Friday, March 20, 2015

Uganda (Part 2): Clinic Days and Bible Stories in Ugandan Villages

Village Children's Ministry

Welcome Home Ministries also has Ministry Team that goes out to different villages, schools, etc. to have Bible classes with the children. One day we joined them on one of their ministry trips to the village. They are doing such a wonderful job, spreading the truth of the gospel through stories and singing.




After the Bible class, they all ran off to the ball field to play a game of "football", boys against girls.

Clinic Day

Welcome Home's Ministry Team also helps arrange clinic days. A doctor, a nurse practitioner, and a RN joined the team as well as the 5 of us volunteers. The first couple hours where pure chaos as more and more people crammed into this small building. It was hard to keep track of who was first. Forming lines and taking turns are foreign concepts to these villagers, it's an African thing.
There were at least 150 people crammed in this small building. As the sun rose high in the sky, the temperature under that tin roof also rose. 

This definitely wasn't the first time the team has set up a clinic. They calmed everyone down and got them sitting, until the different stations where set up.
This was the first booth the patients came too. I guess you could call it the "Vitals Booth". I checked blood pressures, Lora checked temperatures, Beth manned the scales, and Alex busily recorded it all in the patient's booklet. 
Then they had to wait in the second waiting area until they could be seen by the doctor or the nurse practitioner.

Doctor Yenta is originally from Denmark, but is currently working in Uganda. She's a kind lady with a big heart for Africans.

Elizabeth is working in a children's ward in Jinja as a nurse practitioner. Another wonderful woman with a beautiful heart.

Besides making sure everything was going okay and the staffs' needs were met, Val (RN) stayed busy with basic wound care. She's pretty much a pro at this. When we were finished at the "Vital Booth", I enjoyed holding the light for her and watching her bandage and then educate the patient on how to care for the their wounds so they heal properly.

They also had a corner for malaria testing and stand for medications and treatments.

Bananas anyone? Who could resist buying from such cute little vendor?

A Sole Hope [jigger removal] Clinic Day

Who is Sole Hope and what exactly are jiggers? Their website can explain these answers much better than I can.

We had it in our plans to visit Sole Hope at some point in our stay in Jinja, but when we got there we did not have a clinic day in mind. But after touring their facilities and hearing about their ministry, we were sure we wanted to do this and had it arranged. It was a great experience, and we were all thankful for the opportunity.
We had somewhat grown accustomed to seeing white people again, but it was a different story to spend the day with them. At first it was a bit overwhelming to be around so many Americans and the all too familiar American English, but by the end of the day I was amazed at how refreshing it turned out to be. Some where in Jinja on mission trips, others were there on the mission field. Each had a unique story and it was great being about to hear them.
The Sole Hope staff are pros at this. They had a wonderfully organized system in place. 

Waiting patiently in line.

A few volunteers where in charge of passing out sweets and stickers to each child that was treated. The strength of these children amazed me.

Beth and I spent most of the time washing/scrubbing little, dust black feet. A few came through and I wondered to myself how they could possibly still walk with all those jiggers behind their toes...

They were then carried to a waiting area until there was an opening with one of the jigger removers.

 Lora spent a lot of her time taking "footnotes" for Natasha, who by the way is a really neat person. Natasha and her husband, Adam, felt like God was calling them to Jinja to be "Servant Missionaries." They completely uprooted and moved to Uganda indefinitely with their two Vietnamese children to serve other organizations wherever they are needed. The Perryman's and their intern, Meaghan, are such amazing people and we greatly enjoyed spending time with them.

Natasha's daughter, Avi Joy, is well on the way to becoming a jigger pro.

Each person removing jiggers had someone looking over their should and marking on the footnotes where each jigger was, so when they come back to follow up they can tell if the patient has new jiggers and if the old ones were completely removed, as well as make sure the wounds are healing properly.

Towards the end the crowds of children kept pressing in closer and closer to get a better view of what was actually going on. Time and time again they had to be told to go away. I was amazed at how the native staff handled this. The natives that I was used to being around would have gotten all up in a wad and started yelling, but apparently these are not your typical natives. Instead in their native tongue, they calmly asked the children to leave. What was even more amazing was that the children actually took them serious. I guess it goes to show that yelling and screaming really isn't necessary. A firm command will do just fine. 

The process of removing the jiggers is so painful, but the strength of these children is incredible. Only a few cried, but the pain was evident in many of their eyes.

We had such a super team of staff and volunteers that day. So much compassion. 

 Razor blades and large safety pins are their main instruments in jigger removal.

This jigger was lodged behind this child's toenail. the white sack you can see there is the egg sack from the jigger. The actual jigger is an itty, bitty black speck that can be found behind the sack (not visible on picture). The entire eggs sack and the jigger must be removed. A small hole is left where the jigger and it's egg sack had been. Sometimes the hole is as large as a pea.

After the jiggers have been removed and the wounds have been bandaged the child is carried to shoe fitters.

Jigger free and a proud owner of these new shoes!

There are so many ways you can lend a helping hand and a willing pocket book to this wonderful ministry, so I'm going to send you to their website to learn more about getting involved. And if you ever find yourself in Jinja and need a place to stay, they have a gorgeous guesthouse that you WILL LOVE!!! The neat thing about this guesthouse is that it also helps financially support this ministry.

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