Mission Accomplished!

Today was our final day in the field.  Tomorrow morning the vans pull out for an excursion to Kampala before our 30 hour trek begins on Friday.

I hope that when those vans pull out, I am on one.  That would be unlike this morning.  We were getting ready to leave for the medical clinic, and I had possession of Alissa’s computer.  She asked me to leave it in my third floor room, so I took it back upstairs.  When I returned, both vans had pulled out, each of them thinking that I was on the other van.  We all had a good laugh about that at supper tonight, but I put a “buddy system” into effect to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Actually, I saw a very kind providence in this morning’s departure from the norm.  I wasn’t essential personnel at the medical clinic, and so I had the benefit of returning to the hospital.  I found Brian, the young man burned so severely, sitting up on the side of his bed, sipping at a box of mango juice and eating a handful of dried pineapple.  Someone had successfully connected an IV.  His face lit up to see me, and he was quite talkative for someone in his condition.  I prayed again for our Father to raise him up so that he might tell others of the kindness and mercy of God.  Again, I was requested to pray for others, and happily obliged. It was a great start to the day.  I needed that, since the close of yesterday was so difficult that it robbed me of sleep.  I spent much of the night in prayer for Brian and Ronald.

After the hospital visit, I got to ride around with Pastor Victor and his posse, other workers at God’s Care Ministries.  This was the real Kyenjojo.  Our hotel is sort of a luxury compound that was designed for Ugandan government officials, but occasionally accommodates Americans who just could not function in a typical hotel (think dirt floors and outhouses, and you’ll have the picture).  So we’re a bit sheltered from real life in Kyenjojo.  But being out with Pastor Victor, I got to experience an hour in the marketplace.  There are dozens of small booths that function as stores, and any one of them may sell anything from 50-lb. sacks of flour to concrete, depending on what is available for resell on any given day, I suppose.  So if you are looking for a particular item you have to stop at a number of “stores” to find it.  When the shopping trip was done, we headed for the medical clinic, but there was still one more surprise in store.  Pastor Victor pulled over in front of a small house along a dirt road in the middle of nowhere and beeped his horn.  A woman came to the door and they exchanged a few words.  Then she came out to the car and sold him minutes for his cellphone.

We were happy to wrap up today.  I think we’re all on empty.  The question was whether we even had enough in the tank to cruise to the finish line.  By God’s grace, we made it.  Before we finished, I took the opportunity to just walk around one last time and observe everyone working.  What a sight.  I’m so proud of Team Carolina I could burst.  I’ve had several other members of the team pull me aside to tell me how remarkable they have been.  I beam like a proud papa, even though I have nothing to do with how good they are.

After the medical clinic was wrapped up, I had one more treat in store.  Alissa took us to the home that Gene Kifer had built (with Kirsten and Valerie’s capable assistance, of course).  This was an unbelievable experience.  We drove in a Rav-4 (that has at times on this trip accommodated 11 people) 8.8 kilometers down a dirt road that literally turned into a bike path.  We found a small mud house with a mother and four children.  One of them was a “sponsored” child, who we found walking home from school.  She was dressed in her school uniform.  Her smaller brother and two sisters, however, were not so blessed.  Their clothes were old and tattered.  But people from PA had sent shoes and socks, and a tub full of other treats.  And a member from SC had donated mosquito nets.  The family was stunned.  As we stood there handing out these gifts, two other children walked by wearing nothing but T-shirts that were not fit for grease rags.  We invited them to come, too, and I had the joy of giving these two girls some second hand clothes from my own daughters.  Five of the seven children standing there had distended bellies from malnutrition.  It took everything in me not to weep.  But again, I see God’s kindness.  A church member in SC, a senior saint on a fixed income, has asked to sponsor a child, and now she had just walked right up to us as if led there by God’s own hand.

So, it has been a perfectly fitting conclusion to this trip.  God’s goodness seen even in the midst of an epic struggle, joy found in the midst of misery like a flower growing through asphalt.

As we sit here after supper, completely spent, I’m already looking forward to 2013.

gkr1996 posted at 2011-6-29 Category: Uncategorized