Kirsten writes...

Kiwoko_gates_into_hosp Posted by Niall Manogue on Wed, 25 Aug 2010 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Hey there! My name is Kirsten and I’m one of the Ekisa team members in Kiwoko at the minute. We’re having an awesome time and loving what we’re doing out here, so I’m on the blog to let you know about what we’ve been up to over the weekend!
Saturday was our last day of the Ekisa club for the staff children from Kiwoko hospital, so it was a little sad to say goodbye to the kids and to have to accept the idea that we wouldn’t be seeing our Ugandan Ekisa team members everyday anymore! However we all had a great day and enjoyed reflecting on what we had been doing for the past 4 days and more importantly what God had been doing through us.

On Sunday we went out to churches in the area. We were split into 3 groups and sent to different churches to experience more “traditional” Ugandan worship. This was a great experience for us all as we got to see the people worshipping in their own language and many of us were overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people there. After the church services, during which we enjoyed listening to the pastors there and the children singing for us, we were taken to local homes for a traditional meal. We were particularly overwhelmed by the effort that was put in to preparing our meals and we were very grateful for the Ugandan members of the Ekisa team that came with us to act as translators for us in the services and in conversation over dinner.

On Monday we took what initially was intended as a relaxing day away from Kiwoko to recover from the Ekisa programme and to give us a rest after a hectic week. We went to a beautiful resort with a massive swimming pool for us to have a relaxing day. All was well until Myrtle took an unexpected dive into the sunken bar by the pool resulting in a ride in the ambulance and an impressive black eye and stitches. Don’t panic! By a complete act of God, an Abaana team was there from Northern Ireland with a medic who was particularly helpful in patching up Myrtle. She is fine and still apologising for stressing us all out! Those in the ambulance were particularly impressed by the speed the ambulance drove through the traffic in Kampala, but still pulled over to fill up with petrol half way to the hospital!

After the drama of Sunday we were happy to return today to the normality of Kiwoko and begin preparations for the Afaayo programme this week with HIV positive children. We met our new Ugandan team mates for this week and started to get to know them. As one of the leaders for the oldest age group I was involved in preparing for our residential with the teenagers. Tomorrow we will be leaving for a 2 night stay in a nearby centre to work with the teens in an attempt to get to know them better in a safe location away from the hospital. In particular we are aiming to show them the love of God whilst making them feel included and focusing on acceptance, as being HIV positive comes with a certain social stigma which can make them feel very excluded.

Therefore I would ask in particular for prayers for this Afaayo week as we prepare to work with these children and a new team. It will be challenging to work with them as they have an illness we know so little about, but our Ugandan team mates have lots of experience with these children so I look forward to hearing from them as they are so knowledgeable. It will also be difficult dividing our team as we have become so close, but we will look forward to being reunited on Friday, probably with many stories about our experiences!
Thanks for your continued prayers and support!
Kirsten x

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