Thoughts from Stacy:
We made our way back to a village in Mokono, to set up a clinic in a classroom with a dirt floor. No one on the team was entirely sure what we would encounter. In less than 8 hours we saw close to 100 people in the village from sick babies to a frail 90-year-old woman we had to lift on a boda boda (motorcycle) to transport to the hospital for dangerously high blood pressure. We treated illnesses I’ve only read about in textbooks and cried and prayed with those facing incurable disease and an uncertain future.
I looked around at one point, so incredibly proud of our clinic team. We had 4 team members treating patients with the help of 3 translators. Another team member was passing out multi-vitamins, de-worming pills and hygiene products to each patient and yet another was assisting the nurse with intakes and dispensing medication. Everyone had a vital role to play and worked together so beautifully. I felt sad realizing we only have a couple more days of this amazing journey together.
I got in bed that night, heart still racing with adrenaline from the day, trying to process all that we had seen. The young mom who tested HIV positive, another young woman dealing with chronic, incurable pelvic inflammatory disease, others with malaria and typhoid, children who had been abused, women who had been mistreated. My mind wouldn’t settle.
What happens to the people in this village next week and next month when they need more medicine?
How can they begin to focus on future goals and healing from past trauma and pain when their most basic human needs of food, clean water, clothing and shelter aren’t being met?
Our efforts can feel like a drop in the bucket compared to the overwhelming need and there’s a tendency to feel hopeless.
Genesis 16 recounts the story of Hagar who was pregnant with Abram’s son and fled to the desert after being horribly mistreated. She refers to God in this passage as “The God who sees me”. That name for God, has given me great comfort in some of my darkest moments, and it’s that reminder that brings me comfort every time I think of this village. God sees them. He loves them. He will provide for them. He will make a way when there doesn’t seem to be one. And I have a role to play. I can choose to go home from this amazing experience in Uganda with my fond memories and let life return to normal or I can let the people of this beautiful country change me for the better. Uganda is filled with stark contrasts. Such poverty but people who are rich in spirit. So much tragedy but a joy and gratitude unlike anything I’ve seen. It’s humbling and inspiring.
God sees us in our pain whether we live in Los Angeles or a remote village in Uganda. The deep responsibility I feel is to help others really see the people of Uganda. Not only through pictures and stories but action. To see that there is so much more we can all do together to help the people of Uganda and there is so much more they have to teach us about how to truly live.
Reflections from Day Eight was originally published in Clarity Minute on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.