Rachael – March 2017

Rachael is a 28 year old single mom of two young boys. She lives in a very remote area near the Congo border where the only access she has had to medical care was a witch doctor. Witchcraft is common in many areas. She developed a boil on her leg about one year ago. It became infected and the witch doctor told her if she treated her leg, it would move to the other leg.

Her family had no money and felt there was nothing that could be done. Six months ago, because of the progression of the infection, she became completely bedridden laying only on her left side. A pastor we know that lives in the same area found out about her and asked us for help. It was $15USD to get her transported a couple of hours to the hospital by ambulance.

Our first morning we were asked to come see her. I have never seen nor smelled anything so horrific. She was in a lot of pain and had never had access to any kind of pain medication. I could not believe that she was alive. Her body had worked so hard to keep the infection from becoming systemic, it was a true miracle.

There is only one surgeon for the large hospital that we brought her to so her surgery for amputation was scheduled for two days later. It was completely shocking to find out that they performed the surgery with only local anesthesia. General is used only in extreme life threatening situations and when they have the staff and resources to administer it.

I am not sure our paths will ever cross again but I’m certain her story will touch many. If anything, it gives some perspective to our own lives. I’ve been fortunate to spend over two months this past year in Uganda and it has changed every little thing about my life. So, so, so grateful; I will never take anything for granted. We are blessed to live where we do!

Updates on Rachael:

April 17, 2017 – From a Ugandan friend. On Sabbath I visited Racheal and her relatives just as we had arranged. She is generally doing well and very proud of her life this time. I thought my biggest challenge would be language barrier but I realized both of us knew some Rutoro which acted as our medium of exchange. Where we could not understand each other Pr Eliphaz was there to interpret for us. I decided to go with a student who was familiar with the area and we set off early morning to attend church service at Sara-Kiyombya SDA a newly established church deep in the Bamba community like 5-7 Kms off Bundibugyo-Fortportal road Branching at Bubukwanga prison. This is where we would meet the pastor.

After service, we were invited for lunch at Mr Africa’s home a newly converted member f the church whom we had interacted with in my office 3days before when she came to pay fees for his daughter at school, thereafter came back to the main road at Bubukwanga T/C. The pastor advised that we left our motorcycle packed here and hire another boda-boda claiming the place where we were heading to be steepy and that the roads were not good since we were not experienced with riding. We hired a two motorcycle from here to Bunyaruta, Tokwe subcounty, Racheal’s home village. We branched to the left side immediately before Bundibugyo town. It is around 23 Km’s from Ntandi to bundibugyo town and around 4-5Kms to this place. She had just taken lunch and was relaxing outside in the shade. She was very happy to receive us. Through interactions with her, she told me that she has two kids one in nursery at Super Primary school in Bundibugyo town.

She said her biggest challenge is getting tuition worth 75,000/= per term for the kids owing to the situation she’s in and her parents can not afford that since the family s living in poverty. Racheal is steadily healing, though she can not support herself to stand for long, she can walk a little distance. She says she is not feeling too much pain like before. Racheal and some of her relatives have accepted Jesus’s healing power and hope to build a church one day.

Wanted to share these amazing and touching photos of our friend, Rachael in Uganda who had her leg amputated on our last visit. We have been able to keep in contact with her through some friends and is doing good despite the area going through a recent famine from lack of rain. Arlo was able to get a nice set of crutches to her and this photo was taken yesterday. This girl is nothing short of a miracle, praise be to God!!

June 4th, 2017 by Brenda

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