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We look for Baboons at Karuma Falls Junction while traveling from the Kampala to Lira

Hello from Northern Uganda,  

After some heart wrenching goodbyes to family and friends, and a long flight halfway across the world, it is amazing how being a part of the family of God makes coming to Africa feel like coming home again.  Michelle Lee, a Colville Rotarian who has been instrumental in raising funds for 33 Spring Protection Projects to provide clean water for villages here, arrived 2 hours behind me.  She is well loved for her big heart for the Ugandan people and the continuing care she has for them.  We will be spending the next 10 days setting up a Rotary Club sponsored sanitation and well project in a remote Northern Ugandan village school,  Adacar (pronounced Adachar) Primary School, a 2 ½ hour drive from Lira. 

We’ve discovered that with the rebel war having ended about 3 years ago, and people going home from the refugee camps for the last couple of years, the North is being transformed.  Roads which hadn’t been paved in over 30 years are now smooth and widened, and all of Lira’s dirt roads are being restored.   

Lira State Hospital remodeled 2010

There is a feeling of freedom and joy, especially today, their Independence Day, which is unmistakably different than what we have seen for all the years we have been visiting here.  Landscaping and flowers have replaced the rust colored dirt and people lying on the ground, or cooking. around all of the Lira Hospital Buildings.  New beds and mattresses are in almost every ward, and a new building with 8 operating rooms is to be completed by next summer.  Many of the floors are now tile instead of cold concrete.  It has the feel of a place of healing, though there are still many deficiencies and problems there.  It is our hope to have a team come to work with the staff there next year, and the hospital administrator is quite open to the idea.  When asked what he thought about it, he replied that he would get down on his knees and say thank you, thank you, please come.   

Lira State Hospital remodeled 2010

It is sometimes hard to assess the damage to the soul of a people and a country that war does, until it ends and the healing process begins.  It brings me to tears to see the many trees donated last year by a Chewelah English teacher, grow 4 times their original size, flourishing at a high school which was almost completely destroyed by numerous rebel raids.  They are starting to restore their buildings and one teacher said “the students are  now flowering”!  It’s a surprising statement for an all boys school.  It was once the best school in all East Africa – now rising from the ashes again.   

New banks, hotels and shops have risen in just one year with the influx of investors who now have no fear of putting their resources into this community.  This area had been absolutely isolated for over 25 years, with 10’s of thousands losing their lives and livelihoods through rebel attacks coming unexpectedly, wiping out whole villages in one night.   Over 30,000 children had been abducted and forced to become child soldiers and wives of rebel officers.  It’s as if the whole of the North is coming back to life after being near death for more than a generation.   

Levi, English teacher at Lango College displays new fruit on an orange tree planted in 2009

God remains faithful, even in the almost unbearable times, and these resilient people are once again learning to become communities again.   

I’m thankful that I’ve been given the privilege of being the connection between NE Washington and Northern Uganda.  Hopefully, you will see that your sacrificial donations will make a huge difference in the lives of people here who have suffered unspeakable horrors and need prayer, care and practical help to change their future for the better while looking to God for their answers. 

Prayer is the most important gift you can provide for us now, and email notes are wonderful evidence that we are all together in this.  Please use the ckurowski@handsacrossnations.com address and remember to send a new email, rather than the “reply” button as we sometimes get back our own newsletter if you forget to delete it.   

Thank you,

Sharing the love of Christ,

Carolyn

This is the first of hopefully weekly updates, to share the news about how the funds donated to Hands Across Nations and raised through the Hands Across Nations Auction last June will affect the people we have been serving for the past 9 years.   Hands Across Nations is a charitable foundation , based in Chewelah,  Washington.  “Sharing the love of Christ in practical ways”, is our focus in Northern Uganda.

Carolyn's Journal October 9, 2010

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