From the Archives: August 25, 2013

How do you summarize a week of ministry in Uganda in 500 words or less? I think you fudge it up to 525, but that’s cheating. I’m a cheater. There, I said it. I’ve had more difficult tasks this week, but none more challenging, I don’t suppose. Even though my feet ache every night and I really need a couple of showers to feel clean and not reek, my heart aches more with each passing hour. There is such a huge need, and we can do so little. But it is most important that we do what we can and leave the rest in God’s hands.

On Thursday, I invited the staff here at our guest lodge to see a doctor if they had a need. I assumed three to four would take advantage of the offer. That was a mistake. After we arrived at the church, I sent our bus back to pick up whoever wanted to come to the clinic, and it returned with a group of 25 people, ready to take advantage of some free health care. I’m not exactly sure they all worked here, but does it matter?  No.

Thursday at the clinic was the busiest day so far. This was the first day there was a line waiting to register. So many people had come to the clinic that the chairs were all full and so a line formed down the street after we had opened.  That’s a lot of people waiting. So, with the crush of the crowd today, I decided that I wouldn’t make the folks from the guest house wait for their drugs from the pharmacy. I wanted them to get back to work and be able to do their jobs (and clean our rooms and prepare our dinner). Of course, there was no selfish motive in my desire to move them through the machinations of the clinic with as much efficiency as possible…in Africa.

So, we did bring their prescriptions back to the guest house, and Marcia Okawa and I (mostly Marcia – I was along for moral support) handed out their prescriptions. My heart began to ache for these men and women as they continued to wait patiently for a few measly drugs. They don’t seem to get to a doctor very often, if at all. Even the simplest things like prenatal vitamins and amoxicillin are out of their reach. As I looked into their eyes, I could see a mix of pain and hope that even these small amounts of drugs provided for them.  

It has been the wettest week of any in my medical clinic memory. But it has not once interrupted the day for us. God has provided for exactly what we needed in the tubs we brought with us.

Every year I leave a bit of my heart in Africa. Not really because of Africa, I suppose, but because of the people of Bombo. They are warm, hard working and loving people. They sure produce cute kids, and they love Jesus enough to work hard all week long at the clinic. They work harder than our team, for sure. And, they are amazing, and they always make it tough to leave.

Bloom this week right where you are planted. And live for the glory of God, no matter where you live.