I am writing this as we drive back from our 10 day/9 night trip through SW Uganda. We have hosted 8 clinic days over this fast paced week and a half. We have seen over 1,600 patients, seen many professions of faith, identified several That One Persons, and met a new missionary friend that has pleaded with us to go with him to South Sudan.
Our last two days have been with Pastor Joseph Olowo, who I met on my initial trip to Uganda. He had a friend, named Ken Gallyan, who was in town with Pastor Henry’s son Samuel. Ken runs an organization, based out of Alabama, named Call to Africa. Ken has known Pastor Joseph and Pastor Henry since the mid 1990’s, and has many good things to say about both of them. Ken, a retired pastor, is in the business of finding “Trusted Leaders” in Africa and then aligning people to work with those leaders on specific projects. During our first day there, Pastor Joseph introduced us to a mechanic to fix several issues on our van!!!! We can now stop when we want to and not need to stop to cool down so frequently.
On Monday and Tuesday, we worked in a village outside of Mbarara called Itara. It is a beautiful place that we worked in last year. It is up into the mountains, banana trees and cows. During these two days, we saw many people with significant medical problems that they had not been treated for due to their remote location and lack of funding. I found myself heavy hearted and constantly asking for wisdom as I heard the stories and examined these patients. Some of them had medical problems that could definitely be fixed in the US, and might could be fixed here, but at the same time, the cost and time required would not be so practical. It was agonizing as I felt the constraint of financial and time resources and tried to triage these patients. I prayed that God would give me wisdom as what we could get accomplished for these people in need. I made arrangement for a 3 year old boy, named Nicholas, with a medical condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. He showed up to be seen with a tibia (shin bone) fracture that occurred without trauma. This was a great learning opportunity for all of our prospective doctors and even for a medical intern that was working with us. This boy will be traveling to Gaba to see the orthopedic doctor in the first week of July. I also saw a 10 year old boy, named Nixon, with an inguinal hernia. He had been told that he needed to have a surgical repair, but he had not had it done because his family could not afford the transport to Mbarara (50,000 shillings) for a free procedure at the government hospital. Yes, that is $20.
|Jared was quite the hit in Itara. Rumor has it that he got some marriage proposals.|
It has been a blessing to be a part of what God is doing in Uganda. We have been concentrating on one person at a time. We have two days to restock and recuperate before hosting clinics Monday-Wednesday. Saturday we are going to Jinja and Sunday we hope to visit a friend and have a meeting about the MUD in your eyes ministry. Just one week until wheels up and heading back to the USA.
This morning, Friday, we sorted and counted our medications and made an order for next week. Then we took off for Mulago Hospital. We went there to visit our friend Jamil. He is doing well and recovering from the operation. We are not sure when he will be starting the radiation therapy. We are praying for a swift and full recovery for him so that he can get back to school!
At lunch we met some new friends, Emmanuel and Josephine, who are members of the bible board of Uganda. We discussed buying bibles in bulk and we asked them to try to find a “parallel bible” that has a column of English and one of the local tribal languages. We feel that this would be a great tool to hand out to people, not only to spread God’s word, but to help them learn English.
After dinner, we are meeting with an Ophthalmologic clinical officer (like a PA or ARNP that is specialized in eye care). We hope to gain some insight into what we will need to put together to start an eye surgery mission in Uganda.
Thank you for your continued prayers.