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

Uganda Mission - Feb. 2007


On February 5-17 2007 a medical mission team consisting of Dr. Bill Harden, Becky Harden, Dr. Peter Muller, Hannah Muller, Fred Woods, Larry Harden, Denise Phelps, David Duritza, Pat Jackson, Emily Moore, and Cathy Grisham was in Uganda for the annual medical mission trip.

Some of you already know that all of our bags were lost both to and from Uganda.  The Lord got us through but not exactly how we had planned it.  It went from a tragedy of Emily Moore losing her passport and having to be left behind in Washington, D.C., to a "miracle" of seeing her show up four days later in Uganda with a new passport and all twenty-two of our bags.  We were able to see God's hand in the entire trip.  We saw prayers answered even though sometimes not answered the way that we would have initially wanted.

The entire team's attitude was one of "others first".  There was only warm water to drink, cold showers when water was available and cramped and dusty transportation, but no one complained.   The food was different and wonderful.  We prayed each day for all the people "back home" who were also praying for us.   We never felt in danger and on one became ill.


Our surgeon, Dr. Peter Muller, performed thirty-five surgeries and Westminster Medical Missions (WMM) and First Baptist Church, Rocky Mount, NC paid for a total of fifty-six surgeries.  Dee Phelps who was tireless in her efforts and a shining example to all assisted Peter.   Fred and Hannah helped in surgery as well.   We paid the hospital staff for all of their extra work.

We bought food, blankets, sheets, mattresses, school supplies not only for the orphanage but also for the AIDS patients and clinic as well.   Denise Phelps donated the money to buy the orphanage a portable generator so the children could have lights to read by at night.  

Larry Harden replaced and repaired computers as well as installed a new submersible pump for the AIDS clinic well.   That pump was brought from the US and paid for by donations to WMM.  We also brought new tools, medicines, surgical supplies and instruments.  

We bought medicines for patients in the hospital who had no money.   One woman with meningitis needed an antibiotic that cost 10,000 ushs per dose (~$6).   We paid for her to get it twice daily until she died.   She was only in her 20's.  The sad part was that the hospital only had twenty doses of the medicine.   We paid for patients to be transported and admitted to other hospitals.  

We brought a full leg prosthesis to a woman who had her leg amputated.   Fred Woods, our respiratory therapist, fitted her with the prosthesis and taught her how to walk with it.

Our clinic visits to AIDS patients at home as well as outpatient clinics remain an integral part of our yearly visits.  Cathy, Pat, Emily and others on the team packed foodstuffs and medicine for these visits and rode in the back of a pick-up truck to deliver these things.   To pray with and for these patients who feel abandoned and rejected is an honor that many people never get to experience.  

To touch them, to go into their huts, to thank the families who are taking care of them and even to give candy to all of the children who come to see the "visitors" was a blessing.  God allowed us to pray with and for a nine month old girl who had been defiled (a terrible myth in Africa is that if you have sex with an infant it will protect you for getting AIDS).   She was living in an IDP camp (internally displaced persons camp for people escaping the rebels) along with 14,000 others.  We could only ask God to protect her and forgive this terrible crime.

David Duritza worked on the AIDS building and staffs quarters scraping paint and filling in holes in the walls.  He also went to Lira to buy supplies as did Becky, Cathy, and Pat.  Realizing that the 70 kilometer trip is an arduous all day affair.  Buying food for the team and food for the clinic and AIDS patients was a necessary part of our trip.


Medicine donated by King Pharmaceutical and Nash General Hospital was vital for the AIDS clinic and the hospital.   The hospital had no antifungal medicine (Fluconazole, Diflucan) and Nash Hospital had paid for $1,700 in medicines, which included multiple bottles of Diflucan.   Septra (a vital medicine for the AIDS patients) was in very short supply and Nash Hospital again supplied 3,000 tablets to boost the hospital's dwindling supply.

As always, Becky spent hours going over the "books" to make sure we were being good stewards of the money donated for this hospital and clinic.   We are happy to say that when we left everyone was pleased with the integrity of the new administrator, Sr. Rosemary, and looked forward to our return trip planned for January 2008.

There are so many "stories" to be told about this trip.   I do encourage you to talk to someone who has been on one of these trips.   Pray for Uganda and the team and the trip next year.   Our next African trip will be in May to Zambia and we ask that you keep that in your prayers as well.

Doctor Bill Harden