The Day We All Dread
Immediately after breakfast, we learned that a terrible accident had occurred. The report was that four Americans were injured and two were killed. That proved inaccurate. We went to the hospital to pray and be of whatever help we could. There were learned that the non-Ugandans were not American, but Korean. In the ward we found two men and three women who were being treated for varying degrees of injury. The two men both had leg injuries requiring stitches. They spoke some English. The woman was more severely injured. Her face was bruised, one eye swollen shut, and I believe she had internal injuries. Her husband of seven months had been killed in the accident, but she has not yet been told. Indeed, none of them knew, and this presented some difficulty because the two men kept asking his whereabouts. I responded with a technical truth, saying that I was a pastor who had come to pray, but I was not associated with the hospital and did not have all of the information.
As I spoke with them, I was told that they were with an organization from South Korea. I could not tell if it was a Christian or humanitarian agency, but both of the men gladly allowed me to pray for them. Eventually, four others from their agency came. One thought I was from the hospital and so began to ask me questions. When I said I was a pastor, he said, “Ah, yes, we are all pastors, too.”
Others were injured, too, and at least one Ugandan was killed. I prayed for Mark (a small boy), for Jonathan (a young man who suffered a severe gash across his back and neck), and for Kenneth, who appears to have suffered the least injuries.
We also went down to the morgue, which was nothing more than a small shed behind the hospital. Some prayed. Others sang praise choruses. I tried to circulate among the people, find those who were effected as opposed to the merely curious, hold them, pray for them, and offer comfort as best I could. As we were there, a pickup truck pulled up with yet another mangled body from a separate accident. Three more badly injured young men came to the hospital over the next hour, and I can only presume they were in the same accident.
We offered our prayers. We offered words of comfort. But I think most importantly, we offered our presence. We were there in a time of crisis. We stayed until an ambulance came to transport them to a larger hospital in Fort Portal, did all we could to keep calm in the midst of chaos, and assisted in any way we were asked. We had nothing to offer of medical value, but I believe the spiritual value of what we did today was significant.
I pray, and ask you to join me in praying, for Wan Seok Ryu; for Joon Sik Cho; for Young Sun Park; and for the family of Jae Kuni Young.
We returned to the hotel, where I sat down to write this entry. A television is in the background broadcasting the news that Great Britain voted to withdraw from the European Union and that David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister. Strange how insignificant that seems to me just now.