Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jamming with the Jernigans

I mentioned in the last blog that we had visitors recently. Our church in Tallahassee has come up with these cool partnerships, which they call 'Barnabas partners'. For every missionary on the field, there is a Barnabas partner in the church who supports and encourages them. Our Barnabas partners (and long-time friends) are Doug & Lisa Jernigan. We first met them a month after we got married in 2005 when we both went on a medical mission trip to Peru. The friendship stuck and has kept growing since then. 

This was their second trip to Uganda to encourage us and walk alongside us in any way they could. And encourage us they did! The time together was so meaningful, and we walked away with a better grasp of what each others' lives are like. It was true fellowship, not to be taken for granted. 
 Soon after they arrived, we started the long journey north. We didn't do the 15 hours all in one day, but stretched the drive out over three days. We took two days of holiday along the way. First we visited Jinja and stayed at a lovely eco-lodge right on the Nile river. The next day we drove up to Sipi Falls on Mt. Elgon (eastern Uganda).
Our girls made friends quickly. 
Hornbills near the Nile.
 When we finally got to Timu, we went to work. Two new nurse friends from the Baptist team in Kaabong came up to Timu for a few days of training under Dr. Lisa. They were SO grateful for this time together and getting a feel for the medical needs of our district. And we were SO grateful for the company and assistance that Amanda and Jillian provided as we visited/treated the Ik. Jiggers is still a huge problem along our ridge, so we went looking for those who could use our help.
 It's been cold and rainy for the past nearly two months, meaning that many children presented with colds/flus. It was wonderful to have a doctor around! I can't tell you how much more security I feel when working with colleagues.
 Some evenings we would walk to our near-by neighbor's villages, looking for the sick.
 While we were out and about dealing with community health issues, Terrill & Doug were at home and attending to some fun projects. First, they put up a zipline. Our kids spend A LOT of time outside...hours every day. They make their own fun with sand, sticks, water, and leaves....but we wanted to add to their fun (and that of the community children) with some new toys. It was and is a hit.'s not just for children....I was, uh, testing the weight limitations.
 This week we found this older girl riding on the zipline with a baby strapped to her back. She was pretty desperate to try that thing out. I'm just thankful she didn't fall off and land on the baby.
 Another project they worked on was building a picnic table and setting it up in a lovely, scenic location for outdoor lunches. So thankful for Doug's handy wood-working skills!
 And then Doug helped Terrill finish a tree house. They put rails up and crafted a ladder for easy access. The girls have already been setting up house and 'cooking' in their tree.
 Our girls were thoroughly spoiled that week. We had requested that the Jernigan's bring roller skates, which they did. Our girls are now learning to skate and balance on wheels. We figured that it would help with their coordination, and provide a rainy-day activity where they could expend energy. Do I hear an 'Amen' from you moms out there?
 Some of our best times together were spent around the ukelele. Doug & Lisa blessed us through group worship, and times of spontaneously breaking into fun songs.
They left us last week and we've been getting back to our routines in Timu. This is how you find a cloud (for missing our friends), and literally in a cloud as rainy season continues upon us.


The Reeds said...

What a great visit!! The rain coming in is an awesome picture. And wow at the woodmanship.. That's amazing.

Sr/Jernigans said...

Doug's parents (Doug SR & Melba) enjoyed reading this account of their visit and seeing first hand your lovely family and what was accomplished. As you might guess we are very proud of Doug and Lisa. Especially how they give of their time and talents.

nana-banana said...

Very cool. So glad everyone is involved in this work! Deborah Hunter, Doug's sister

tom said...

nice said...

Such pleasant experience from missionary trip. It would be not a bad idea to describe the outcomes of the trip, I mean the precise results!