(It would take a 600-page book to describe the emotions encountered in merely our first six hours today. It all came so fast I could not pause to cry until now. Let this brief post serve as a tiny glimpse into one significant encounter amid many on day one in Jinja, Uganda, East Africa. Today though March 20th I am here visiting friends and missionaries with Next Generation Ministries » see NGM Facebook page.)
Met so many wonderful people today, day one in Uganda. And they each invited me into their daily adventure of embodying beauty and embracing brokenness.
Sometime in the middle of today, amidst many errands and meeting with a number of people, we were delayed on return from a newer “modern hospital,” the conditions of which could not possibly pass inspection for a makeshift day clinic for the homeless in America.
But we are not in the States, and this is the best care poverty can buy in Uganda. I’m told it is a vast improvement from government-funded healthcare (a statement validated as an understatement by a later evening visit to Jinja Main Hospital; more on that in a future bite, I hope).
Today, at Al Shafa Modern Hospital Limited a lady walked up with her under-nourished, famished, and deeply I’ll daughter. I think the girl is five years old. We encouraged her to enter the clinic and admit her child, to which she replied in Lugandan that she has no money and has lost all hope. This child clearly needed a blood transfusion and it seems malaria wants to steal the life of another beautiful child.
Against all hope Saluwa knew she had to daily decide between one small shared meal for the family or getting life-saving medical help.
If only someone cared for her and pleaded her case.
The people of Uganda know Paul Hunter is a man of peace and compassion, one who seeks to connect urgent needs to the river of relationships. But he is not alone, and this is not his ministry. As Paul would tell you, he’s merely a beggar leading other beggars to the food available around the corner. Yet to watch him courageously, generously and wisely lead others to trust in the compassion of Jesus and draw on His rich resources through people is clear evident of the Kingdom of God at work on earth.
“I am not a white man; I am a son of God.
God sent us here today to show you the Father cares for you, and that He cares for your daughter.”
This sonship theme has been grasped by my Ugandan brothers and sisters who in Christ are finding the family they never knew existed. We no longer have to live like orphans, stealing resources for today, afraid of what we’ll lack tomorrow. Before heading out to visit the clinic this morning we delved into this theme in lively discussion on the veranda. Moving from theological theory to personal practice, I heard story after story of the once-orphaned laying claim of their family inheritance from the Father.
The image of God the Father reflects clearly even at this moment seen above when a mother weeps in the ER over her daughter dying from malaria. Until a spark of hope came (also seen above) she had to choose between the family eating or taking her ill daughter to this private hospital.
While we sleep in Uganda tonight will you pray for Saluwa and her five-year-old daughter? She is (not yet) a follower of Jesus. Father has to overwhelm her with His love in this deepest moment of need.
I hope to write more in the future, even about day one, but for now I must say this: our African brothers and sisters in Christ are showing the grace and love of Jesus to everyone, especially to the marginalized and those in need.