PANYANGA, Uganda – So can 22 Americans calling themselves Amy For Africa really make a difference in some of the most remote places of Uganda?
These are villages where their own government has often thrown up their hands.
With the tool of medicine we have shown them that somebody cares – somebody 7,000 miles away who want nothing in return but to introduce them to a love that can change anybody. Maybe we’re not world-changers but we know who is.
We ask them: Have you met Jesus?
Isn’t that how anybody changes? Our medicine can maybe give them some comfort for a few days, even weeks. They stood in long lines on another hot steamy day in Africa (Is there any other kind of day here?) on Wednesday in Panyanga, the fifth of sixth stops on our free medical clinic tour.
But while this is a medical mission, it’s also a soul-finding mission.
It’s more important that they know as best they can that we come in Jesus name to heal them. Only he can offer hope to the hopeless. In the Moyo area we are serving, His name has been proclaimed loud and clear. A pastor at one of the local churches went hut to hut and led 80 to salvation. They will soon be baptized in the Nile River.
The impetus behind that was being around this group who came from America to spread the good news. They are appreciative that we cared enough to leave the land of plenty for them. That we would get out of our comfort zone – and you find out what a zone that is while serving in a place where comfort is often missing.
Is there hope in a soccer ball? We sure saw it on Wednesday when dozens of children followed us a couple of miles down a dusty road to play on their field with the new balls provided by AFA. They had to shoo the goats off the field (Ugandan field maintenance crew) before they could play. And instead of a whistle to control play, they used a harmonica.
There was delight in the sounds that came from that field. It was the sound of hope.
Does a new soccer ball make life better? Sure it does. We presented two of our teachers with two apiece on Wednesday. They also received a suitcase full of school supplies from the many generous donations to AFA.
Our medical team was proficient as always and this stop was by far the most organized. Just when we’re getting this system down it will soon be time to leave. The 22 who came will be changed in better understanding how good God has been to them. If you think you have it bad, make a little journey with us next time.
You will see things you’ve never seen before like a man with polio who has a makeshift brace and walks on his hands. The brace goes from his feet to his hip. He hasn’t given hope. We have seen leprosy and TB and other medical issues that cannot be band-aided.
Our wish is that they remember this medical mission not from the healing power that medicine itself brings but from the power that comes from the Master Healer. It’s in Jesus that they will find the ultimate soul-healing. We hope this mission of mercy makes that abundantly clear.