Our friend Roxanne now lives in Uganda working among the poor and hurting. No one saw it coming. She had a safe job at a prestigious Washington association. She had friends and went to a nice, safe church. But then came the announcement that she was leaving for Uganda.
Recently she wrote:
ve been in East Africa for two months now. It’s truly been a joy to live amongst the Ugandan people, a majority of whom I’ve found kind, hospitable, spirited and entertaining. Should you desire to visit this continent, I highly recommend you come to Uganda, the country Winston Churchill coined, “The Pearl of Africa.”
My work with Samaritan’s Purse is going well. My colleagues are wonderful, and the projects I’m managing are deeply fulfilling. One of my primary roles is facilitating reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation for children that have been afflicted through war, child labor abuses, torture or other tragedies.
Respectively, much of my time recently has been spent at the Katalemwa Children’s Hospital. The complex is small enough that I’ve been able to meet most of the staff and young patients. I wish you could experience what it’s like to pull up at the facility and have dozens of tiny boys and girls come scrambling up as quickly as they can on their crutches – or some, with casts on both legs, even dragging their little bodies across the ground – so they can smother you with hugs and the biggest smiles imaginable.
After embracing lots of children the hard part begins, learning
the stories behind the incomprehensible suffering these boys
and girls have endured. Today for example, I went to
Katalemwa to meet with a surgeon. While at the hospital I
encountered a 10-year-old boy, Joseph. The little fellow was
severely disfigured: left leg a mere stub; right foot webbed,
permanently bent backwards; left hand missing two fingers,
a remaining bone sticking out of his flesh.
Despite all this, Joseph was clowning around with the other
children whom I had let play with my camera. He was making
faces and laughing just like the other kids who, at least in that
moment, seemed oblivious of their physical maladies.
Later, I saw Joseph again and sat down next to him. Joseph
pointed to his burned hand and missing leg and softly said in
broken English, “My mother did this.” I thought I had mis-
understood him so I carried Joseph to a translator through
whom I learned that Joseph’s mother set him on fire when he Benjamin & Roxanne was an infant. She and his father disappeared, leaving him alone
in critical condition. I don’t know who saved the child but somehow
he survived and 10 years later is still fighting for his life.
Joseph is receiving good care at Katalemwa but without further treatment will spend the rest of his days using his one good arm to pull his torso and twisted leg where he needs to go. As I held him while the nurse changed his bandages, Joseph indicated he doesn’t see that option for his future. “God’s going to make me well,” he confidently said. My goal is to do everything I can, to help Joseph receive additional medical care. I’m also hoping to help him acquire prosthetics and the physical therapy he needs. …For those of you praying for my work/ministry in Uganda, Joseph is a child you can be specifically lifting up. –Thank you!
In the New Year I want to be more like Roxanne.