Prayer Update from the Team in Uganda

[Psa 103:1-4 NKJV] 1 [A Psalm] of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, [bless] His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

The bulk of our team has now returned to the US. To say that we miss them would definitely be an understatement. We have all grown closer to the Lord and each other in the three weeks that we were together. It was such a fruitful time and we so appreciated all your prayers for us. We will be coming out with a video soon documenting the trip so please stay tuned to this blog and the Anchored Website www.anchoredrelief.org.

The team at Bethesda Hospital’s new women’s OB ward and dental clinic.

James Vaca, my wife Carol and I have stayed on here. I find it ironic that as the US and especially California is opening up we find ourselves in the midst of a lockdown. The Covid numbers here in Uganda have been some of the lowest since the start of the pandemic. As of two weeks ago total cases were only around 40,000 for a country of 41 million people. In the past two weeks they have seen more than 30,000 cases. The hospitals are full, they have run out of oxygen and people are getting desperate. A week and a half ago, the president of Uganda closed, schools, churches, mosques and other places where people gather for 42 days. Since that time the numbers have continued to climb and the death toll is mounting. Last Friday, what people feared most became a reality, a full lockdown. With very few exceptions all movement in private or public vehicles are now illegal. People in the villages cannot get to work or get their crops to market. This will be devastating to a people already impacted by poverty, diseases and hunger. Most people here work during the day to make food for that night. If they don’t work their families won’t be able to eat. So many children here are already impacted by lack of proper nutrition which makes them even more susceptible to disease. Malaria is running rampant here and it is the number one killer of children under 5. For the elderly, they are doubly impacted. Many parents send their children out to the grandparents in the village because they cannot feed them and the ones that have jobs that are essential cannot take care of their kids since they are not in school. The grandparents have no ability to care for these kids either yet most will take them because that is what family does.

The photo above is a grandma who has taken in six of her grandchildren after they were abandoned by their parents. They had run out of food that day and did not know where their next meal was going to come from. This day she was praising God for His goodness and faithfulness to her family. She said, our coming gave them hope and the knowledge that God had not forgotten them.

Hope Filled Hearts for Africa has morphed from a strictly women’s hospital to more of a general medicine facility. The staff here cannot turn away people when they can treat them and save their lives. To send them away would be sending them to almost certain death. The other hospitals in the area do not have medications or sufficient staff to treat people during normal times. To send them now in the midst of this pandemic would be unconscionable. The problem is that this will quickly drain their budget, overtax their staff and fill their facility. Anchored International Relief is coming alongside them to help with medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. We also have a heart fo fund another doctor as the one doctor that is here cannot handle everything that comes his way. I can’t say enough about how Sherill Sedillo and the team here work with such love and dedication. To learn more about Hope Filled Hearts for Africa click here.

RN Beth McKay, a short term missionary with Hope Filled Hearts for Africa, sees patients at a mobile medical clinic.

We have also begun visiting the people in the community and providing supplemental food. We are ordering several tons of maize flour, beans, salt and soap to help them get through this time. We are personally going to go throughout the village with Calvary Chapel Naluko to deliver food and share the message of the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ. The physical needs here are great but the spiritual needs are even greater. We are in an area that is almost 70% Muslim. Witchcraft is also so prevalent and people here are in bondage to fear and tradition. They need to hear the message of the gospel. We are committed to compassionate evangelism which is to demonstrate the love of Christ in a physical way while sharing with them the Gospel message. We have already seen so much fruit!

People ask how they can help. The answer is pray, give or go. Pray that God will provide all that we need to serve the people that we are called to serve here with food, medicine and the Word of God. We are starting bible listening groups today that will use Faith Comes by Hearing digital, solar bibles so people can hear God’s word in their own language. This has the potential to reach thousands here with the Word of God. Some will be hearing this for the first time in their lives. With churches being closed under the current lockdown these listening groups will be the only Godly fellowship some of the people will get.  Pray for health and safety for our teams that our going out into the villages and for the medical staff here who are treating the sick. Pray that as the Gospel goes forth more and more people will respond and give their lives to Christ.

You can also prayerfully give to support the work here, either for food, medicine, medical staff, bibles and other essentials. A full-time doctor can be employed here for about $18,000 a year. Seven tons of food is approximately $6,000. That will reach up to 1,000 people with food for a month. That’s just $6.00 a person, all for the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

If God puts it on your heart to give financially, you can click on this link

Go, or I should say come. We need willing hearts and hands. We need medical personnel, doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMT’s to come and help in the hospital here. We need people who are willing to come and pass out food and love the people in the name of Jesus. We need pastors to come and teach the word of God and disciple other pastors. If you are interested in coming over to help either longterm or for a short-term two to three week trip please click on this link.

This was the example of Jesus. This is our calling. Our heart is to be the hands and feet of Jesus, touching and loving the people in Jesus’ name.

In Christ,

Pastor Gary

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