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

Uganda Mission - Jan. 2006


The Team

After over five months of meetings and working to build a team, thirteen people left RDU airport for Uganda on January 9th . There were three team members from West Virginia, one from Greensboro and the other nine from Rocky Mount. Allen and Virginia Parker, Bill and Becky Harden, Dennis Van Zandt, and Ray Collins were the six from First Baptist Church, Rocky Mt., NC. Larry Harden (Greensboro), David Duritza (Bluefield), Sarah Rodes (Hinton), Paul Looney( Westminster Church Bluefield), and Ryan Griffin, Melissa Bass, and Luke Huets( from Nash Hospital Rocky Mt.) were the other team members.

The Goal

The goal of the team was to show the love and compassion of Christ to people in Northern Uganda struggling with the overwhelming burden of AIDS. We planned to do that by assisting the hospital ,AIDS clinic and orphanage with medical care and supplies. We had also planned to help in building a new feeding center.

Feeding Center

We were able to fund the initial site preparation and pouring of the foundation for the feeding center(~$3,000). Although we had planned to assist the orphanage, it turned out to be a major project replacing the feeding center as a focal point. Work on the orphanage included repairing holes in the tin roof, buying sheets for the 75 beds, buying food, and giving them clothing, blankets, school supplies, jump ropes and soccer balls that we brought from the US.


Doctor Van Zandt had fifty cases lined up for possible surgery. He worked from the minute we arrived until we left. He was able to do twenty-six operations himself and we paid another surgeon to do an additional six operations. We paid for all of the surgeries (average $16 per surgery) as well as the salaries for the extra work that the hospital staff did. We also had to pay for diesel fuel to run the generator above the normal generator time of two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. Ray Collins, P.T. and his assistant Paul Looney had a large number of patients waiting on them in the hope of getting a prosthesis for an amputated limb. They was able to help several people walk and provide wheelchairs for several more.   

Home Visits

One of our major focuses was to support the AIDS clinics and do as many home visits as we could to visit the very sick and dying patients. We were able to do AIDS clinics daily as well as do many home visits each day. I was able to get most of the team members free to do home visits with me. This is a heart breaking endeavor. Many of the patients had lost the other spouse and were themselves dying with most all of them having many young children. To be able to minister with food, blankets, medicine and to pray with and for them was a privilege.

Team Member Responsibilities

Our pharmacist, Luke Huets, worked tirelessly to transition all of the more than $150,000 worth of medicines to the Uganda pharmacy. He also had to make sure that the staff knew how to use the medicine.

Larry Harden (my brother) was the "computer man" for the trip and not only brought computers for the hospital, but repaired the hospitals repairable computers.

Sarah Rodes-PA-C, Ryan Griffin-RN, Melissa Bass-RN worked in surgery with Dr. Van Zandt as well as some hospital work and lots of AIDS clinics and home visits.

Allen Parker was a whiz at repairing everything from termite damaged doors to the AIDS clinic generator. He and David Duritza did a lot of work at the orphanage.

Virginia Parker was an organizer and was the one in charge of the assistance to the orphanage.

As always, Becky Harden had the unenviable task of doing the "books" and accounting for all expenditures for the last year.

The Stories

There are many stories that all of the team can tell, however one that struck me as inspiring began on the morning of our first work day. I was asked to see a patient in the hospital who was suspected of having meningitis. The Ugandan medical student was taking care of the patient and had never done a lumbar puncture (LP) before. I was able to show her how to do it and make the diagnosis of Cryptococcal meningitis. This diagnosis is almost always seen in AIDS patients and requires very special medicines. The patient was also having seizures. The hospital did not have any of the medicine for the infection (Diflucan) and had no seizure medicine. Not only did we bring the Diflucan, but we also had the seizure medicine (Dilantin). By the time we left, the patient was sitting up talking without any further seizures. Of note, the next day I was also able to let the medical student do her first LP.

Of course there are the usual stories of bats in the mosquito net; cockroaches scurrying about; no water or cold water or hot water, depending on what you needed.

All in all it was a wonderful trip. We were all safe and healthy. Security was never a problem even though the rebels attacked two locations while we were there, but neither location was close to us at the time of the attack. This is the most prayer supported trip that I have experienced in the thirteen years that I have been taking teams to Uganda.

What's Next

My goals for the coming year are for hearts to be touched in a tangible way in Rocky Mt. so that a team can go back (tentatively January 07) to Uganda. The feeding center has only had the foundation laid and will need at least $20,000 to finish the building. The orphanage, the clinic, and most importantly the home patients are in desperate need. We are still supporting many salaries for the clinic as well. We have to have a submersible water pump for the AIDS clinic and this is a high priority for 2006 (estimated cost ~$2500).

Please continue to pray that God might show us what He would have us do in Uganda.  

This part is the agreement made with the hospital for 2006

 17 January 2006

Dear Dr. Okechi Humphrey , Mr. Abet George and Sr Namutebi Jane,

Becky and I have been very pleased to see that the Aids Clinic has continued to thrive in our absence. We are pleased to see that you have been able to obtain some ARV’s and that some of the clients of the ACAU have benefited from these medicines. The record keeping has been very good and Josephine has provided us with detailed information about client contact.

We were very pleased to receive one financial report around July 2005. We hope that this report will be sent via e-mail at least quarterly in 2006. This helps us see how our funds are being spent and report to our contributors and board members.  However, Becky has audited the financial records and has found that Sr. Jane is keeping very accurate reports of the finances. The only receipts that were missing were the ones for one radio announcement and for the licenses of Dr. Bill and Dr. Dennis.

The only other problem to be cleared is the credit to our funds for the 712,500 shillings error made in the payroll of 2004. The attached letter is from Sr. Jane acknowledging the error and telling us these funds would be credited. This error was addressed in our 2005 letter. We have reported to our board that this error would be corrected. Please notify us as soon as this old error is refunded so we can clear our records.

Let me restate how pleased we are with the record keeping.

Again, we request that reports clinic reports and financial reports are sent to us quarterly in order for us to offer continued support of the clinic.

The need for a water pump on the ACAU side is essential. This should be purchased and installed as soon as possible. In order for the clinic to be fully functional, water should be available at all times. Please let us know the cost of this purchase.

We are pleased to have been able to help with the foundation to the feeding center and to pay for the Ministry of Health Bill of Quantity. However, we will need to take the project request for the feeding center back to America and raise support before we can make a further commitment.

The following is the revised monthly salary schedule and our support for 2006.

Name Gross Pay WMM Support
Clinic Physician 1,130,000 847,500
Clinical Officer 300,000 225,000
Omech Josephine 242,550 181,913
Olir Justine 126,788 95,091
Otim Felix 124,000 93,000
Awany John 130,000 97,500
Awino Lillian 109,720 82,290
Totals 2,163,058 1,622,294

 These salaries include a small increase for Otim Felix(2725 shs) and Awany John(9250 shs) and should go into effect as of 01 January 2006.



We are also allowing 20,000 shillings per week for tea and lunch on clinic days.

We have allocated 2,000,000 shillings for supplemental food for the HIV/Aids patients in the clinic for 2006.Reimbursement for the five day surgical clinic in which 32 surgeries were performed will be 2,000,000 shillings per agreement with the management team (of note Dr. Augustine was paid separately by us).

We also agreed to pay for fuel for the generator used for the surgical clinic, 468,000 shillings.

After meeting with the management team we were asked to help with the remaining unpaid balance on the Nutrition Unit Foundation, 4,516,000 shillings. We have agreed to pay for this minus the credit(712,500) that is due us as mentioned on page one of this letter.

In summary our support for the year is as follows:

Salary Support 19,467,528

Food for clients 2,000,000

Tea/Lunch 1,040,000 (this is an approximate figure)

Water Pump Please supply information.

Surgical Clinic 2,000,000

Generator 468,000

Nutrition Unit 3,803,500 (4,516,000-712,500)

Total 28,779,028

It is very important that we have receipts for all expenditures. I would like to have copies of these receipts for our records to take back home to document these expenses.

As of now, we plan to return in January 2007.

Thank you for the wonderful hospitality shown to our team during our stay.

May God continue to bless this hospital and clinic as we do His work.


Langi dialect cheat sheet