Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wedding Crashers and Burn!

We are now half way done with our swing through SW Uganda.  We have completed 2 days of clinic in Kabale and 2 days outside of Rukungiri, in a village called Bwambara.  The local pastor of Rugkungiri Community Church, Elisha, invited us/encouraged us to attend a local wedding tonight in Rugkungiri.  None of us had packed any dress clothes, but we were told that this did not matter.  So, after finishing our clinic, we cleaned up and headed to the wedding.  A local man, Victor, was marrying a Mzungu from Michigan.  The wedding was over but the reception was in full swing when we arrived.  They had us eat some dinner, then they proceeded to parade us in front of the 500 attendees to a tent for VIPs.  Many people were given turns to speak, giving words of encouragement to the couple and recognizing their family.  Elisha was speaking on behalf of the church and invited me to say a word to the 490 Ugandans and the 10 mzungus from Michigan. 

So I stood up, in my safari pants, brown athletic shoes, and a borrowed collared shirt, and this is how it went:

“I bring you greetings from Oklahoma in the United States.  Translator gave the greeting to the crowd.

“I feel unworthy to address you today (translation), and for sure under dressed”!  This brought a big laugh from the crowd, which unfortunately encouraged me to continue.

“Pastor Elisha asked me to share something with you today”.  Again the translator said this in the local language.

“I told the pastor that I wanted to dance”.  (Translator)  “But the pastor said anything but that”!  Following this, all you could hear was crickets chirping in all of Uganda.  This was definitely a joke wasted.

So I proceeded to tell the crowd that I think that they wanted me to talk because they thought that I was wise, with my grey hair.  This brought a few snickers.  I then told them that I think that the reason that I was asked to speak was that I have experience of a long a marriage to beautiful mzungu woman.  I gave advice to the groom as follows:

1.)    Spend the first year stumbling into the things that really make her angry.  Then, spend the rest of your life avoiding those things.

2.)    For a long and happy marriage, I told him to remember these 6 words in this order.  I-am-sorry-You-are-right!

In my humble opinion, my speech was funny and riddled with sage information.  I also think that I was in the minority with this opinion!

Now for the updates!

Jamil had his repeat surgery to remove the tumor behind his right eye on Wednesday.  We have not seen him yet, but we hear that he is doing well.  Please continue to pray for him.

We met a young girl named Patience while in Bwambara.  She likely has a heart problem that is similar to our cardiac kids that we have talked about before.  We have arranged for her to travel to Mbarara on Tuesday for an echocardiogram and consultation.  I will continue to update you about her as we know more.
Patience is That One Person!

Sadiah was seen in Jinja on Tuesday.  She was scheduled for surgery to repair her hernia on June 24th.  We are delighted that this is heading in the right direction.

Kevin, our friend with the severe burns, is still waiting for his evaluation.  He has traveled to the hospital at least 3 times, but has not been able to gain the audience of the burn surgeon yet.  I have discussed this with Dr. Martin today and we will continue to try to get his long road of burn treatments headed in the right direction.

It was truly a blessing to travel out to Bwambara the last two days.  It is 90 minutes down a bumpy dirt road from Rukungiri.  Rukungiri is already a rural city, but Bwambara was in Nat Geo land.  There were so many people waiting on us when we arrived today.  I am convinced that if we were there for 100 days, there would be more people there on each morning that we arrived.  The need is so great that I have had to pause again and try to focus on one person at a time.  We were reminded, as we visited with Pastor Elisha this evening, how great the need is for medical care in the rural areas.  He talked of people dying at home, having never sought medical care, because they cannot afford the care or even afford the transportation to the care.

Please continue to support the Due Unto Others team with your prayers!  We can feel them daily.  We carry 6-7 footlocker type trunks.  Our best estimation is that each of these trunks costs $425 to fill with medications.  We have done 4 clinics out of the 8 scheduled on this 9 day trip.  We have made a big dent in the 6 trunks we are carrying and we will have to restock at a pharmacy in Mbarara on Monday before our clinic begins there.  If your family or a group of families would be interested in buying a trunk of medications, please let me know.

1 in 5 Ugandan children dies before their 5th birthday.  We pray that we can continue to make a difference for That One Person!

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