As I sit here on our flight back to the USA I’m trying to keep steady as we are bumping all around above Greenland. (Actually it’s getting to be a little much for me personally)! It seems to be a fitting analogy though of our last 10 days in Uganda. We definitely had some bumps along the way, and a few very serious ones as well, but the Lord once again proved to us how steady He is in a storm, and how faithful He is to us even when we were lacking faith. As a team we had been going through the book of Colossians together during our trip and before our 1 week trip to the islands we were discussing how Paul takes quite a few verses (especially in Ch 1) to write about God’s power particularly found in His Son Jesus. We all were amazed as we discussed 1:16-17
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
At that time, little did we know that we were going to receive a first hand lesson on how powerful He really is.
Our team of 14 joined up with Calvary Chapel Entebbe Island Mission which is the churches medical ministry to the many islands that surround Entebbe on Lake Victoria. They also had about 30 people including Doctors, Dentists, Surgeons, HIV testing, translators, cooks (remember there are no kitchens on the islands let alone electricity, bathrooms, running water, and
any others first or second world comforts) as well as some interns who would sterilize instruments and also some that would help out with Children’s Ministry. So we totaled 42 with ALOT of stuff. Hospital beds, a surgical bed, dentist equipment, bags and bags of meds, children’s supplies, food, big pots to cook over a fire with, wood, tents, our clothes, you name it, we probably had it! It was like a traveling circus when our 2 boats came to the islands filled to the brim with people and supplies.
We landed on the first island Myende on Sunday late in the afternoon and immediately began to set up camp. I don’t think it was even an hour after we got there when our first patient came to us. She was 8 months pregnant and was in full labor. With the help of our CC Philly nurses, a healthy baby girl was delivered in less than 2 hours. Her hospital was a church with a mud floor and drift wood walls, with a thatch roof – the one we were currently eating dinner at……in the dark!
The next day on Myende when we were to start our full day medical clinic we got out first look of what satan was going to use to try to discourage us and keep us from traveling to the other islands that week…..RAIN (and lot’s of it)! Besides soaking us and a lot of our things as we set up the clinic in the rain, it also kept people from coming out to receive help until it stopped around 11:30 am. The Lord is sovereign over all and despite the slow start we got to treat many people, share Christ with many people, and run a full kids club broke up into two age groups where the gospel was given. Both young and old came to receive Christ as their Lord that day!
Tuesday we loaded up both boats and travelled about 30 minutes to Kimi Island where we had camped at last year for a couple days. Thankfully this year we had the pleasure of serving there for only the day. Unloading (and loading) our gear from the boats takes about an hour with all hands doing their part, this proved to be one of the more tiring tasks each of our days on the islands.
Kimi was also great and despite a little rain to try to keep people away, The Lord blessed and many adults received Christ through the preaching of the Gospel.
On Wednesday morning we woke up, packed up our tents and camp, had breakfast, loaded up 2 boats with people and our gear and headed out on what should have been a 3 hour boat ride to Zinga island where we were going to set up our base camp for the rest of the week. Well, the enemy did not want us to get there apparently! A huge storm rose up as we were traveling and one of the boats (filled with most of the 40 people) got lost and ended up very far away from their destination. The waves had pushed it off course and what should have been a 3 hour journey ended up being 8 hours of soaking rain, big waves, and a very terrifying experience. As for the second boat- the boat myself and 4 others were in (which basically had all the gear) we ended up with a motor that broke half way through the trip, lost like the other boat, and the waves nearly tearing our boat in two. If it wasn’t for the Lord’s providence and power we would have sank. To make a really long story short, after the boat that had all the people in it eventually got to Zinga, they turned right around to look for our sinking boat. They found us and were able to rescue us and follow the sinking boat to the island to be repaired. The verses we were reading a couple of days earlier about God’s power became very real to us that day. Needless to say, on Wednesday night we had a great worship service thanking and praising Him for His protection that day.
We spend both Thursday and Friday ministering on Zinga island. The Lord did a great work those two days and we all knew why the enemy did not want us to get there safely on Wednesday.
I’ll write about those two days and some things the Lord showed me through these experiences in my next post.
Thank you all so much for praying for us. We truly felt them, and even in the midst of some very scary circumstances the Lord was ministering and comforting our hearts with the promise that He who is in us is greater than he who is in this world!
More to come in the next couple of days.