Anyway, the 2014 Mercy for Mamas Mission Team had an amazing trip. I hope some of you were able to follow along on Facebook a bit. (If you haven't done so yet, please like our Facebook page because I update there more often because of convenience).
|Our team at the Nile River|
We held seven different outreach and health education events. These were in a variety of locations from village churches, under the "meeting tree" on an island, to a women's prison. We visited four different crisis pregnancy centers and enjoyed times of teaching, prayer, and encouragement with the young ladies at those centers. We did basic prenatal exams on at least 150 women. We hosted two missionary encouragement dinners for about 130 missionary women serving in Uganda full-time.
|The amazing Agnes teaching under a tree.|
|Keeky (missionary) and Stephanie talking to a woman during her check-up|
|Missionary dinner in Jinja|
We also had a doula, Staci, on our team. She was such a great asset to our team. She gave the women some basic positions and moves to help with pain during delivery and to help speed up the process. She got all of us standing up to practice our lunges and squats. She taught them pressure points and how to massage a woman's back during labor. In most situation in Uganda, other women are around while you are in labor, but they are not necessarily helping or supporting you. One of our goals' is to encourage the women to help one another during labor. We want them to offer physical and emotional support and also help look out for warning signs in their friends. You can read a bit more about Staci's experiences here and here.
|Staci teaching a belly lift. So fun.|
|Muyenga Baptist Church Mama Kit Outreach|
I got to hear how the mama kits can be a blessing even when a woman miscarries or delivers a stillborn. In these situations the woman still needs supplies, she still needs financial help, and she needs a bit of hope that someone cares for her.
Overall, we passed out just under 2,000 mama kits during the trip. We finished out the remaining 700 mama kits this week. I'll be placing an order for more this next week. God continues to provide both the funds to purchase them and the partners to give them to for delivery. It amazes me.
I have many more thoughts and stories from the trip. I promise to try to share them in the days ahead. There really is so much to process and work through from just a two week trip. I really hope you'll read Michelle's thoughts on the trip and some of what she experienced. She said it all much more eloquently that I could.
I also really appreciate these sweet words from one of our teammates Patti.
I have believed in Mercy for Mamas since the organization was started, but now I have seen firsthand what a tremendous impact this ministry has on the women of Uganda. It is not just the one time trip that so many short term mission trips are - although I do see value in those, changing the lives of those who go and those to whom they minister. But the difference I saw in Mercy for Mamas is that it not only ministers to the women while the team is there in their midst, but it continues to minister to women throughout the year through the various ministries and missionaries with which you partner. I met women on this trip whose names are now written in my journal, and I will continue to pray for in the coming months. The health education we provided to the women of Uganda will change many of their lives - allowing them to live healthier and have healthier babies and children. The mama kits will enable many of them to have successful births that they survive and will be there to raise those babies, that might not have been the case if we had not been there. The encouragement we gave to women in the villages and the ones from America and around the world who minister there every day will stay with some of them for a long time, encouraging them to continue to move forward. I'm glad I got to be a part of all that.
|Patti visiting with some of the women and children on Lingira Island|