Archive for Steve Lock

December 2012 Newsletter

Hi, and thank you for your interest.

Please click on the link below and then go off and make a cup of tea! – for some reason it takes ages to open the PDF file – but it’s worth reading of course <;-) A very HAPPY CHRISTMAS from all the GMI team GMI Dec12

Last day in Gulu

Mixed feelings as I type up this last post for Gulu! I hear it’s cold and wet in the UK! Nothing new there!!!
It’s just that I’ve spent most of this afternoon lying around the pool in the hot Uganda sunshine… tough life I know. But both teams who’ve been here in Gulu have had real success in the areas we’ve been working in both at the pastor’s conference with Gerald, Sam and Nathan; and the village health projects with the team from Pont in Wales. Once again it has been an amazing privilege to meet some incredible people and be directly involved with their stories.
This moring we had the usually wonderful and lifting praise and worship service with the folks at Soule Gospel Church Gulu who meet in the red cross building. We all had some input into various parts of the service and were well received.
Look out UK we begin our l o n g trek back home tomorrow at 8 in the morning. Gotta go. Thank you for reading this blog over the last few days… signing out
Steve

Back to Paminano

Two posts in one day! But just pictures this time to show how the kids have been playing with the climbng frame we built in January. (I just had to do it – forgive my indulgence)

Nice to know our hard work last Jan is being well loved !

So, what of this years Pastor’s conference?

Over 100 leaders attended a conference held & hosted at Bethel Christian School to learn from quite humblingly, us. Gerald Coates, Sam harding and Nathan Ferreira.
The days consisted of teaching sessions on leadership, praise and worship and question and answer times. These sessions proved to be the most impactful as the delegates were able to question and raise concerns on a variety of issues from how leaders manage finances, to cultural and traditional issues that affect the local Church.

Gulu Day 4

No photos today only video, which I can’t load!
Well the Pont team have left me this morning and right now as I post, they’re having a plenary meeting in Kampala with all the other consortiums.
What about me? I was left behind to go and visit a school where they care for children with a newly discovered disease, which they’ve called ‘nodding syndrome.’ It doesn’t sound too drastic but some children have died from nodding their heads so violently, and many have suffered brain damage. I went in fear and trepidation, a journey that took 3 hours in the back of an ambulance made out of a converted Suzuki Jeep!! However when I got there it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. There were about 40 children ranging from 4 – 16 years old but I was encouraged; apart from one or two they looked ‘normal.’ The sad thing is, nobody knows what is causing this disease. It’s triggered by food, but that’s about all they have discovered. The treatment – which seems to be working – consists of a balanced diet, some basic medication and exercise. I promised to tell their story so the best way of me doing that is by asking you to take the story on. The people behind this is – a Christian organisation, surprise surprise, are ‘hope for humans’, their website is www.hopeforhumans.org. Go take a look and tell the story wherever you are.
SIX hours travelling in a smelly dusty dirty SJ ambulance. Was it worth it? OH YES. Even if it’s just to get the story out there.

Gulu day three

Today I didn’t dance but I did something even better – I witnessed the birth of a child and the moment it’s life was saved when it stopped breathing. More about that later.
It could have been two births as we offered a woman in labour in one of the villages in Bungatira sub county a lift to the closest health centre. This was her third pregnancy and I know from personal experience that these babies can come quickly. Fortunately, when we got to Pabwo health centre she was only 3cm dilated, so she won’t be naming her new baby after one of us.
We met two very different village communities today – both very supportive of the healthcare work we’re embarking on with PONT. The first, Rwotoblio, was wary. It seems as though they’ve seen a succession of white people promising help but nothing ever materialises. We told them we will be back. while trying not to mimic the Terminator. We asked the women how many had lost a child and it was heartbreaking to see most raise their hands. They hadn’t just lost one child though, most had lost two, three and even five.
The second village Pabwo was a lighter and more informal affair – it was a beautiful setting an we sat under the scant shade offered by a tree as we explained the projet and traded advice about sexual health with one young married man.
The villagers took us to see their water supply – they’re unhappy because a bore hole was sunk 1.5km away, so instead of doing a 3km round trip lugging jerry cans of water 3km, they use this worm-infested water source. I’m on my soap box again – how can it be right that in 2012 there’s a community of 200 people drinking this water, which is making them ill?
Back to the drama in the maternity ward at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital – we were invited onto the ward where five women were in the process of giving birth and another four were waiting (there’s one midwife handling 20 births a day, not to mention the C-sections). Yeasmin, a midwife from South Wales and one of our group, helped with the delivery and when, to all our horror, the baby wasn’t breathing, she helped resuscitate it. I was amazed but she later told Nelson during our debut on Choice FM that it was the most natural thing to do.
Today I’ll be learning more about nodding syndrome – a new illness affecting children in this area. The medics and scientists don’t know what causes it but it seems when these young children see food they start nodding violently – some have died as a result of the affliction. I’ll also be saying goodbye to the PONT team who are heading back to Kampala.