A large team travelled out from both UK and USA; here are some of their stories…
Travelling to Africa was always a wish of mine. Our goal was to treat as many people as we could in the villages where the sponsored children live. We had no idea what we would see or what to expect, but with our suitcases full and our hearts ready, we pressed on into the unknown. At the clinics we saw many people with a wide range of aliments but what I found most rewarding was being able to teach people about simple life changes that they could make to prevent future illness.
One of the problems of mission’s trips is that you are never quite sure what you are going to get yourself into. When we travelled to Uganda we brought supplies with us and also purchased some more medicines there. I was continually amazed that each time we ran a clinic we were able to treat all those who came and that miraculously there was enough medicine to go round.
We were so blessed to be a part of this trip. It was wonderful to work with Children of Hope and to experience so many people who have a huge heart for God. I hope that I am able to go back to Uganda soon and continue teaching the people about ways to improve their lives both spiritually and physically.
During my first trip to Uganda in 2010 I fell in love with the country and the people. In 2013 I returned for a second time with Jane Sullivan and visited the children, bringing them gifts from their sponsors. Returning home I longed to be back and spoke passionately about it to others; one of the ladies in my church had been on a medical mission trip to Jamaica. A similar idea formed in my mind and the mission board in my church agreed.
In May 2014 I lead a mission trip, bringing 13 people to serve the people of Uganda and Children of Hope. This was the first medical mission from the USA, bringing registered nurses and medical technicians along with some of their children.
The work began with two days of clinics in Bombo at the Salvation Way Primary School; the team saw over 150 people there. We sent 2 of the graduate nurses with Thomas and Mabel to see some of the sponsored children at their schools. We did clinics in Nakaseke and were able to do one at a pregnancy center and in a village in Jinja.
As soon as I saw Hussein he came over and gave me a hug; he is a very sweet boy. It was so nice to spend time with him and his Jaja (Grandmother) and to be able to play and dance and take photographs.
Jessica is a very lively child and has the kind of personality that would fit in very nicely where I work. It was great to meet her mother, it took a little while for her to be comfortable with me, but after that it was all hugs and smiles.
Hussein seems very shy, but he and Jessica are bold and strong characters in the church. I love that he and Jessica are really good friends.
Challenging, heart wrenching, heart warming and full of joy would sum up my time in Uganda. As soon as I was greeted with the need of those who suffer from intense poverty, I was greeted with their over whelming sense of joy despite their situation. It was wonderful to see the amazing impact that Children of Hope has on the lives of those children who are in desperate need. I was convinced that my time in Uganda would leave my ears ringing with the sound of crying, instead my ears rung with the sound of giggling and laughter. I discovered that Children of Hope does so much more than just provide education for their children.
Many children in Uganda are left to fend for themselves. Parents up and leave or die and children are left in the care of their Grandmothers or anyone who will pick them up. They are left feeling unloved, however Children of Hope makes sure that these children are cared for and loved. Many of the children see those who sponsor them as being a part of their family and are overwhelmed, and shocked, that anybody would care about their life, and provide for them in an environment where money is scarce. I would urge anyone who does not send letters or presents to their sponsored child to do so. The smallest gift makes the biggest difference in that child’s life and will fill them with joy and love.
I was humbled by their thankfulness for the little things; upon giving a child a sweet they would get on their hands and knees to say thank you. I have heard many say “It stole my heart” upon return from a missions trip and always thought that they were being over-dramatic, but I can honestly say Uganda stole my heart and my heart will stay there until I return (which will be as soon as possible).
I commend the work of Children of Hope and cannot emphasize enough how much they are changing the lives of these children. On behalf of the children that I met I would like to thank all those who sponsor for being a part of changing their lives.
Why Uganda? And why me? These were the first two questions that popped into my head when I was asked to consider going to Uganda on a short term medical mission trip. As a nurse, I would like to think that I’m a caring person but, was it really God’s plan for me to go to Africa? God had it all in HIS hands. What a beautiful country and amazing people!! Uganda impressed me with its genuine people and beautiful landscape.
Yes, there is poverty. Yes, I saw some very sick and injured adults and children. There are people working against amazing odds to make a difference. I returned to the USA with my heart full. Blessings overflowed my soul. Many stories from my time in Uganda echo through my mind and fill my dreams.
Some of those stories….
A boy peeks through the church window and smiles broadly at the “Mzungu” (white person) sitting in the front row. When I catch his eye he waves a little and smiles more. Later I learnt that his step-mother had cut off his hand and his foot and burned him for punishment and that he was homeless. Yet he smiles!! Shaffik is now sponsored and attending school.
I’m called out of a clinic to see an elderly woman in a nearby home. Curious, I asked, “Why doesn’t she just come to the clinic we are running right across the road?” She could not walk and had not walked in a couple weeks. As I examined her I realized that she was well taken care of, and was loved and respected. Without x-rays I can’t be certain, but I think she had a fractured hip. In the US surgery would have been the answer. I cried. There was nothing practical I could do for her. But, I was able to pray with her.
A baby, limp as a dish rag, carried in by a young mother of three. We looked the baby over and tried to get reactions out of her. The baby was badly dehydrated and both she and mom needed our help. The stroller we had brought from the US would be perfect and her mother would not have to carry her everywhere.
I met a delightful set of twin girls named Precious and Blessing. That is exactly how I see my time in Uganda!