KARUMA – It was exactly three years ago Monday that the mission organization Amy For Africa was put into motion.
What has transpired over the last 1,094 days has been nothing short of a miracle.
AFA has grown beyond our expectations to the point where more than 3,000 are following on Facebook and most in the Ashland area know of our reputation. It has become the fundraising arm for United Christian Expeditions in Moyo, Uganda under the direction of Dr. Floyd Paris.
This is the second year in a row that AFA has taken a team of people to Moyo. It grew from a dozen in 2015 to 22 this year.
Last year we brought 26,316 pair of shoes with us. This year it was medicine.
Dr. Paris said without AFA’s generous donations that his organization could not survive. The two work hand-in-hand – UCE in Uganda and AFA in America.
As we rolled into King Fischer Game Park for a two-day stay – the reward for eight days of hard work mostly in the Moyo area – it is hard to not look back in amazement at how far God has taken this organization in such a short time. God’s people have answered a call to support AFA and its work inside Uganda and the Tri-State area.
It started out as a calling for Amy Compston, who was coming back from her first Boston Marathon in 2013. She had her life transformed for less than a year but was on fire for God, looking for ways that she could be used. She said God was asking her to run for missions and specifically for the children of Moyo, Uganda. We started a website – Amyforafrica.com – on May 29, 2013 and away we went as an organizational.
The goal was to raise $10,000 for the two schools as she prepared to run a 50-mile race that November. God blessed abundantly with $10,000 in eight weeks and $20,000 in 12 weeks. By race day the total had swelled to $43,000 for the children in Moyo.
God has kept his hands on the organization every day since and continues to bless it. We have since become a 501 3(c) non-profit and look for ways to help the addicted and less fortunate in our area. Amy’s life of recovering from 14 years of drug and alcohol abuse is well-documented. She has shared her testimony hundreds of times, including several during this trip to Moyo.
She gladly shares it because that’s the old her and not the new creation she was made when God came fully into her life.
This year’s medical mission was a success on several fronts including the most important one – souls led to Jesus. Pastors in Uganda preached to those waiting in line for medicine helping lead to more than 200 total salvations. That includes about 40 who went forward during a crusade on the streets of Ishaka on Saturday night with Dr. Paris preaching and his friend Pastor Blasio translating for him.
Two team members on the trip also turned their hearts over fully to God and others were stirred and had their hearts changed for a lifetime.
AFA worked with the Ugandan government on the medicine front. They used donations to give children immunizations the week before the team arrived. That allowed them to use AFA to give more than 3,000 free Hep B test samples. Two doctors, a paramedic, a nurse practitioner and several nurses were also part of the team.
The doctors saw between 200-250 patients a day some with nothing more than a headache but a yearning to see an American doctor. Medicine was given out to those who needed it and thousands of children received worm medicine, all purchased by AFA through donations in the United States.
Our medical team saw multiple cases of active leprosy and TB. One man was even carried in by his friends. There was much our doctors couldn’t do because of not having the medicine or facilities available.
Dr. Paris said what the AFA team brings that’s more important than medicine is hope to those living in this impoverished area that nearly everyone has forgotten.
We will be leaving Uganda in a couple of days and returning to our lives in the United States. But these people are forever etched in our mind’s eye.