Thursday, 28 February 2013

Just out of surgery

Today is a wonderful day!  Simon is on the other side of the surgery and looks well.  He just came back to his room one hour ago and is now sleeping.  We are grateful for all your prayers, wherever you are in the world, for Simon, Joshua, Zara and for myself.  It hasn't been the easiest of times but God has brought the right people around us for such a time as this and we sense His care for us all.

I will continue to keep you all updated on his progress!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Pre surgery update

So today was the day that Simon was admitted into the hospital.  We had no idea how it would go and what to expect but God, in His goodness, prepared the way.  The lady in charge was very organised and seemed very much in control which gave us some reassurance.  We filled in some paperwork at reception and waited for a bed to be ready.  It didn't take too long before Simon moved into his room for the next week or so.  The room was bigger than we expected but the smaller one wasn't available but the price is still the same :).  We felt like we were in a hotel room as it has cable tv and a couch.  Amazing!  I also have the freedom to sleep in his room on the couch if I want to.  A bit different from the NHS :)  All the pre-op work was done throughout the afternoon and we had dinner together before our friend Connie picked me up to take me home to their house.  I have a bit of a cold so didn't really want to share that with Simon during the night as well as the day. :)  The staff have been so helpful and the service has been wonderful.  The name of the block that we are in is called the Princess Zahra Pavillion so as you can imagine we thought that was quite funny.  Our wee Princess ZARA is impressed and is looking forward to seeing photos.

I just had a sms now (9pm) from Simon that all the tests are complete for tomorrows surgery at 0745.  The surgery is supposed to last about 2 hours +.  The Dr doing the surgery said we just take our time and are not looking to be the fastest.  I was happy to hear that.  I will go into the hospital at 7am to see him before he goes to theatre and will be there for when he returns.  Not that he will be aware of that as he will probably still be sleeping or a bit out of it.

We talked to Joshua and Zara this afternoon.  They are doing well and still have fun on their sleep overs.  Joshua was asking Simon again if he could ask the doctor to keep the disc they are taking out and if the doctor could take photos of the surgery.  Simon told him that the doctors might be slightly too busy for that :)

Thank you to all of you who are praying for us in this and having our backs. We appreciate all the emails, facebook messages, sms's and phone calls. I will update again tomorrow once Simon is out of surgery and we know how its all gone.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Simon and Surgery Update

We arrived in Nairobi yesterday after an eventful journey which included a late taxi driver and a passenger on the flight being sick next to Simon.  This is when you are glad the flight time from EBB to NBI is only 50 mins. :)

We stayed in a nice hotel last night courtesy of the insurance company.  We enjoyed good food and cable tv :)  you would almost have thought we were on holiday.  Well reality came soon enough as we were picked up for the hospital at 1330 this afternoon.  We arrived at the Doctors office at just a little before 1400.  The doctor arrived at about 1415.  We met with him for about an hour whereby he discussed Simon's case and did some physical testing to get an accurate picture of what is going on.
During this discussion a plan was made for him to have the surgery on Thursday.  He will go in on Wednesday for the pre-op assessment including a chat with the anaethetist.   After the surgery is complete he will then be in hospital for a further week for observation. 

After this decision was made we then had to make a decision regarding what standard of room he would like.  This will be fnalised on Wednesday when he goes in as an in-patient.  We will know the Kenyan medical system a bit better by the time we are finished I think.

At the moment we are staying with friends of ours in Nairobi, Connie and Dan Crum from MMCT EA. (Mobile Member Care Team East Africa).  They have graciously opened their home to us and helping us out in different ways.  We are very thankful for them. 

Due to the operation being later in the week than we had planned for I will be staying with Simon until Saturday to make sure everything is okay.  If everything goes as planned with the surgery I will return to Uganda on Saturday to spend some time with Joshua and Zara.  There is a chance I will return to Kenya next week to check on Simon.  Thankfully Dan and Connie are willing to check on him while I am gone and meet needs if necessary.  It brings a whole new meaning to the words "family of God".  People who are not blood related but sure act like family :)

I just talked to Joshua and Zara on the phone.  They are having a great time with their best friends in Uganda.  Zara spoke to me for a little bit on the phone but was happy to go back to the trampoline.  Joshua talked for a bit and then with Simon.  He was enquiring as to whether Simon would be able to bring the disc home with him.  He definitely comes up with the questions.  A big thank you also to Martijn and Marieke for having our kids and treating them like our own.  It is such a blessing to have extended family around the world :)

As things happen I will update you with more information.  Due to sms communication not being 100% reliable don't worry if you don't get a reply back from me.  Some messages are going through and others are not.  I will try and keep the blog updated as much as internet access allows.

Thank you for your prayers.  Please keep praying for a successful surgery and for good communication with our insurance company.

Love from us all xxxx

Friday, 22 February 2013

Surgery Update

The time has finally arrived for Simon to have surgery.  We found out two nights ago from the insurance company that they have organised for him to have the operation in Nairobi.  It has been a bit of a whirlwind as we prepare for this as you can probably imagine.  The plan, at the moment, is for me to fly with Simon to Nairobi on Sunday afternoon.  He will have a meeting with the doctor on Monday at Aga Khan University Hospital and then everything depends on the outcome of that meeting as to when the surgery will take place.  We are hoping Tuesday :)

Joshua and Zara will stay with good friends of ours in Uganda whilst we are gone.  My ticket is booked to come home on Wednesday evening but this might change depending on Simon's needs.

Please be in prayer for the following things:

1.  For the surgery to be a success and that God would guide the hands of the surgeon and doctors
2.  That Joshua and Zara will be fine whilst we are gone and enjoy the "sleep overs" on school nights.
3.  For Simon and I to make wise decisions as and when the time comes
4.  For peace of mind for us all as we go through this time.
5.  Give thanks for the people who are stepping in to help us in various ways.

I will try and keep in touch via the blog with updated information.  This will depend on the availability of internet access.

Thank you for uplifting us in prayer. 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Peer Responder

This past week I underwent Peer Reponding training.  This training was very much welcomed and had been desired for a very long time by quite a few people, including myself :).  However, we needed different people from different places to be able to come together in one place for it to work out.  The training took place in our home in Kampala.  There were 5 trainers and 4 participants.  We needed the MMCT (Mobile Member Care Team) Clinical Director from Ghana to be present as well as the MMCT - East Africa team from Nairobi and two Counsellors from Tumaini Counselling Centre in Nairobi.  The particpants were from four different organisations with me being one of them :)  It was a significant time for us all.

You might be wondering what a Peer Responder is well let me explain a little bit.  Let me use part of the protocol from MMCT to give you a definition.

A MMCT Peer Responder is already part of the missions community serving in a ministry assignment.  A PR is someone with natural/God-given gifts in caregiving that have been recognized by the missions community and leadership. They are then trained and resourced by MMCT to serve as a PR.
Peer Response is not to be considered a substitute for professional mental health counseling.  PR’s are trained to offer care but to respect the person’s right to not accept their services.

What Services do Peer Responders Provide?

  • Practical support and helps
  • Basic assessment of someone’s functioning after a crisis
  • Listening with active listening skills
  • Maintaining confidentiality with appropriate limitations
  • Crisis debriefing
  • Linking to other resources in the community
  • Referral for professional counseling as needed
What does an MMCT Peer Responder Agree to?
1.    If they are asked directly to respond to a situation, to contact their MMCT Consultant for PR’s as soon as possible, providing basic details, so the Consultant can decide if they are the best PR for that situation, pray for them and coach them as needed. 

2.   To connect with MMCT after each intervention, giving a report .  The consultant may also ask the PR to provide more information which may include:

    • a brief assessment using the BASICS
    • any “red flags” that concern them
    • any intervention they provided (practical care, debriefing, handouts, etc)
    • the follow-up plan

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Kajo Keji, South Sudan - A MAF movie

Below is a link to a movie that was made by our information co-ordinator here in MAF Uganda.  She flew up with MAF to South Sudan and was able to meet some of the organisations that MAF serves.  In particular, she shares about the ministries that are going on in Kajo Keji, South Sudan.    Be encouraged as you watch and listen to stories of God's faithfulness during times of immense difficulty and the difference MAF is making in this area.

Click here for the movie.

Kajo Keji is situated just south of Juba close to the border with Uganda.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

SU in Rainbow

At the end of last term one of the teachers at Rainbow School (who is also a friend and colleague in MAF) asked if I would help her with running a Scripture Union club.  First of all it is amazing that we were able to get permission to do it.  This is truly an answer to prayer.

We started a couple of weeks ago and all 20 children that had signed up for the after school club were there.  We had a break last week due to a public holiday but will begin again this week.  Pray for the children that attend that they would grow in their love for Jesus and for those that don't know Him  that they would come to know Him.  Pray for wisdom as we lead and as we share Bible stories and encourage Scripture memorisation along with fun games and activities.

Both Joshua and Zara, along with a couple of other "MAF kids" signed up for the club so its fun to have them in the midst and to be able to encourage them in their young faith.

Be in prayer for this after school club that the children's minds would be open to the things of the Lord and that they would have teachable hearts.