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

Uganda Trip - Jan. 2008


On January 12th 2008 Dennis Grizer, Denise Phelps, Virginia Parker, Allan Parker, Becky Harden, and Dr. Bill Harden ,Dr. Lisa Nelson-Robinson, Katy Workman, RN, Cordelia Lucus, RN, David Duritza, Mike Barakat and Mark Riddle  left to be the 2008 Westminster Medical Missions team to Uganda.

The trip had been planned since the last team returned in February 2007. This was the first time that we flew KLM and went through Amsterdam. All the baggage made it without a hitch.

We spent the night in Entebbe since we arrived there about 9 PM. The exchange rate was good for Ugandans but not good for us because of the weak dollar. We had hand carried over $1,000 worth of tools, a weedeater, a lawnmower, a garden cart, clothes, and thousands of dollars worth of medicine, sutures, and a great deal of donated medical supplies.

Because of the civil strife in Kenya, the price of petrol (gas) ranged between $8-$10 per gallon. We had to rent a minibus to reach the hospital because all of there vehicles were in repair and the only one available was the ambulance.

We worked with the orphanage and they allowed us to use their small truck for our home visits. We bought petrol for them (the truck had been parked because of no fuel), repaired a headlight, and paid for two side mirrors. We also paid to have their small generator repaired, built a new girls shower and a new cook shed.

Materials that Rondell Shrewsbury, Calvin Shoemaker, and Buddy Parker had  sent many years before to build a feeding center for the hospital were finally and gratefully used to build the cook shed for the orphanage by Allen Parker, Dennis Grizer, and David Duritza with some of the orphan's boys and hospital staff.

Dr. Lisa Nelson-Robinson (our surgeon) worked tirelessly with our OR Nurse, Katy Workman, our OR tech, Dee Phelps, and our two invaluable fourth year medical students, Mark Riddle and Michael Barakat. We had an overwhelming response to our surgical clinic. Later we found out that it had been announced on the local radio to come for "free" surgery. We actually paid extra for all of the hospital staff to work "extra" for the week. We also paid for 91 surgeries that were done while we were there and agreed to pay for an additional 49 surgeries to be done after we left.

The Lord was gracious and this trip went over without any significant difficulties. We were able to accomplish the following:

1.    We built a cook shed for the orphanage.

2.    We built an outdoor shower enclosure for the orphanage girls.

3.    We supplied mower, weed eater, many tools, and a transport cart for the hospital and orphanage.

4.    We repaired termite damage to the quarters.

5.   Either completed the surgery for 91 patients or paid the staff doctors to do the surgery with payment for an additional 49 surgeries to be done after we left.

6.    We made many home visits where we gave them food, medicine, clothing and prayed with them all.

7.    We took many medicines to leave with the hospital and clinic.

8.    We bought beans, sugar, and cooking oil to distribute to the patients in the AIDS clinic and home visits.

9.    We paid for medical and surgical care for a large number of patients.

Most importantly of all we shared the love and compassion of Christ to all we met. Several new people on the team have now done medical missions in Africa and will never be the same.

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. Our motto was, “here we are, why not send us”. You cannot buy the blessings that were showered upon us.

Our return trip to Pope John's Hospital is planned for January 2009. They have many needs and request. Please pray for them and our 2009 team that we would continue to be God's light in Uganda.  


Doctor Bill Harden, President Westminster Medical Missions