Curving street in Uganda

Closed Window-New Opportunity

We hope this entry finds all of you healthy and well in 2022 and dreaming about new hopes for this year.  

The one constant in the last two years has been change, and we have all learned to lower our expectations for any plans taking place.   In some ways that has been good, as our gratitude for seeing others is heightened. The hard part is that plans still take as much work as ever and can be scrapped at the last minute.  Sue talks about “a window” that seems to pop up where plans can happen (weddings, vacations, trips abroad) and then the window can close quickly. 

That closed window happened to us this summer as we were planning on going to Uganda. Not only did Uganda have a significant spike in Covid cases, they also closed all roads to anyone who was not a patient or an essential worker.  While this was a disappointing development, we are trusting that God has a better plan.  With the window shut, we banked our flights and have rescheduled them for March 29th of 2022 hoping the window in the USA and Uganda are open.   

We are so excited to see our nursing colleagues in Uganda. As a result of the shut window, we pivoted from our original plan and decided to host a nursing conference in two regions of the country.  Instead of traveling throughout Uganda, we emailed the 14 nursing leaders at the 14 regional hospitals and have invited them and the head nurse of their maternity ward to our conference. The conference would cover high-risk perinatal care and nursing leadership challenges.  We have reached out to these leaders and have received very positive feedback, so we’re plowing ahead enthusiastically with all plans.  

In Uganda, when people are invited to a conference, it is expected and customary for those who are hosting the conference to give a stipend for transportation and lodging, and provide all food.  This level of expense would be very significant for us.  What has been amazing is that during the “closed window” period, organizations and people emerged who are helping us and equipping us financially for this conference. 

Passion Collective awarded Birth with Dignity a grant in July. We were thrilled to receive it and their support.  Besides the financial grant, Passion Collective also allowed us to meet with Chelsea from Keystone Group International who has given us 6 sessions in making Birth with Dignity stronger on many fronts.  As nurses, having a consultant who thinks more about business, processes and structures has been so helpful.  

We are also grateful that Passion Collective connected us to a Twin Cities non-profit called Matter, and Sue and I spent a wonderful afternoon touring Matter and learning from them.  They have an amazing non-profit. In discussions at Matter, we were linked with Shelly from The Rotary Club of Edina and the Rotary Foundation Board of Directors.  Sue and I applied for an International Grant there and just found out we were awarded it for our Uganda work with the upcoming conference. To say we are grateful for all these incredible people and all of you who also support us by caring, praying and/or giving is an understatement.  We are humbled, amazed, and forever appreciative that you have partnered with us in this endeavor.  We are trying our hardest to keep mothers alive in childbirth and help those who grieve when their outcome is devastating.  

We are praying for the window to stay open the first 3 weeks of April so we can share, teach and challenge nurses and midwives to the highest standard possible in the Ugandan regional hospitals.  

Thank you so much, and may God bless you in all you are doing in the lives of others.  Your confidence in us encourages us to work hard, go and make a difference.  

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