Gerald and Sue Paulk are currently in Uganda on a mission trip sponsored by 4 Corners, a ministry with whom SIFAT has partnered many times. SIFAT executive director Tom Corson and international team coordinator Peggy Walker are also on this trip. While in Africa, they are serving with William Nsubuga and his son Sean at Agape Total Childcare Center. William, a SIFAT graduate, started an orphanage in Lugazi for children whose parents died because of HIV/AIDS.
First off, “Day 1″ is hard to define because, when we departed Hartsfied, Atlanta at 5:40 p.m. EST on Monday, the time in Uganda, East Africa was 12:40 a.m. Tuesday. Our connecting flight was in Amsterdam (Schiphol-pronounced “skiphul”), and we arrived in Entebbe,Uganda on Tuesday, at 8:40 p.m. East African time (11:40 a.m.CST  …we think). We were welcomed by William Nsubuga and an entourage of newfound African friends.

The birds’ sounds of Africa awakened us on Tuesday morning (we think) at the Colline Hotel in Mukono, Uganda, about 10 miles from the home of Agape Orphanage in Lugazi. After an (almost American) breakfast of  “African” omelets, potatoes and coffee, we headed to Agape Total Childcare Center (The Orphanage) for our first of a two-day medical clinic. Being one of two rainy seasons in Uganda, naturally it rained on the way to the Orphanage.

We were joined by some of the brothers and sisters from Four Corners Ministries in Sweet Home Alabama, namely Harold Harmon and wife, Delores, and Gary Clark, spirit-filled folk who know how to “git-er done.” Dr. Dickson, a medical doctor in Kampala, and wife, Liz, and Margaret, a physician’s assistant, and Sue completed the makeshift clinic team in William and Sean’s living quarters. While Delores and Harold set up the pharmacy, Liz registered the first patients from the surrounding communities,  who were awaiting our arrival. Dr. Dickson and Margaret saw the patients, while Sue was ever ready with her blood pressure monitor, if needed. Gerald and Gary helped organize the Chinese fire drill on the grounds outside and took tons of photographs of the children, who were quite shy (unless of course they thought they were being left out of the next shot!)

The team saw patients with conditions ranging from flu/colds to infected bones. Many of the older patients were diagnosed with rheumatism, while many of the younger children suffered from chest congestion. At day’s end, 125 patients had been seen. The oldest patient was 90, and the youngest was 5 months. Regardless of age, all exuded a certain resilience and yet a certain peace with their station in life. Restated, most did not realize how  “poor” they are.

To paraphrase our Upper Room Devotional today, we learned a little better how a good artist should pay attention to what he or she is seeing and draw that, instead of what WE think the subject should look like…and so it is with God.

Peace and Grace be yours,

Gal. 6:9
Sue and Gerald