VUMGBULA, Uganda – The Amy For Africa medical mission team reached into the Moyo district of Uganda with their hearts.
On Thursday the last of six free medical clinics took place on the United Christian Expeditions model farm where more than 3,000 turned out, bringing the six-day total to more than 25,000 served.
Medicine was free and so were the prayers to the Ma’di people who broke our hearts on a daily basis. They carried their children wrapped onto their backs. They came on crutches. One gentleman was even carried in by friends. Our doctors saw active leprosy, polio and TB among other ailments. They people from the villages came far and wide on foot and then reached out their hand to our medical team who reached back with the hand of Jesus.
In the six days more than 3,000 were tested for Hep B as our “stick team” did its job well. They ended the six-day run with a record 636 samples drawn. That’s machine-like efficiency from Steff Bowling, Brent McKee, Kylie Rice and some assisting from Amy Compston, who did a little bit of everything on Thursday.
Good luck on trying to either outrun Amy Compston or outwork her. Neither is easily done.
Her mother has a similar work ethic and heart for others. Few were busier than “Mama Kathy” Whitely and Amy Blankenbeckley in the wound center area on Thursday. They were patching and putting on Band-Aids, cleaning wounds and providing needed medicine to help the healing all day long.
Bobby Bowen and Steve Wesolowski were our on-the-field ambassadors. They must have spoken to everybody in the place and probably twice each. Bobby has been a blessing beyond belief for everybody on the team. She is a veteran of seven missionary trips to Uganda but loves this place called Moyo the best. It’s her desire to live here.
It was a tiring experience for this mission team but the bonding that took place made everybody dig a little deeper every single day. We learned about each other and maybe why we are what we are. Jesus opened hearts, even on this mission team, on an everyday basis.
As usual, the major blessing wasn’t what we did for the Ugandans but what they did for us.
In preparation for Thursday’s mission, Tony Blankenbeckley and Brent McKee went to the model farm to set up tents with some other UCE helpers. They left about two hours before the rest of us and did work afterward as well. Tireless and selfless, their goal was to get the job done.
Tony is one of the unsung heroes of our mission team. He worked at the model farm a couple of other days, helping get a building ready for electricity. Tony is a quiet guy who never complains, does whatever he is asked and does it well. We’re so fortunate to have him on our side.
Brent is another from the hard-working department. He’s someone who we’ve all grown to love and respect. What an addition to the AFA team!
Each of the 22 members of the AFA team found their places and performed them well. They did it for the right reason, too. Our doctors, Maggie Lawentmann and Bill Stephenson, were both professional and patient as they saw literally hundreds every day. They helped whoever they could however they could. So did our “nursing team” of Randi Bowling, Tabby Loan, Chris Compston and Diane “Shot Doctor” Anderson, who assisted the doctors.
Katie Miller, a physical therapist with a huge heart and a personality of gold, worked with Skylar Compston in that area. She was so sweet and patient. Little Katie twisted on legs, arms and pushed on backs all six days.
Teresa Wesolowski ran the area where vitamin and de-worming medicine was handed out. Kristen Hurn and McKayla McDonald joined her there. It was one of our most popular stations. Each de-worming pill had to be opened from a package one pill at a time. It was a tedious process. They also handed out some of the beautiful dresses given to AFA.
Our media team – Rob Barber and myself – were photographing and filming video on the ground and in the air. Barber unleashed his drone on Moyo and has some spectacular scenes that will come later to promote AFA.
We finished our last day in Moyo by stopping at the local soccer field, unloading the bus and taking two balls onto the field. After only a few minutes some of the boys from Moyo Town started showing up and before we knew it they outnumbered us 4-to-1.
Everybody took turns shooting at the goal with our three-headed monster keeper team of Steve “Jungle Cat” Wesolowski, Brent McKee and Steff Bowling between the pipes. They stopped dozens of shots but probably gave up about 40 goals (low estimate). Some of those came from Amy Compston, who took on her father with some close-range missiles. Amy doesn’t hold back, not even for dear old dad.
The “Jungle Cat” was beaten and bruised but walked off the field like a champion anyway, taunting all the way to the bus.
Steve and his wife, Teresa, were such a blessing on this trip. I know it made Amy proud to have daughter Skylar, her father and his wife and her mother on the trip. The spirit and love generated from AFA makes that happen.
Steve’s outgoing personality makes him a winner among any people and he has a heart for getting souls to the kingdom. He is the master of the tract ministry, handing them out like candy (he did that pretty well too).
This mission trip was serious business and something bathed in prayer but that didn’t mean there was no fun involved. Our evening ended with Moyo Dance Party II as we celebrated with the ladies who cooked, cleaned and washed clothes for us all week.
Even a Gorilla showed up to dance.
Where else are you going to find that?