Thursday, February 7, 2008

Outpatient feeding centers, sustained by His hand

When our team evacuated out of Bundibugyo due to the ebola epidemic in early December 2007, I left the outpatient feeding centers in their infancy, with the first cycle of malnourished children returning for week 3 of a 5 week program to improve their nutritional status. The programs provide a small food supplement (peanut butter paste and soybean flour), caregiver education, and weekly growth monitoring. I left Bundibugyo feeling that a lot of blood, sweat and tears had gone into a project that would simply putter out after I left, even despite the fact that the feeding centers were left in very capable Ugandan hands. Yes, I know, very self-centered!

However, when I arrived at one of the small health centers for the first time post-ebola, I was greeted by 3 volunteers and 3 health center staff members we had trained in October, who were educating caregivers, had enrolled malnourished children, and monitoring children's growth. It warmed my heart, strengthened my resolve to continue, to cherish every moment I have to be here in this amazingly gorgeous place. Praise God for sustaining HIS program, and pray for continued success, measured by children’s improved nutritional status and overall health, by caregivers feeling welcomed and loved, and by volunteers and health center staff growing in the knowledge of God’s love for them in Christ, motivating them to serve those around them in love.

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