Midwife Justine doing a birth with Mama Natalie, Sarah, and students

Plan, Equip, Release

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21

Sue and I tend to be planners. We have notebooks, binders and papers with all kinds of information written down everywhere, and feel a sick sense of delight when we cross something off our list.  I’m sure there are many of you who can relate, and others who can sympathize with our husbands (:

God knew we would be maximally stretched by allowing us to deeply love the Ugandan people and give us the desire to return frequently to help them.  He knew the “planners” would meet the “laid back” and much would be learned. One of our best lessons came almost as an epiphany a few days ago. Here is what we realized.  

We have equipped the nurse leaders here to carry on the mission of Birth With Dignity in the days to come.  They have been given all they need: A computer, a projector and all of our PowerPoints to teach their fellow nurses and students about postpartum hemorrhage and compassionate bereavement care.  They have an instamatic camera to give pictures of the stillborn baby to the parents who had to say hello and goodbye on the same day. We no longer have to send hundreds of blankets for seeing and holding stillbirths, as we have bought material and hired a seamstress to make them here.

Equipped and ready to go
Equipped and ready to go

The midwives here have a MamaNatalie simulator to train them not only on postpartum hemorrhage, but many obstetrical crises and skills.   A few of these midwives have learned how to do simulation and put the MamaNatalie together, and they are ready to conduct simulations with the rest of the midwives, nurses and students.

Midwife Justine doing a birth with MamaNatalie, Sarah, and students
Midwife Justine doing a birth with MamaNatalie, Sarah, and students

In addition, the nursing leaders thanked us for our “zeal” and say they feel motivated to get started on teaching and further exposing colleagues to new ways of thinking and acting in patient care.

The nurses are equipped thanks to many of you who have helped us financially and believed in giving this team the supplies to help the mothers and babies of their land. Now we pass the torch, much like we do when we send our kids off to college.  We plan, train, equip and release, ultimately knowing that they are responsible for their next steps to learn, grow and achieve success.

Our final meeting with the team
Our final meeting with the team

So, tomorrow morning we leave here and go to another area of Uganda.  We go not fretting or worried, but hopeful that this team of 5, which has grown to 8, is empowered to make the changes they dream about to improve care that will be sustained here.  We will pray, knowing there is much more power in that than in all our planning. We thank you family and friends in advance for praying too.

Fondly grateful and trying to be more laid back,

Lynn, for both of us

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