"I was sick and you looked after me."
Matthew 25:36

Frequently Asked Questions

(Click on question to see the answer)

1] Where is Westminster Medical Missions located?
Westminster Medical Missions is based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

2] What church are you affiliated with?
We work with many churches such as First Baptist Church , Rocky Mount, North Carolina and Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bluefield, West Virginia. We continue to be supported by several other churches. Westminster Medical Missions (WMM) was started in 1993 as a short-term medical team to Uganda. It subsequently developed into a subcommittee of the missions committee of Westminster Presbyterian Church. It has now become a 501 (c) (3) corporation. Members of the corporation are William B. Harden, MD FACP, president; Boyd Parker, vice president; Rebecca Harden, treasurer; Jeane Parker, secretary; John and Patricia Griffin, board members. Some of these trips were sponsored by other organizations and supported by at least one member from WMM.

3] How long have you been doing medical missions?
We started as a group of five volunteers to Uganda in 1993. Since then, we have gone back yearly and for the last several years, twice a year.

4] Is Uganda the only country that you have done medical missions in?
We have been to Sudan, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cambodia and Zambia. We are usually open to rendering Christian medical assistance to any area that we are able to help.

5] Why Uganda?
The national language of Uganda is English, although there are 42 different native dialects; this makes communication easier. Our good friend Webster Carroll was a missionary in Uganda for 35 years and we have many contacts there because of him. The government has been very helpful in inviting us back to the country year after year.

6] How do you get on a team?
We take volunteers from everywhere. Medical and dental professionals are always needed. We love to have pharmacists, nurses, audiologists and other allied health professionals go on each trip with us.

7] What about going if I am not in the health field?
We really get excited about our non medical volunteers. Over half of our teams are made up of college and high school students, postal workers, teachers, retired people and anyone else that you could think of. We train you to help in many ways, such as, handing out medications, helping fit glasses or crutches, assisting in feeding children, cleaning wounds , and so many other things that keep you very busy.

8] Do you take donations?
Yes. We are always in need of money to buy medicine, pay for transport of containers to Uganda, give money to needy Ugandans to help pay for their transport and medical care.

9] Do you take donations other than financial?
Yes. We always need glasses, hearing aids, medicines such as children’s and infant vitamins, adult vitamins, Tylenol, Motrin (Ibuprofen), new and used medical equipment, and toys, clothing, soap. We rarely turn down anything that is donated.

10] Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes. Per IRS regulations for Tax Exempt Organizations, any donor contributing more than $250.00 will receive a written acknowledgment. For donations under $250.00, your check is your receipt. If you need a written letter to confirm a donation under $250.00 please ask us for one.

11] If I go on a trip, are there meetings that I have to attend and shots that I have to take?
Yes. We will give you a list of everything that you will need. We average 8-12 meetings before each trip. We realize that everyone cannot be at every meeting, but we want you to make as many as possible.

12] What do you do at the meetings?
We learn to work together as a team. We package pills. prepare our bags, pack glasses, toys, soap, candy. We pray for our mission and Uganda. We begin to think of others and the team before ourselves.

13] I know this is a Christian organization, but do I have to be a Christian to go?
No. However, we will ask you to sign our covenant (see application) to respect what we do in the name of Christ. Our primary purpose is to show the love of God to all people through medical missions. We will treat anyone regardless of their religion, race, color, or nationality.

14] Do we work on Sundays?
Usually not. We take Sundays off as a day of rest. Most will go to a local church, but that is left up to each individual. We may go to see many different places on Sunday.

15] Do you get to do any "fun" activities on your trips?
Each day is an incredible adventure, however we do usually stay at a large game park on the last 1-2 days of the trip. This is for rest, relaxation and in country debriefing.

16] Are there any restrictions on age or medical problems to prevent me from going on the trip?
Usually not. Our oldest team member was a 72-year-old dentist. The youngest team members have to be at least 16 and require approval by the team leader. Many team members have medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, migraine headaches, and arthritis and have gone without difficulty. If you are on blood thinners, prednisone (steroids), have severe allergies, a heart condition, or other medical problems that may cause you potential harm if modern medical facilities are not close at hand, please discuss that with the team leader.

17] What happens if I become severely ill or injured on the trip?
We take a variety of medications and have one or more doctors on the team. We usually work out of the local hospital that has surgical capabilities. If a life threatening event occurs, every effort will be made to get you to the most appropriate and available medical care as soon as possible.

18] Can I call or e-mail home often?
We are often working in areas without electricity, running water or telephone lines. However, we carry a mobile phone (cell) with us and the number is given to team members before departure. Internet locations are almost everywhere and our communications capabilities are improving with each trip.

19] If I go, what should I pack?
A recommended packing list can be found by clicking on HERE.

20] What Immunizations will be required?
An immunization list can be found by clicking on HERE.

21] If I have other questions, how do I get them answered?
Email doctor Bill Harden, and we'll be glad to answer any questions you have.