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DLM Newsletter November 2023

Thursday, November 2, 2023

The landscape project continues with men and women using hoes to dig and till the soil around the property and level it off more. They are getting the soil ready for planting grass in the coming weeks.

While projects are ongoing, Shadow Lynn and I are confined to the interior of the house because most everyone fears my guard dog!

I also bought a giant box of Cocoa Puffs for about $11. Many items are imported and can be found here, but it’s always at a higher cost!

Glory to God!

Friday, November 3, 2023

I am so thankful for my vet in Kampala. He was willing to make a house call all the way out here in the village. I had my girl kitty spayed and boy kitty neutered plus Shadow and all five cats got their yearly vaccinations. The cost, including the house visit, surgeries and vaccines, was about $270....much different than in America!! My vet also prays before doing procedures as he wants to give God the glory even in his veterinary profession!

Saturday, November 4, 2023

It’s been a busy but different kind of weekend.

Today, I had to travel to Kampala for a doctor’s appointment. Then I went by the school to see the primary 7 (P7) boarding children. We have six P7 students being sponsored through DLM. I prayed with the kids as they have their big test this week. It’s called the PLE (Primary Leaving Exam). It’s a nationwide exam that is taken before students are eligible to continue learning in secondary school. I prayed God’s will to be done as they do their very best during the exam and also encouraged them not to be too nervous for they have worked so hard during their primary years. They know the glory goes to God - whatever the outcome may be.

At the end of the day, I picked up Mama Fab and her two granddaughters so they could spend the night with me in the village.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

This morning, Mama Fab, Maria, Julie and I left at 9:15 am, which is later than usual. We went directly to church which starts at 11 am. On the way to church, a parent of one of our sponsored children (Sandra) called to report that the Sandra was very sick; they even thought she was going to pass away in the night. Sandra has been sick for some months but was receiving treatment for various things, one being the liver. More recently, she seemed to be improving. However, things turned for the worse on Thursday when Sandra lost consciousness and was unable to speak or move. After talking to the mom this morning, I gave directions for the mom to take Sandra to the international hospital for treatment. She was admitted into ICU. She is currently on oxygen and has a feeding tube through her nose. A CT of her brain didn’t show abnormalities, which is a huge praise! She does have some minor liver damage. The doctor suspects the problem to be a serious infection in the liver, which can cause all of these symptoms. We are waiting for more tests and will hopefully find out more tomorrow. The mom and sister are so very thankful for this ministry and everyone who supports and gives to make treatment for Sandra possible. The down payment needed for admission was about $800. With the statistic I posted recently of a minimum wage salary being $36 per month, you can see how amazing this is to them! The family would never be able to get this treatment that Sandra needs. We give God all the glory!!!

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

UPDATE on Sandra:

On Sunday, the radiologist said that Sandra's CT scan did not show any abnormalities with her brain. However, yesterday, a neurosurgeon was visiting one of his patients in ICU when he happened to see Sandra’s images. He asked the staff if she was being treated, and they told him they were still waiting on test results to determine the treatment plan. The doctor quickly diagnosed Sandra with hydrocephalus and recommended immediate surgery. The doctor called me directly to share his diagnosis and to get approval for surgery. How amazing that God orchestrated all of this! We thank Him for this!!!

So, the neurosurgeon performed surgery (endoscope) on Sandra on Monday evening. The doctor reported that an infection in her brain had created excessive fluid buildup that led to pressure on the brain. He was able to flush out the fluid cavities and take cultures to identify the exact infection. She was put on ventilator after surgery and has been stable. The doctor has prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic for now. Once the results come in, he will prescribe the medication needed to treat the specific infection. The doctor indicated that Sandra will be on an eight week regime of antibiotics. Most likely, she will be in the hospital for four weeks on IV treatments and then will be on oral antibiotics for four weeks at home.

We are so thankful that this doctor was able to determine the problem so quickly and that Sandra made it through the surgery. The mom and sister are so, so thankful. Thank y’all for praying for Sandra. Please continue to do so! We pray that God continues to heal her body. God is good all the time, and we trust Him.

As you can imagine, her bill will be quite expensive with major surgery and a lengthy hospital stay of four weeks or more. The most updated bill including tests, surgery ($2,500) and two days of hospitalization is $4,600. The hospital estimates $1,000 per day while Sandra is in ICU, and we anticipate three to four more days in ICU before being transferred to the regular ward. The cost of her medical care may easily reach $15,000. Even though this amount is inexpensive compared to the costs in America, Sandra's family would never be able to afford this medical care for her. If you feel led to give to the ministry specifically for Sandra’s medical expenses, please follow the link and indicate the donation is for Sandra. May God receive all the glory through this!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Update on Sandra:

When I talked to the doctor today, he said they had taken her off of the ventilator, and she is stable. She’s still on oxygen and a bit sedated. However, she’s starting to respond to tests of pain. It’s been 48 hours since the brain surgery. I will go see her tomorrow while I am in Kampala for some doctors’ appointments. Glory to God for her improvement!

Here in the village, the landscape project continues. Grass is being planted and top soil is being brought in by the truckloads.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Update on Sandra:

We received the results from the culture. No bacteria nor fungus grew, but some tests were positive for tuberculosis. TB can be found anywhere in the body though we usually associate it with the lungs. TB can also be in the abdomen which causes fluid in abdomen, which Sandra has had before and has again now. According to the doctor, the TB then moved to her brain which has caused these issues. The government provides free TB medication, so this private hospital sent a staff member to the local government health facility to pick up the free TB medication for Sandra to start today.

The doctor said having TB is a better scenario than bacteria as TB is easier to reverse from the system. Though it will take about a week before she will show improvements from the medicine; of course, this is assuming the diagnosis of TB is correct. This means that Sandra will be in ICU for another week because they won’t move her to the regular ward until she has shown improvements. It also means she could possibly leave the hospital sooner than the 4 week or longer estimated time frame. As soon as Sandra can talk, walk and feed herself (could be in as little as 2 weeks time), she can go home and continue taking the TB tablets. I believe the regime for TB requires 8-10 months of daily tablets.

We are very thankful to have some answers and a treatment plan.

Sandra’s bill has now totaled $7,300 since Sunday. With another week in ICU ($1,000 per day), it will easily reach $15,000. It is possible the total bill could go beyond $20,000.

The hospital here requires payments to be made at the time of treatment. The sister and mother of Sandra are worried about the money being so much. I reassure them that many people are praying and even giving to help cover the expenses and that ultimately God would provide in His time. They have no words to say how appreciative they are to the Lord and everyone! Please continue to pray and if you feel led to give, it will be such a blessing to them! Glory to God Alone!

Friday, November 10, 2023

Update on Sandra:

Today, the doctor discovered that Sandra’s right lung has collapsed. She is off the ventilator but is still on oxygen. On a different note, she isn’t showing any signs of feeling in her legs so the doctor ordered a MRI. This hospital doesn’t have the MRI equipment, so she had to be taken by ambulance to another hospital for the MRI. The results will be an available tomorrow.

The doctor suspects that tuberculosis may be the cause of these new problems. Sandra is currently on TB medication that should help her recover.

Thankfully, she opened her eyes and mouth and even seemed to nod her head. These are good signs that she’s becoming more conscious.

We continue to pray and trust God. We thank all of you for praying and especially those who have donated specifically for Sandra’s medical expenses!

Glory to God!

Saturday, November 11th, 2023

The landscape project is going smoothly as workers continue to plant grass in the upper part of the yard where top soil was not needed. We did have to haul in top soil by the truckloads for other areas of the compound. The workers are beginning to disperse it. Once the top soil is spread out, they will start planting more grass.

My garden is growing slowly slowly.

No update on Sandra today.

Glory to God always!

Sunday, November 12, 2023

I went to see Sandra before church today. Not many details were given other than she was stable. She was coughing, which was good sign, and opening her eyes some. The family called me today to say she was moved out of ICU and into the regular ward. I will go back to Kampala tomorrow to check on her. Thank you all for praying and for giving for her medical expenses!!!

I always enjoy attending church with Mama Fab and the three P7 boys from Bible study. As soon as church ended, we left Bible study.

We finished our lessons in theology proper (study of the attributes of God). We talked about how God is Truth. Of course, one of the verses we read and highlighted was John 14:6. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.””

I only have one more regular Bible study with them for this year, as they will begin their school holiday next week. Some students will be around but others may go to the village or to other family members’ homes during the long holiday break. Students will start the new 2024 school year in January.

All glory to God for our time in Bible study together this year!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Update on Sandra:

It was so good to see Sandra today!! They have her sitting up for hours at a time. When I arrived, she was sitting up and watching coco melon on the TV. When she saw me, she smiled!! She was able to hold onto my hand with a grip when I grabbed her hand. She could comprehend and was answering questions with the Ugandan “eye brow raise” for “yes”! She could move her eyes to her peripheral when I moved to the side. She has a neck brace on to support her neck when sitting up since the TB had spread to her muscles per the doctor’s report today. Based on her MRI results from Friday, TB had also spread to her spine causing the lack of feeling and movement of her legs. She can move her arms and even scratched her nose with her finger once today! She is no longer needing oxygen as her collapsed lung is healing and better now. It’s really just such a blessing to see her like this with all the improvement! Her mom and I just marveled at how merciful God has been to keep her alive to this day and provide the healing so far. He is a gracious God, and we praise Him for these blessings! We thank you for the many prayers on Sandra’s behalf!! May God receive all the glory forever and ever!!

Saturday, November 18, 2023

The landscape project is still moving along. The team has almost finished planting the grass. The next phase will be the driveway area.

I’ve enjoyed having a few of the sponsor P7 boys here with me this past week. These are the boys who come to church with me each Sunday. They wanted to visit the ministry home, and I surely put them to work cleaning up! Haha! It was a blessing to be with them and hear their prayers to the Lord, read the Bible together, and learn more about Him. Glory to God Alone!

Sunday, November 19, 2023

After attending church with the three boys today, we headed over to Jeholand Junior Academy for Bible study…...our last regular Bible study of the year! Since most of the year we have talked about the attributes of God, we played a game to review what we’ve learned. These are 9 attributes that we studied this year from content by @littlepilgrimstheology

God IS.

God is love.

God is wisdom.

God is truth.

God is just.

God is holy.

God is good.

God is unchangeable.

God is infinite.

I reminded them to always search the scriptures for themselves and test everything they hear to God’s Word. I prayed God would help them hold onto the things they’ve learned this year as some of them will continue their education in different schools next year. I also prayed God would have mercy to draw them to Himself and change their hearts! I thanked God for our many undeserved blessings, and we always thank Him for the supporters and sponsors of DLM who allow our Bible study to take place. I love these kiddos, and I’m thankful that most of them will continue to be in Bible study next year, too!!

Of course, we played bingo and Heads Up, 7 Up today, too. Our typical snack of chapati and soda was accompanied by some chips and a small bread roll since it was our last time together!

May God always receive all the glory from our humble efforts of service to Him!

One group of secondary kids finished their last term of Senior 1 so a driver took Mama Fab to their school to pick the four of them up. They returned to Kabowa for the nearly two month holiday break. The last picture is of them!

Monday, November 20, 2023

Update on Sandra:

Sandra had a setback on Friday. She began to run a fever, and then her oxygen levels dropped so she was put back on oxygen. She has been taking fever reducers that are helping keep the temperature normal. The doctor ordered many blood tests, but no infection was identified. It’s possible that the fever is a side affect of the strong medication she began a little over a week ago for TB. Assuming this the cause of the fever, the doctor will continue to treat the TB and treat the symptoms caused by the medicine. We pray that Sandra’s body will shake off the fever, and she can get off of the oxygen again.

While visiting with her yesterday, I observed several praises to share! Sandra continues to be more alert and conscious. She could stick her tongue out at me today when I told her to do so! Haha! When she was first admitted to the hospital over 2 weeks ago, she was unable to feel any touch to her legs. She is finally getting the feeling back in her legs. This is a huge praise and is proof that the TB medication is slowly working. She’s having physiotherapy, so God willing, she will even be able to move her legs soon. She can move her arms. In fact, on Thursday she pulled out her feeding tube that was in her nose!! So the hospital staff put socks on her hands to prevent her from pulling the tube out again. Yesterday, she raised her hand to her mouth, put the sock in her mouth, used her teeth to bite down on the sock, and pulled her hand out of the sock! Clever little girl! Her brain is definitely working! Haha!

So overall, we have many reasons to praise God for the progress each day. He has been merciful to keep Sandra on this earth up to now, so we praise Him!! We trust His plan and pray His continued mercy upon her life for healing.

The bill has now reached $15,000. Now that she is in the regular ward, the finance department is less strict on requiring payments upfront. We continue to ask you to pray and if you feel led, please donate to support Sandra’s medical expenses! These type of medical emergencies impact the ministry budget for sure.

We give God all the glory and thank you all again for the prayers and even those who have already given specifically for Sandra's medical expenses!