Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Uganda Mission Trip 2014!

This is a quick update to give you the "nuts and bolts" of our planned Due Unto Others trip to Uganda in 2014.

Our family will be leaving for Uganda on May 24th (Saturday) and be returning on July 10th. 

During that time we will have several projects, but most of them will involve loading up in our van (and others if needed) and traveling out to rural Uganda to set up medical care for many underserved villages.

 During our time there, I hope to host 2 or 3 two week teams that come over from the US.  I know that many of you cannot possibly be gone for 6 weeks, but if you know in advance, you could possibly swing 2 weeks.

These are rough estimates but here are some numbers and dates:

1.)  First team would go over with us on May 24th and return on June 7th.

2.) Second team would leave DFW on June 6th and return on June 21st.

3.)  The best flights, right now, are with British Airways leaving from Dallas, stopping in London and then on to Uganda.  Price for the first team is between $1,500 & $1,600 per ticket (round trip) right now.  Price for the second team will likely be about $2,400 for flights as the tickets get more expensive in the Summer because of more demand.  I can hold tickets and prices right now if you are committed to going.

4.) Ground expenses are truly a guess until we know the # of people and where we are going with each team.  If I remember correctly, the expenses were about $100 per person per day, for our trip last year.  This includes transportation, lodging, & most meals.  There would be occasional eating out, shopping, or safaris that would be extra.

5.)  We will likely operate 8-9 days of clinic in the 14 days and also give you a taste of some of the Ugandan sites in the area.  This will not be a vacation or a tour.  We will be getting our hands dirty providing medical care and showing God's love to the people of Uganda.  You don't have to be medical to go, as we can find jobs for anyone willing to work.  Students can go pending discussion with me.  Many mission teams are herded on buses from one spot to another in a somewhat sheltered environment.  I think that we get a more hands-on, true feel for taking care of people and living in Uganda.



6.)  We will have team meetings on most nights where we will talk about the day and the "That One Person" that came across our path during the day.  We will also likely work our way through a devotional book together that deepens our Walk and grows us closer together as a team.

I am convinced that you will be "ruint" once you get a taste of medical missions.  I think it is a tremendously positive thing for high school or college students to experience how most of the world lives and to get a new perspective on things.  We love having students interested in medicine as a career.  They are able to get up close and personal with treatment of patients and see if it is what God made them for.

We will only be able to take 20 people on each team, and that includes my family.  Housing and travel is limited in most of the places that we go.

Hope this helps you to start thinking and praying about going to Uganda or elsewhere to serve in the mission field.   We will plan team meetings in the spring to answer questions and get everyone ready.  We can review immunizations etc at that time.  Please let me know if I can answer further questions.  Even if you can't go, please start praying for our team.

1 in 5 Ugandan children dies before their 5th birthday.  What if YOU could reach "That one person"?


Friday, November 1, 2013

A life that matters!

Did you ever have a coach or authority figure that you wanted to please so badly that you would do just about anything to make sure that they were satisfied?  I had a few of those that inspired me in sports, in the classroom and in life.


Over the past few weeks, I have been reminded about how limited and fragile our lives are on this earth.  I attended 3 funerals in the past 8 weeks, the last of which was a couple of weeks ago.  Through these services and graveside gatherings, I was reminded of the death of my grandfather, Elmer Due, in 1987.  I felt like my world stood still and it was confusing to me why other people seemed to carry on with life as usual.  The fragility of our lives here was hammered home by my participation in medical care of a young patient that was murdered, for amusement, on the streets of Duncan, OK. 


In America, I feel that it is far too easy to slip into a life of ease.  We have air conditioning, satellite tv, computers/phones in our pockets and machines to do most anything.  We don’t NEED much.  Sometimes I find myself tired from being busy, but I was busy doing close to nothing.

Instead of a life of ease, we should strive for a life that matters.  Have you heard the old song called “Thank you, for giving to the Lord”?  It describes people that a guy meets when he goes to heaven that are thanking him for living a life that matters.  They are in heaven because of various things that he had done during his life on earth, that pointed them to God.  What if your life was full of purpose and every day that you lived made a difference in the life of another?  What if you left changed lives in your wake as you navigated between the buoys of life?

I know families that are changing lives through foster care and adoption in Oklahoma.  I know a young lady that gave up a life of ease to care for orphaned children in Uganda.   I know people that volunteer much of their free time in juvenile prisons.  I know a woman that put a successful career on hold to give extra attention to a child that needed her attention at home.  These are just some examples of people that are living a life that matters.  A Godly man in Chickasha passed away in mid-October.  While discussing his life and the difference he made, a friend asked the question, “What could have Bill done to be a better man”.  No one could give him an answer.  That was a life that mattered.  I mentioned the death of my grandfather, and namesake of this blog, above.  He lived a life that mattered.  How do I know?  I was a part of that life and had first hand experience.  I also know that his life made a difference, to others, because of a couple of pictures forever etched on my mind’s eye.  The first is of a full auditorium for his memorial service at Immanuel Baptist Church in Duncan.  The second is the funeral processional that went from the church to Duncan cemetery.  Twenty six years later, I can still see the line of cars stretching down Bois d’ Arc from the cemetery, across highway 81, and as far up the street as I could see to the East.  He made a difference for that many people, most of which occurring right in the middle of Duncan, OK. 

Through supporters of Due Unto Others, our friend Kevin is getting burn treatment, surgeries, and physical therapy in Uganda.  He returned, to the hospital, last week and is getting surgeries on his neck and eyelids.  People, with a life that matters, are helping a boy to get the care he needs to live a life that matters.

As I stand at the end of my life, I want to be able to look back, without regrets, on a life that matters.  It makes perfect sense that I should give that “go through the wall effort” for the One that gave His life for me, just like I would for a coach.  If I give my best effort to please my maker, I should end up achieving my goal.
I apologize for having 4 months pass without updating the blog.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sing for Joy! Lovinsa

Psalm 100:1-4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the Earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.


Until I was almost 30 years old, my father, Jerry Gregston, was a Baptist music/worship leader.  I grew up singing in children’s choir, youth choir, and anytime the radio was on.  Worship through singing (even if off key) has been a part of my life for as long as I remember.  We have continued to be amazed at the praise and worship that takes place in Uganda.  Our worship services last 2 hours and a full 75 minutes of this is experience is spent standing, singing and praising our God.


We were recently introduced to Lovinsa, a 35 year old mother of 3. 
Lovinsa leads praise & worship at the Buddo Bible Community Church.  She has had a worsening swelling, infection, and pain in her neck for the past 20 years.  The swelling and pain increases until the area ruptures and drains.  This has started to affect her voice and ability to lead her church in worship.  She has never had the resources to have this problem addressed appropriately.  After seeing Lovinsa and hearing of her medical issues, we felt that the Due Unto Others team should participate in her care.  She has seen an ENT specialist, in Uganda.  It is felt that she has a cyst in her neck that has been present since her embryological development.  She had a CT scan and it was deemed that she needed to have this cyst/infection removed.  She is scheduled to have the operation done this week at Case Medical Clinic in Uganda. 

Psalm 146:1-2 Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, my soul.  I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

I am calling on all worship team or choir members to help us pray for Lovinsa.  Please consider helping financially in her care too.  Her proposed operation will cost approximately $700.  Imagine the display of God’s love as she receives a healing surgery.  Her weekly worship leading will be a demonstration to her church and her entire community.

To borrow my father’s sign off,

Sing for Joy!



Saturday, June 29, 2013

Reflections on a flight home.

I write this blog while flying over the Atlantic Ocean on our way back home from Uganda.  The curtain has closed on our 6 week medical mission trip there for 2013.  As I have thought back over this trip, I have remembered that there have been many blessings, many trials, many heartaches, many laughs, many new friends, many answered prayers, and many kilometers traveled.


In our first week, we went to Kachungwa, where we found many sick kids, many with malaria and a severe anemia.  God helped us to navigate the Ugandan medical system to find blood for them, during a time of severe blood shortage.  Your prayers and support made a difference, potentially a life-saving difference, to a girl named Prossy.

Prossy as we loaded to take her to the hospital.
Prossy after receiving blood.

In our trip the next week, we were able to meet Saidiah again.  She had been on my heart for more than 2 years.  She has now been seen and evaluated in a Jinja hospital and there is a plan for her to have a surgery to repair a large umbilical hernia in August, while she is in between school terms.

Sadiah in January of 2011

Sadiah in May of 2013

In our third week of this mission, we were able to introduce our friends, the Loughridges, to what we are doing in Uganda. 
It was a blessing to work again in Uganda with Jerome as he is the one that originally introduced me to this great country.  Thanks again Jerome.  We said goodbye to the Treat family and April Berry at the start of this week and we received Jake and the Gash family the next day.  We made a road trip to Rushere and met Kevin. 
Kevin, and his heart wrenching story, made such an impact on me.  Due Unto Others support has made a way for Kevin to travel to Kampala and he has started into a long process of surgical care and skin grafts to repair the severe burns that he had been living with.  For those of you that have been praying for Kevin and that have given towards his care, expect to receive a big hug from him some day in heaven!  When we saw him yesterday, he was doing better.  His scars that were holding his shoulders to his neck were released.  The skin above his eyes had been released and grafted so that now he can close his eyes.  Kevin is a precious boy and I think God has a big plan for his life.

The next week, we took off on our 10 day roadie to SW Uganda, doing 8 clinics in 4 locations. 
We cared for many sick patients and identified some that need special care and have arranged for this through their local pastors.  On this trip, we met Ken Gallyen and have been divinely linked to his ministry (Call2Africa).  We hope to work with him on some projects in the future. 

This last week, we spent our time hosting clinics in areas very close to our home base in Gaba.  We were able to see Nakiganda, Jamil, Tendo, and Shakib again and see four more examples of God’s provision for these 4 beautiful children through our Due Unto Others partners.  It felt somehow awkward as Shakib’s mother bought us gifts to say thank you and Tendo’s mother made us all bracelets with our names on them, Jill a purse, and me a “missionary shirt”.  I have to tell you though, it was a huge blessing to read a letter that is addressed to me, but is really meant for all of those that participated in Tendo's care.


After we are back in the USA, there will be ongoing care for Kevin, Shakib, Sadiah, and several other new That One Persons that we identified this year.  Please continue to pray for them and I will try to keep you updated on their progress.  Through this 6 week trip, our team treated over 4,000 people that would likely have not gotten needed medical care.  Through the associated evangelism, we saw God draw at least 200 Ugandans into a saving relationship with Him!!!

Working and serving in Uganda has made such a big impact on our family.  Our world view has forever been changed and I think that we know our God in a more personal way through our time spent in missions.  I would encourage you and your family to find a mission project to be a part of.  This could be a local mission or a foreign mission.  We invite you to partner with Due Unto Others as you feel led.  We hope to host 3 teams for 2 weeks each next summer.  I truly believe that God gives us a blessing if we dedicate our time, money and energy to trying to bless someone else.


I apologize for not being as diligent with blogging this time as I was last year.  Given our short time in Uganda, we operated many more clinics each week than we did last year.  I also spent much of my free time researching and doing some brainstorming/legwork on the potential “Mud in your eyes” ministry that God laid on my heart last year.  I will be giving you an update on this in the coming days.  Please also continue to check our blog as I will try to retrospectively tell you some stories about our That One Persons from this year.


We plan to be more diligent about traveling to share what God is doing in Uganda over the coming months.  Please contact us if you think that your church would like to hear our story and about how God has used our entire family to show His love through medical clinics and how this love has led to expanding the Kingdom of Heaven!
1 in 5 Ugandan children dies of a preventable cause before their 5th birthday.  What if we could reach That One Person?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Please you BEES!

                                                  Please You Bees

                        On our first day in Runkungiri we got to the Health Ministers House, Jared and Kyle were throwing an American football over the wall-like thing that went between the compound and the house. Jared just barely grazed the top of an arch in the wall that turned out to be a bee’s nest. The bees got mad and chased the ball. Kyle didn’t notice all of the bees swarming the ball and caught it. After he caught the ball a couple bees went after him. He then realized the bees and ran screaming like a little girl, while taking off his shirt. I’m just glad it didn’t fly in his pants! Kyle only ended up with one sting on his neck which was probably a good thing because, there were more that were around him.


                  On the second day, in Runkungiri, we were on our way home from the clinic that we were having that day. It was dark, and our van had over heated like so many times before. David pulled over and everybody got out of the van. Jake had his flash light and shined at a tree because, it looked like there were people at the bottom staring at us. Well apparently there was a bee’s nest in the tree and they became angry at the light. I guess they came to investigate, and one of the bees flew up Jared’s shirt. Jared didn’t realize it until it stung him. I didn’t know what was happening because all I heard was an aarrrrhhhggg. I then found out that a bee had stung Jared.



                      On our third day, in Runkungiri, we had just come back to the guest house after a wedding we were invited to. A lot of us in our group (including me) are terrified of bees, so dad, mom, Jared, Dr. Martin, and I were going to play a prank on everyone else. The plan was when people came into the court yard we were going to scream and flap our arms around acting like bees were swarming us. We saw Jake coming so we started our plan. When we did this Jake took off running like the police were after him. Then, after Jake noticed we were joking he walked into the front door and said that it wasn’t funny.


                       After we did the prank, the people who were involved were not being very smart and standing under the nest talking. We were talking for a while and then my mom said, “OUCH!!! I think something stung me!” My dad started looking at her arm.  Then Dr. Martin started going crazy and took his parka off. We didn’t know what was happening until he said he got stung by something big. So we went inside (well I ran) to look at what had happened. It turned out a bee had stung Martin’s ear and mom’s arm.


                     I took a shower after that and went to my mom’s room to get a jacket. I put it on and went into the living room to talk with the pastors that were helping us. I sat there talking and listening, then all of a sudden I felt something fuzzy moving in one of the jacket’s sleeve. I put my hand up it and grab the fuzzy thing and threw it on the ground. I then realized it was the bee that had stung my mom’s arm. Luckily it didn’t have a stinger because, it got my mom first. It was still alive and moving (but not flying). Jared got it and put it on a bottle cap to look at it. The bee fell out and landed on his pants and he freaked out. It was really funny!



                   Well that’s our bee story! And a shout out to the bees STOP STINGING US AND LEAVE US BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It also is a reminder to me of Psalm 46:10: “BE still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”



Friday, June 21, 2013

Triage is troubling me!

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.



Monday, June 17, 2013

Go and Make Disciples!

This trip has been at such a faster pace than our previous one last year.  Between that fact and at times the internet being down, it has made blogging a little slower than we have planned.  I’m going to go back a few days and blog about our second day in Kabale.  One of the things we all were looking forward to during our time in Gaba was being under the teaching of Pastor Peter at Gaba Community Church.  He was out of the country when we first arrived.  The following Sundays he has had guests from the United States and Canada here who were preaching as he has prepared for his yearly Pastor’s Conference during the past week.  So during the first half of this 9 day swing through the southwestern part of Uganda, many of the Pastors from the churches we have had clinic in have been attending this conference.  We were challenged last year by our friend Greg Davis that our calling was to GO and make disciples.  Matthew 28:19-20

Family photo from Kabale

The clinics we are doing in the rural areas are multipurpose.  There are so many people who will come to see a medical provider because many have never had the opportunity to see one in their life.  I have been amazed at how far they walk.  We have developed a particular flow over time as we have been setting up clinics from one place to another.  First, the patients who have been waiting will be given a number.  Next, they are registered and assigned to a seat in the waiting area, if available.  Next they see the provider.  Then Pharmacy receives their prescriptions, and they go to the local church leadership for spiritual care. During Spiritual Care, the Gospel is shared or if they are a believer already, then they have the opportunity to share prayer needs and are prayed with.  Those that accept the Lord are then followed up through the local Church leadership.  Afterwards, via a translator, the patient is explained how to take their medications.

I have always had a heart for discipleship.  I think many Christians, myself included at times, often get stuck in our walk with Christ.  I believe many get stuck at the point of salvation.  So now, let me go back to the second day of Kabale Clinic.  When we arrived, there were many waiting to be seen.  The first day, I noticed a deficit in the spiritual care part of the clinic.  On this first day, there was no one waiting when we arrived.  The clinic had been advertised by the church as only being for children.  This was great, with the exception that school has begun, so many were in class.  The decision was made to go to the schools, and find the kids who were sick and bring them.  The day started off slow but became busy.  We decided to open day 2 up to the village, meaning to those of all ages.  So, I wanted to make sure we had a stronger Spiritual Care part of our clinic.  If you know my family, as well as our twin one, the Gashes, it was determined if I feel this way, then I should go over to the waiting area and share your why we are here and the gospel via translator.   (David and Jakeb Treat I was wishing for you at that point!)  Jessica Gash came with me for moral support.  The male leadership of the church was at the pastor’s conference.  There was a lady, who is in leadership, who translated for me.  Soon after, the pastor’s wife, Margaret, arrived.  We asked her about spiritual care.  The video posted below will, hopefully, give you a taste of what clinic can potentially look like. 

Jessica was in the process of asking my translator about setting up the spiritual care area, when I looked over and Margaret was preaching to the waiting area.  The people were at the edge of their seats listening.  This video doesn’t do what I was seeing justice.  When she finished, 8 people had accepted Christ.  We had to stop registration, so Margaret moved over to that line and began again, and I believe at least 5 more came to Christ. 

Margaret was my That One Person, (TOP) on this day.  Afterward, we sat down to talk.  I wanted to encourage her in the discipleship of these new believers.  Before I could do this, she began to share with me here heart for discipleship.  She asked me if I had a good means of discipleship.  She has been praying for a good way to disciple.   She had begun cell groups within the village through their church and asked me if I knew of any good materials.  Before we left to come to Uganda, Jay felt led to have us use Francis Chan’s book, Multiply, for our team Devos.  Francis Chan has made this available for free over the internet at  I asked Margaret if she had internet and told her that this was a great vehicle for discipleship.  Jake also volunteered to give her his book.  It was such a beautiful reminder, to see again, that God is at work here and we are blessed to join Him in what He is doing!

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!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hating to Travel

Today is a jam-packed day for the Due Unto Others team in Uganda.  I write this blog as we bump our way on an 8 hour van ride from Kampala to Kabale.  We are starting a 10 day swing through SW Uganda that will include 8 clinic days!  I’ll have to admit, it was difficult to pack up and GO today, for two reasons.  The first reason is that this is the last road trip for our team on our 6 week trip this summer.  We have a few clinics around Kampala the week that we are leaving, but no more on the road.  The second reason that it was difficult to leave today is that we have 4 special “That One Person” appointments going on today.


Sadiah, ( the young girl from Kiranga, is supposed to be traveling from Kiranga to Jinja today to be evaluated for her umbilical hernia.  We are hopeful that they might be able to see her and operate while she is there.  If they cannot, they can at least get her scheduled for the procedure.


Kevin, ( the boy with the horrific burns from Rushere, arrived at Wentz Medical Center last night.  He stayed at Wentz overnight, and the plan is to take him to the burn specialist today.  We would have loved to be a part of this consultation, but we did not want to make them wait until we got back.


Another new friend, Lovinsa, (see blog in the coming days) is getting a follow up appointment and CT scan for a cyst on her neck today.  Our friend Jonathan Kabanda is taking her for this appointment, since we are out of town.


Probably the biggest reason that we hate to be away today is Jamil.  For those of you that don’t know, Jamil is our 10 year old friend from Pallisa.  We met him last year and Due Unto Others donors were able to support him through a surgery to remove a large eye tumor that was located behind his right eye.  He came to Kampala about 9 days ago for his one year follow up after his eye tumor was removed last year.  As a precaution, the Ophthalmologist ordered a CT scan to relook at the area.  We got the results back on Saturday and we were very saddened to hear that his tumor had returned in the area of the right eye socket.  He saw his doctor yesterday and I talked with his doctor about the issue.  Jamil is going to need another eye surgery to try again to remove the tumor.  Then, following the operation, he will require 8 weeks of radiation treatments.  Jamil has become a part of our family and we love him dearly.  He is anxious about the coming time at the hospital but has been comforted by prayers of many.  We are working to get a family member to Kampala to stay with him at the hospital.  Please join us in praying for Jamil and the successful termination of this eye tumor once and for all!  I have committed Due Unto Others funds in the amount of $1,600 USD to pay for his operation and subsequent radiation treatments.  If you feel that God is leading you to donate towards this potentially life-saving treatment for Jamil, please email me at  I’ll remind you of something that God reminds me of periodically.  The only thing better than God answering your prayers is Him allowing you to be the answer to someone else’s prayer!


I will keep you posted on our trip and on the updates that we receive from the consultations today. 


1 in 5 Ugandan children dies before their 5th birthday.  What if we helped That One Person?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Coming Full Circle

Coming Full Circle:


I was not sure what to expect this time during our six weeks in Uganda.  Unlike, when we were here last year for a longer time, this time I had some frame of reference of what to potentially expect.  As we prepared to come in 2012, we prepared in several ways.  We read books that had been recommended, went to a global medical mission conference, and I had a sweet dear friend share with me her experience on the mission field.  The Lord has used all of these tools as He prepared us.  I can’t believe our time here this time is over half way over.  It does make my heart sad.  I have tried to live my life without regrets.  However, this isn’t always the case.  So my goal is to live in each moment.  I am thankful for His mercies, which are new every morning.  When Jay arrived, and we were in the Due Unto Other’s van and going to see Teddy and Shakib, I asked him what it felt like to him?  He agreed, with me, that it was as if we had not been away for eleven months.  It was as if we were here yesterday.  I was asked during this trip, what is my dream for Due Unto Others.  I had to stop and think because I do not want to limit my God.  He is able to do more than I can think or imagine.  Yet, I can sense the Holy Spirit is moving to show us more of what His purpose is for this, His Ministry.  I am excited to see the glimpses He is revealing.   I know there is so much devastation in Oklahoma from the recent tornadoes as well as great need.   I found myself wondering about the someones in great need here that the Lord brings across our path.   God’s provisions last year amazed me.  Despite this, I am still tempted to question this time.  I was blessed beyond what words can express as yesterday we had a response for someone to help with a significant portion of the expenses for Kevin. 
He will be brought to Wentz Medical Center, here in Gaba, on Monday as we begin to navigate his medical care.  We have seen the potential need for a second vehicle.  Last night, someone offered to give us their SUV, from the US.  We just have to figure out the logistics to get it here. 


We have been blessed to spend time with Jerome and Trish Loughridge, while they were here. 
 Jerome was who first brought Jay to Uganda.  It was while skyping with Jay during his trip here that I knew that part of Jay’s heart would remain in Uganda.  I am so thankful, yet not surprised, that He did the same in Jake, Jared, Jayne’s and mine, as well, as we came the following summer with Watoto.  Jake, Jared and Kyle went out yesterday to work on the Watoto farm before Steve Swigert headed back to Oklahoma. 
Madison and Savannah Donica, who came to work with us last summer, are here with Watoto until tomorrow. 
Having Jim, Joline, and Jessica Gash back working with us is so great. 
 God is so sweet to weave our paths together again as well as introduce us to new friends, who have a heart for missions, like Dorrie Garner.  
We will continue to abide in Christ as He show’s us His call on our lives.   There is a new song, we have begun singing at Gaba Community Church last Sunday and we sang again today:  JESUS IS THE CENTER.  As we keep Him in His rightful place He continues to teach me He doesn’t call the equipped but He equips the called.  The best thing about coming full circle is getting to go around it again! You are such a part of His work here in Uganda!  Thanks you for your prayers and support as we each keep Jesus in the center so we each may be His hand and feet to His Glory!




Friday, June 7, 2013


After 17 years in Emergency Medicine, I have seen many horrific sites and heard many terrible stories from patients as I cared for them or their family.  For better or worse, those gory stories usually don’t impact me, emotionally, like they did in the past.  I saw a young boy today, named Kevin, whose physical body and heart wrenching story punched me in the gut so hard that I am still nauseated.  Kevin is a 3 year old boy that was burned with boiling hot water in November of last year.  He was taken to a hospital and received initial burn care.  He was referred to the burn unit at Mulago Hospital in the capital.  His mom did not take Kevin to Mulago, for a few reasons, but mainly due to lack of resources.  Kevin’s mother, Babra, brought Kevin to our clinic in Rushere today to try to get some help.


Babra keeps Kevin covered with a blanket, obvious reasons.  When I uncovered him to look at the burns, my translator shrieked.  Then, my translator would not even look at Kevin again.  I asked permission to hold Kevin and to take a photo with him.  I will warn you, this picture is not for the faint of heart.



If I could try to explain what his injuries are, I would say these things:

1.)    His lower eyelids were burned and scarred down to his cheeks, almost like they were melted.

2.)    His nose was pretty much burned off.

3.)    His lower lip was scarred down to his chin, where he cannot shut his mouth.

4.)    Kevin’s shoulders are scarred up to his neck on both sides.  Giving the appearance that he has no neck.

5.)    Kevin’s left elbow is scarred down in a 90 degree position, making his left arm have limited use.

I feel like God is wanting the Due Unto Others team to pull together to help Kevin.  Babra has agreed to take Kevin to Mulago for evaluation.  It is 4 hours from Rushere to Kampala in our van with the expert driver David at the wheel.  I am sure it is much longer by taxi van or bus.  I will be discussing this case with Dr. Martin and arranging for an evaluation with a plastic surgeon.  I am sure that there will be multiple surgeries needed to try to regain function of his eyelids, mouth and arms. 


Please pray for Kevin and Babra.  This is a painful and difficult time for them.  Please also prayerfully consider giving towards the care of this beautiful young boy.  I am estimating here, but I could easily see his care costing $4,000 USD.  Please email me at and I will tell you how you could give specifically towards his care.
Please share this with anyone you can.  This is quite a serious case.
I will end this post with the motto for the Renewal Healthcare Network:  We Care, Jesus Heals!