The ride to the village was interesting. Very rocky roads up a mountain. No side rails, and nothing that even looked like pavement. On the was home, the van I was riding in nearly got T-boned by a big cow with horns. It charged and got to about 2 feet from the side of the van, when it's owner ran up and shoved it to the side. In Katy, sometimes a dog will run at my car, but I have never seen a cow chase a vehicle before! I think I am going to take a pillow to sit on in the van tomorrow.
When we first got to the church, there were not many people there, but we were welcomed by Pastor George and some of the people of the church. From the road, you have to go down a steap hill and then the church has sort of a dry moat around it, and there is about a 2 foot tall step into the church. The church floor is dirt, with piles of rock in places. Apparently the plan is to eventually have a concrete floor and the rocks will act as re-bar. (This information comes from Doug, the engineer in the group.) I am so thankful for Trey. He was such a help to get me up and down.
Soon, the bus with the doctors and nurses arrived, and we set up shop. This is my 3rd trip doing these medical missions, and this was by far the best equipped church we have been to. They had tables to sit at while counting pills, and actual chairs with backs! It made the work so much easier. As we counted, we could see tents being set up outside, and hear the people arriving. Soon, the church was set up for business, with he dentist chair close to where Karen, Erin, Debbie and I were counting pills with Gladys (a Ugandan nurse that we have worked with in the past). Partitions were set up for doctor exams, and benches were lined up for patients. The sound system was soon in operation, and Doug was the first speaker, followed by John Powell, from Bellvile.
We ate lunch on the bus, with a live chicken hoping around on the bus. Someone had purchased it to take home. Its legs were tied, but it managed to hop around as we ate. After lunch, Karen and I went out to pray for people, and met a woman with a child turning 2 years old. The child can not sit up on his own yet, and appeared to have very little muscle tone. She had seen the doctor, and had been referred to a specialist in Mbale, but does not have the ability to get him to Mbale, or pay for the doctor there. So she asked for prayer. While we were doing that, it was puppet theatre time, with Michael narrating the story of Adam and Eve. Rick spoke to the crowd after that.
While all this was going on, mosquito nets were being passed out. Apparently Trey came up with an innovative way to do it. Lee was impressed. It is great to have young people on the trip. He and Erin have brought so much joy to the group.
I am so glad that we brought soccer balls. Today, I saw a child with a home made soccor ball. It was the right size and shape, but appeared to be made of trash bags and string.
We got back to the hotel at 6:30 PM, tired and dirty. It was a wonderful first day, and I know that at least 11 people were blessed by the days activities.
Today, about 1000 nets were given out, so probably 3000+ bodies were actually seen. Many people were registered and told to return tomorrow to see thre doctor and get a net. I expect that when we arrive tomorrow, there will be many people lined up, and as word gets out to the people of the mountain, the crowds will grow. Most of the people we saw today were already followers of Jesus, and have some connection to the church there. In the days to follow, we will have the opportunity to evangelize to non-believers, and tell them about God's grace.
I am a retired registered nurse, and I am sure that the Ugandan doctors on our team will see more patients this week than I did during my 30+ years of full time work. What an amazing trip.