28 July 2012
|FILE: May 2011: A laboratory specialist examines specimens of the Ebola virus at the Uganda virus research centre in Entebbe. (Reuters)|
The officials and a World Health Organization representative told a news conference in Kampala Saturday that there is "an outbreak of Ebola" in Uganda.
"Laboratory investigations done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute...have confirmed that the strange disease reported in Kibaale is indeed Ebola hemorrhagic fever," the Ugandan government and WHO said in joint statement.
Kibaale is a district in midwestern Uganda, where people in recent weeks have been troubled by a mysterious illness that seemed to have come from nowhere. Ugandan health officials had been stumped as well, and spent weeks conducting laboratory tests that were at first inconclusive.
On Friday, Joaquim Saweka, the WHO representative in Uganda, told The Associated Press that investigators were "not so sure" it was Ebola, and a Ugandan health official dismissed the possibility of Ebola as merely a rumor. It appears firm evidence of Ebola was clinched overnight.
Health officials told reporters in Kampala that the 14 dead were among 20 reported with the disease. Two of the infected have been isolated for examination by researchers and health officials. A clinical officer and, days later, her 4-month-old baby died from the disease caused by the Ebola virus, officials said.
Officials urged Ugandans to be calm, saying a national emergency taskforce had been set up to stop the disease from spreading far and wide.
There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola, and in Uganda, where in 2000 the disease killed 224 people and left hundreds more traumatized, it resurrects terrible memories.
Ebola, which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever, is highly infectious and kills quickly. It was first reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Scientists don't know the natural reservoir of the virus, but they suspect the first victim in an Ebola outbreak gets infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a monkey.
The virus can be transmitted in several ways, including through direct contact with the blood of an infected person. During communal funerals, for example, when the bereaved come into contact with an Ebola victim, the virus can be contracted, officials said, warning against unnecessary contact with suspected cases of Ebola.
In Kibaale, some villagers had started abandoning their homes in recent weeks to escape what they thought was an illness that had something to do with bad luck, because people were quickly falling ill and dying, and there was no immediate explanation, officials said.
Officials said now that they've verified Ebola in the area, they can concentrate on controlling the disease. Ebola patients were being treated at the only major hospital in Kibaale, said Stephen Byaruhanga, the district's health secretary.
"Being a strange disease, we were shocked to learn that it was Ebola," Byaruhanga said. "Our only hope is that in the past when Ebola broke out in other parts of Uganda it was controlled."
The challenge, he said, was retaining the services of all the nurses and doctors who are being asked to risk their lives in order to look after the sick.
"Their lives are at stake," he said.
Officials also worry that other villagers suffering from other diseases might be afraid to visit the hospital for fear of catching Ebola, he said.
27 July 2012
26 July 2012
p.s. Hopefully in the next couple of days we'll be able to upload a video or two of that night!
Not what a man is in himself as a Christian, his spirituality and piety, constitues the basis of our community. Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us. This is true not merely in the beginning, as though in the course of time something else were to be added to our community; it remains so for all the future and to all eternity. I have community with others and I shall continue to have it only through Jesus Christ. The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will eveyrthing else between us recede and the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and His work become the only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly and for all eternity.- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
25 July 2012
If God sets out to make you an unusual Christian He is not likely to be as gentle as He is usually pictured by the popular teachers. A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful. To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be. This is not to teach the sanctifying power of poverty. If to be poor made men holy every tramp on park bench would be a saint. But God knows the secret of removing things from our hearts while they still remain to us. What He does is to restrain us from enjoying them. He lets us have them but makes us psychologically unable to let our hearts go out to them. Thus they are useful without being harmful.
A. W. Tozer
23 July 2012
Recently we hosted a team from Calvary Chapel High Desert, my sending church. It was such a joy to have them here and serve alongside them. This team was very busy and did much travelling. The first night they got here within a few hours they had to repack and get on a plane to Congo. Then when they came back from Congo to Nairobi they did the same thing and went to Mombasa. Through the hard travelling and small obstacles like (broken matatus, and flat tires) the team was able to accomplish so much through the strength of the Lord. Many times I could see the exhaustion from rough roads, or no sleep, but when it came time to minister the Lord was faithful to meet each of us there and give us the power and joy for His glory.
In Barraka, Congo we had a conference for men and women on the roles of each in the Bible. My prayer partner and sweet friend Isabel and I taught on women’s roles as a godly wife, mother, woman, and to find our identity in Christ. Pastor Dave (CCNairobi) and Pastor Ibrahim (CCBarraka) taught on the being a godly husband and father. For the conference there were two combined sessions one was on marriage, which Pastor Brian (CCHD) taught. The second combined teaching I was blessed to be able to teach on Health Education, basic things like hand washing, bringing down fevers, tropical diseases, nutrition, and other things that could help them save lives and use the items available. After the teaching many came up to me for prayer, questions on health, and even brought sick children. It breaks my heart to see those who are sick who could get better with simple solutions; there is just such a great need for education. During my seminar three doctors and clinicians came to the conference in order to learn ways to help with health and diseases. They are still in need of more resources and education so pray that the Lord will provide for them the wisdom needed to treat the community. The CCHD team also did many outreaches with films and singing where hundreds of people came and heard the Gospel. The great thing was that they also hosted a VBS at the church there where many children were able to play, sing, and learn about God. These children also were able to have a meal which was probably the best meal they had in a month, malnutrition is high in that war torn area.
The team also went to Mombasa, Kenya where Isabel and I were able to teach again a women’s conference on the roles of women and the importance of finding our identity and purpose in Christ. Many women came and heard the Gospel and the Word and three women came to Christ on that day, one lady even was involved in witchcraft. Please continue to keep these women in prayer that they would be faithful to come to church and grow in His Word. The team also did a VBS at one of the local schools there that is in the center of a highly Islamic community. Each child was blessed by the teachings and games the team brought. Calvary Chapel Mombasa even had baptisms on the beach, it was so sweet to see those who wanted to make a profession of their faith to the world. There were even two team members from CCHD that were baptized as well.
The great thing about teams that come out to serve alongside the brothers and sisters here in Africa is that they provide encouragement to the full time ministers. It was such a joy to see Pastor Ibrahim and Pastor Benedictor in their churchs serving the people and showing the love of Christ to all they met. They both were sent out by Calvary Chapel Nairobi and to see how the Lord is using them in mighty was to reach their community is such a huge encouragement to me, and just a blessing to be able to be a part of the work God is doing.
Please continue to pray for the church in Barraka and in Mombasa as each face their own form of persecution from the community. The Congo battles with a lot of cults and witchcraft, and the church in Mombasa is in the center of a highly Islamic area. Pray that all the outreaches the CCHD team did would bring forth fruit for the Lord’s Kingdom.
1. Jamie teaching Health Education in Barraka Congo.
2. Evangelism Outreach in Barraka, Congo.
3,4,5. VBS Barraka, Congo
6. Pastor Brian(CCHD) teaching on Marriage for Conference
7. Women's conference teaching Barraka, Congo
8. Pastor Dave (CCNairobi) teaching men's conference teaching Barraka, Congo
9. Jamie and Isabel with Misoka(far right) and Church lady that presented kitange dresses as gift for teaching.
10&11. Barraka, Congo homevisits and prayer.
12. Jamie treating the fever of one girl at church in Barraka, Congo.
13. Team at outreach in Congo.
14. VBS at Mombasa Kenya
15. Women's Conference at Calvary Chapel Mombasa, Isabel teaching.
16&17. Calvary Chapel Mombasa Baptisms
22 July 2012
Over the weekend, we visited in Jele to follow up with the 15 villagers who prayed to receive Christ a couple of weeks ago. It was a sweet time.Under a tree in the middle of the village, Michael preached and the Rabuna Fi ladies sang, danced, and prayed with the new believers who came. A few of the Rabuna Fi ladies, along with a couple of chaplains and a couple of trainers from the States, went sharing door to door.
Vicky, Gifti, Jen, Rose, Elizabeth, and Rebecca visited two ladies who had been suicidal for years.
"I was changed after I accepted Christ," one of the ladies shared. "But I have been getting discouraged again. Now I want to be one of you."
"We could be sisters, our stories are so similar," the other lady added. "I tried to kill myself, too. I took every pill I could find, but nothing happened. Now I want to live with hope. I want to live for God."
Kumi, Joe, Cezarina, and Scovia visited a lady called Betty who had been bleeding uncontrollably for the past three months. At the hospital, she had tested positive for both typhoid and malaria and was told that she had only 4 liters of blood left in her body. The medicine she was given did nothing to help.
That day, for the first time in months, she managed to get out of bed and go out to her field. There, she found that all her groundnuts had been eaten by rats and the rest of her crops were overgrown by weeds. Falling to her knees, she cried out to God: "Forgive me if I have committed any sin against You, because if I have, I don't know what it is. Please lead me on the right path."
Weeping, she started home. On the way, she heard the Rabuna Fi ladies singing in the distance, and her childen came running to meet her, shouting, "Mom, the people from the church have come!" She went inside to wash her feet to join the gathering, but her legs so weak, she didn't know if she would make it. Just then, Kumi, Joe, Cezarina and Scovia showed up at her door.
Betty shared her story with them and asked for prayer, since there is no church in the village she can go for help. "God has visited your home because you prayed," the group encouraged her. "He is able to direct you and heal you."
Please continue to pray for the village of Jele, especially for the new believers! Pray that God would raise up chaplins and ladies to visit regularly to encourage them and teach them the Word of God.
16 July 2012
powerless against the mighty!
for we trust in You alone.
come against this vast horde.
do not let mere men prevail against You!
nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.
and your sins have hidden His face from you,
so that He will not hear… No one calls for justice, n
or does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity…
The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways;
they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace.
but there is darkness…our transgressions are multiplied before You,
And our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us,
and as for our iniquities, we know them: in transgressing and lying against the LORD,
and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off;
for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and
His own righteousness, it sustained Him.
For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries,
recompense to His enemies …He will fully repay.
The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.
10 July 2012
07 July 2012
06 July 2012
Today one of our senior chaplains begins his journey back to his hometown, one of the most dangerous areas in the Sudan.
Raised in a Muslim home, he came to know Christ after someone gave him an Arabic Bible. Since his conversion, he has endured much for the faith. On one occasion, he met a soldier who had been badly wounded by the enemy, only to learn that the enemy had mistaken this man for him.
He has been praying for men who would join him on this journey no matter what the cost. For a while, there were no such men to be found, so he began reaching out and discipling the men around him. Now he returns to his hometown accompanied by a full battalion.
This morning, chaplains and guests gathered to pray over him before his departure. Afterward, I had the privilege of speaking with him for a few minutes.
"I am on a mission to my country," he said. "It is difficult. All the people are Muslims - all of them."
He compared his countrymen to people sitting together in a dark room. He said he wants to open the door for the Light to shine on them. "It is very difficult for me," he repeated. "But I know that the people of America will pray for me and help me."
He asks that you would pray for his countrymen to come to know the Word of God; for the Holy Spirit to move; and for him to be strong to fight with the Word of God.
(Name and destination withheld for security reasons.)