donation support to continue our work here.

What can other people do to help?

Prayer for our daily needs spiritually, physically, emotionally. We are always in need of formula, shoes, sometimes clothes, medicines, money for food, salaries for the ugandans, gas, electricity, water.
Financial support. Everyone of us volunteers also has to raise our own funds to provide for our daily needs. Funding for me has been slim. I am self supported and have NO organization to back me. I am like the baby home. WE are all dependent on the blessings of others.

(photo via Siouxanne's blog reaching hands mission to Uganda)


Haddock said...

Thats informative.......and a lovely photo.