2017 CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM KISIIZI
from Ian & Hanna Spillman
“Lo, within a manger lies,
Yes, we are still in Kisiizi… not what we anticipated when we came back unexpectedly in 2012 following an out-of-the-blue phone call from the Bishop asking if we could help as there was a crisis… we must be slow workers! The past year has again been a roller-coaster of exhilaration, blessings and encouragement with challenges, frustrations and setbacks including unprecedented flooding of Kisiizi in September with damage to the hydro-electricity generation, water supply and low-lying wards which had to be evacuated, not an easy task in the dark with the power off.
Yet we have been greatly encouraged by the heart-warming response of many friends, churches and groups within Uganda and beyond who have prayed with us, shared practical support and helped us press on… the initial recovery phase saw temporary water supply established, power restored and emergency widening of the river channel to try and avoid a recurrence. Subsequent very heavy rains and might have caused further flooding if it had not been for this work. Now we are focusing on the longer-term definitive installation of a more robust water supply, back up for the electricity services plus protection of vulnerable parts of the channel and installation of bridges etc.
Hanna has continued to work as In-charge of Labour Ward, a busy and often challenging environment as some mothers present very late with major problems. She also currently co-ordinates the Guest House for hospital visitors. Ian works as a Paediatrician with 1:2 on-call rota as well as the Medical Superintendent role which is demanding. One of the first lessons is to accept it is impossible to please all the people all the time!
We are grateful for progress that has been made not least the opening of the Ahumuza Centre, the first purpose-built rural Mental Health centre in Uganda. It is part of the Christian testimony of Kisiizi to care for the poor and vulnerable and it is a joy to see the Centre operating and bringing help to very needy individuals and families. We hope to develop the community mental health services more including commencing epilepsy clinics as this is a neglected problem at present.
Mark with girlfriend Sammie, Ruth and ourselves in UK summer 2017
Mark works as a Chemist and moved from Reading to Gosport to take up a civilian job with the Royal Navy. He co-authored a text book for undergraduate students and he is drummer in a band that has just recorded an album while Sammie is a Nanny. Ruth is a primary school teacher in north London and organized fundraising in the School to support Kisiizi following the floods. It went really well especially as Kisiizi’s administrator, Moses Mugume, was in London on that day and visited the school where the children assumed he had flown in from Uganda especially to see them!
<<< Hanna with Ian’s Mum and her husband Peter
We had been back in UK as usual to help run the annual Christian Medical Fellowship Developing Health Course and then we had a lovely week’s holiday with Mark and Ruth on a last-minute deal to Crete .
We also enjoyed a visit to Holland to catch up with the Dutch side of the family including a special reunion party >>>
We also enjoyed our special Indian friends Laji & Shiela Verghese coming once again to help in Kisiizi…followed by their friend Dr Krupa who has worked as a physician…
We had also managed to get back to UK earlier in the year as Ian’s sister Claire was over from Oz and it was the first time we could all get together for a long time…
As we look ahead, the Kisiizi Diamond Jubilee is April 6-8th and will be a big event hosted by the Archbishop of Uganda. Meanwhile we continue to develop Stre@mline software ready for distribution to other units. More info on webinar Ian presented on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWCU2gsqf0k&feature=youtu.be for those interested.
We send you our warm greetings and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas as we recall afresh the wonder of the staggering story of Bethlehem. May there indeed be Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men.