Hi everyone. I asked a couple of the guys that went on our last Medical Missions Trip to Uganda to write a little about the trip, and write about some of the things the Lord showed them. I will be posting some pictures as well say stay tuned for some updates in the next couple of months. The first paragraph is written by Nick Nelson who is a nurse and tho seas his first Medical trip that he has done with us. he writes,
The Lord used this trip to change my perspective on many things in my life. Out of all the ways the Lord revealed Himself to me during my time in Uganda and out of the many things that stuck with me as I left, the one thing that really impacted me was the genuine love that emanated from the church body in Entebbe. When you stepped foot on the campus of the church in Entebbe, you could feel the Lord’s presence, and that was on a Friday. When it was time for worship on Sunday, you couldn’t help but smile as you saw the genuine love the people had for Jesus and each other, not to mention the love I felt from them as they welcomed me and the rest of the team to their church.
The Lord clearly revealed to me that He wants me to be a part of trips like this much more often. It was such a blessing to see how happy you could make somebody by doing what in America seems so little, but to these people they are so blessed to have Tylenol and other simple medications. It was also so amazing to see the doors that were opened to share the Gospel with everyone as they were waiting in line to see the doctor, and how receptive they were to the message.
Overall the trip was a huge success, the Lord’s blessing upon our team was very evident; the team bonded together well, none of our bags got lost, no one got terribly sick, it didn’t rain on us too bad, and the medical clinics were run very well and we were able to help many people. Thank you all for kept the team lifted up in your prayers, we could definitely feel them!
I also asked Ron Rushton, one of our Home Fellowship leaders to share with us a little about his experience while on this trip. Ron is not in the medical field, and came to help us with whatever was needed as well as to share Bible stories with the kids each day. Here is what Ron wrote;
I am not sure what would be in the imaginations of anyone who hears “medical missions, Lake Victoria, Uganda, Central Africa” but what I experienced was nothing like what I was expecting. Our boat reminded me of the “African Queen” with Humphrey Bogart at the helm. It was an open boat with a canopy, rotted seats, a broken floor, broken hatch, smelly, with an under powered engine and a leak in the stern that had to be occasionally bailed. It took great logistics to get everything loaded and we filled it to capacity with three large medical tents, large boxes of medical supplies and equipment, tables, chairs, a 5,000 watt generator, 9 large military duffle bags of medical supplies, “jerry” cans of fuel, food for 34 people for six days, large containers of drinking water, packs and duffle bags, and all of our tents and gear. Dispersed around all of this were 34 people wedged in and sitting on top of whatever space remained.
The travel time to the first island we visited was three hours and we were arriving at sunset. And the island? It was nothing like I had envisioned. It was surreal. It could have been used in a movie set – a horror movie. It wasn’t an island as much as it was a mound on top of which stood structures of wood that appeared as though they were staring at you. The open doors and open windows made the buildings look eerie in the distance. People were scattered on shore to watch as we arrived. With no slip anywhere to be seen, we hit the island and stopped in the murky, smelly, slurry water that had a strong odor of dead fish and all of the accompanying flies. It was as if someone gave these flies the heads up that new people were coming to the island needing to be harassed.
All of the equipment on the boat had to be unloaded and carried up a hill to our first campsite while being constantly attacked by flying insects of every sort. Then in the dark we attempted to put up our tents, but put them up over what? Ants nests, rodent holes, glass? It was dark. The entire time we had to fight off an ever growing attack of insects now in biblical numbers. When I finally rushed into the tent and zippered it closed, I collapsed in exhaustion and sweat, thinking “What just happened?” It truly was like a bad dream.
The next morning everything began to make sense – the reason for coming half way around the world. I watched it all come together as the medical tents were set in place, the supplies carefully placed out, and the teams took their positions. I watched as a long line of desperately sick people had formed in the heat, knowing that they all had intestinal parasites and that 60 to 70 percent had an STD; on top of that, all of the other illnesses known to man. Then you realize that there is no amount of theological training, no amount of time spent on preparing a message to share. There is only one message to tell and that is this: “There is a place called heaven where there are no intestinal parasites. There is a place called heaven where there are no STD’s. There is a place called heaven where there are no four year old girls tested positive with HIV. There is a place called heaven where there are no wounds that will not heal and no teeth that will rot. There is a place called heaven where there are no doctors and where you will never stand in another line like this again. And Jesus Christ made it possible for us to go there and one day He is coming again. And when He does, He will change our sick, broken, sinful bodies into glorious bodies like His. And we will be with Him forever”. This is the only message.
Then we come back home to the West where we have all of our “stuff” and then “stuff” to put on top of our “stuff”. And it seems now that it’s only purpose is to weigh us down like an anchor and hold us from rising to be all that the Lord would have us be and do. And we do not even know it.
Calvary Chapel of Zinga Island
There is a Calvary Chapel of Zinga Island. I know. I saw it. It is a basic wood structure with holes in the walls to let light shine through, a dirt floor and benches on which to sit that are about 10 inches off of the ground. Across the road there is a school of sorts that is constructed similar to the church. This is where all of the children’s activities take place on the island.
Kelli and a young 19 year old man named Jonathan from Entebbe work hours each day with the many children. They play games, sing songs and complete crafts as best possible. This is where the children are told stories about their Lord; the Lord that they would one day see. Between the stories, Jonathan plays the guitar and leads the children in song.
One of the songs he plays is a slow, worshipful song that speaks of their Father in Heaven. As he played this song, I watched two 12 years old girls with their tattered dresses and dirty, bare feet. Their eyes were closed, their hands raised and faces were toward heaven as if they could see Him Who is invisible. They were worshiping their Father in heaven. And I could not help but think, “How incredible! Two 12 year old girls, on a remote island in the middle of no where, who probably do not even have a bible, in tattered clothes and they have a profound relationship with their Father in Heaven!”
Only the Lord can do that. Only a move of the Holy Spirit can make something like this a reality. When Jesus said He would build His church and the gates of hell would not stop Him, He meant it. He will touch one individual at a time, any where in the world, no matter how remote a place they may be in. While the churches in the West have all their plans and strategies, their “how to” books and methods, the Lord just looks for the heart that is bent toward Him so that He can demonstrate that He is faithful. His Spirit moves and people are changed. No explanation. No logic. No strategy. Just a simple message that He loves us enough to pay for our redemption and the result is a completed work of the Lord. He uses one person who heard the message and then shares it with another. It is that simple!
Thanks for the posts guys! Stay tuned for more…………