It has been 18 months since we hosted a medical camp (clinic) in Uganda. In some ways it seems like forever, and yet, at other times, it seems like yesterday. One thing is for sure, we all were excited to hit the road again today. We packed our trunks and loaded our van and took off for Mbarara this morning (Sunday). We will be hosting camps in Ishaka each of the next two days. I wanted to make use of the 5 hours in the ministry machine to catch you up on our trip so far.
The time since we left Dallas on Wednesday morning has been a blur. We flew to Dubai and had an incredible time in the desert and absorbing some of the local culture. We rode in vehicles “bashing” the dunes and then some of us sledded or surfed the sand. Some of us, well me, just fell down while trying to surf the sand. We then went to a dinner where we were treated to some camel rides, as well as, local food, customs and dances.
By the time the 15 hour flight and the desert tour were over, we collapsed into our hotel beds on Thursday night.
On Friday, we got up and flew from Dubai to Uganda, where we were greeted by our Ugandan friends and family. We talked through our mission plans over dinner and then headed to our guest house in Gaba. Once we arrived in Gaba, we ran into our friends Jesse and Cate and caught up with Jamil (just arriving from his home in Palissa) before we even reached our guest house.
On Saturday, we headed up to Wentz Medical Center to pack our trunks for our 3 week swing through SW Uganda. When we arrived at Wentz, guess who we ran into! Our friends Kevin and Nicholas. It was such a blessing to reunite with these precious boys and their mothers.
Kevin, you may remember, is a young boy that had been severely burned when we ran into him in 2013 in Rushere. He has undergone multiple surgeries and is doing remarkably well. He was able to run and play soccer and seemed to be in good spirits. He was in town because he was supposed to have a plastic surgery done by a visiting American surgeon, but he was found to have Malaria, so he was instead sent to Wentz for treatment. His next surgery has now been rescheduled to May 23rd. Due Unto Others supporters have been so gracious to sponsor Kevin’s medical treatment to this point. Kevin is old enough for school now, so we would like to raise money for his school fees and for continued medical care.
Nicholas is a young man that we met in Itara in 2013. He had a chronically broken left tibia (shin bone). We were concerned that he might have osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). I think it has been proven that he does not have this disease. His leg has healed. It is not completely straight, but he runs and plays like his peers! Due Unto Others donors have supplied his medical care and God has healed him to a point that he should be able to lead a normal life.
Sunday morning, we attended worship at Gaba Community Church and then returned to our guest house to load up our van to head to Mbarara. As we were loading our van, I heard a familiar voice saying “Dr. Jay. Dr. Jay”. I finally realized it was coming from the other side of the compound gate. It WAS a familiar voice, it was our good friend Shakib with his sister (Bushira) and his mother (Teddy). They had come to pay us a visit. They also brought with them some fresh fruit that they graciously gave to our team. It was good to see them and to see how well Shakib has recovered from his burns that we found him with in 2012. He is getting tall, is in 1st grade, has great use of his left hand and has a smile that brings joy to those that see it. We regretted that we were not able to spend more time with them today, but we hope that we can visit with them again before we head home in 5 weeks.
It is great to be back in the ministry machine chugging down the roads of Uganda again. I has been even greater to see God’s handiwork in the healing of the 4 boys we have seen so far (Jamil, Nicholas, Kevin and Shakib). Please join us in praying that God be glorified in our clinics this week and that we can identify “that one person” that we can make a difference for.