Arriving in Kampala
It was night as we drove through the dimly lit streets of Entebbe on the way to Kampala, and I had hit sensory overload. I was in the would-be driver’s seat of this British model minibus. With the window open, I was hit with blasts of cool crisp air and smells of delicious meat — only to be followed by the pungent odor of burning plastic. It seemed to cover my face.
The jet lag finally caught up with me, and I dozed, waking up as we reached the hotel. It was very simple, but as the week went on it felt more and more like the Ritz.
Worshiping with our Brothers and Sisters
On Sunday we joined Passion Christian Assembly for worship. The church gathered on the fourth floor of Care Medical’s clinic, the flagship Christian clinic for our ministry. The service was a very sweet and moving time with fellow Christians. Worship was a joyful experience with singing, dancing, and testimonies of God’s goodness, and the sermon was preached, somewhat surprisingly, by our lead doctor, Kasadha Emma.
After the service, we departed for our first city and spent the evening sorting the medicines we were to give out that week.
Serving Those in Need
The primary objective of our team, led by Engage Hope, was to partner with local Christian doctors to assist them in hosting medical clinics strategically planned for specific villages or regions.
For the next two days, our team traveled down overgrown dirt roads in order to host medical clinics in rural villages. In these first two days, we saw around 1,300 people, meeting both physical and spiritual needs as the Gospel was faithfully shared with everyone coming through the clinic. Our team saw the Holy Spirit at work as God began to draw many people to himself in those two days.
Feeding the Hungry
On Day 5, we drove to a part of Kampala situated on the edge of the city’s slums. Here, there was a sort of community center, abandoned by the government, which African Hearts employed to host regular meals for the children living in the slums.
The small house was already filled with boys lined up in old pews waiting for us. There were young boys who appeared to be only 5 or 6 years old, on up to older boys who looked to be around 18 years old.
But they were all hungry and dirty, young and old alike.
Most smiled at their guests welcoming our team with hugs and cheers, while others lay quietly against the wall still intoxicated from the petrol they were addicted to sniffing. (This addiction plagues many of those living in the slums.) The director of African Hearts stepped up to the front of the room and engaged the crowd with the love and firmness of an older brother filled with compassion. Laughing and smiling, he led our team in songs and engaging the children.
Due to safety concerns, only a few of the men in our group were allowed to walk back into the slums and see the crushing poverty that the children lived in. I must admit, it’s hard to put into words what I saw that afternoon. I have seen slums in Brazil, Philippines, and Mexico, but I was still not prepared for what we saw.
I praise the Lord that there is a team of men with African Hearts that engages these children and works to free them from the addictive hold this slum has over them.
The next two days our team ran two more medical clinics in the surrounding Kampala area. Just as at the other clinic, every person that came through heard the Gospel. We saw around 700-800 people total, and again God was faithful in adding many new brothers and sisters to our number.
On our final day in Kampala, part of our team assisted with AWANAs at Care Medical, and painted a new room at the clinic so that they can meet the government requirements and become a malnutrition care center.
Partnering with JE and Food for the Children
Throughout the week, we were also able to spend time with the children that are sponsored by the JE Food for the Children program. It was incredible to get to meet the children and see that they were receiving good care as well as a Christian education.
In Uganda, without an education, it is extremely unlikely that someone will ever get a job beyond a manual labor position, and they will most likely remain steeped in destitution. Your support of JE allows us to provide an education for these children and offer them a chance at a life beyond poverty, beyond addiction, beyond the slums.
We would love for you to join us in bringing Christ’s love to Uganda. Consider how you may be able to join in. Together let’s make a difference for Christ.
By Jon Dooley, Europe Coordinator
As part of JE’s Food for the Children program, fifty Ugandan children receive an education and have their basic needs met. In addition, the program pays for a weekly meal to children living in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Your travel with JE goes to support these programs and helps our ministry partners bring hope to children living in poverty without a future.