Uganda 2023 Day 12
Today we had breakfast at 7:30 again. By the time we were eating there were at least 400 people waiting for the clinic. After we had our morning worship meeting, I went to help at church again. There were so many people. My heart sank because I knew we could not help them all. Then I reminded myself that they will get the most important help. They will hear about Jesus and have the knowledge of the truth. That is so important!I learned not long after sitting down that some people had come back from yesterday that already went through church and some came back for mosquito nets. There were less people to see the doctors then. The first service went fairly fast. Pastor John spoke and then Jodie and Tony. When Tony was almost done talking, pastor John grabbed Radost and I to hand out moquiteo nets. Everyone was so thankful. Many sad thank you in English to me. I think 95% of them had a giant smile on their face when I handed it to them. At the end I asked a lady if I could hold her baby. It is a little girl named Jody who looked to be possibly 9 months. She was so adorable! I had Yoan take a picture if the mom, baby and I. Then a few other ladies came over and wanted pictures with me on the one phone they had between them. Church was just finishing when I got back. Mark came over to move the people to their next spot. It took awhile to clear church for the next group. Mark took them out in number groups of 50 (in number order). Once everyone was out, we moved others into the church and waited a few minutes before starting service.
I after a prayer in the middle of Tony’s message I asked a mom if I could hold her baby. She was so skinny. Her arms were probably close to the size of two of my fingers side by side. She was very sweet and I wish I could have held her longer. I thought Tony was finishing, so I gave her back to her mom. He talked for maybe 5 more minutes. Then I motioned I wanted to give my message. I had to get back to the house to see John Basco before he left with a few team members, but giving my message was important to me. While interpreting for me, Cathy did a lot of adding to what I said. So, I just stood there a lot waiting for her to finish. It was great. At one point I looked in the back and saw Joel. He was holding a tiny baby. It was so cute to see this big man holding a tiny baby. I also saw a dad who had his baby with him. It made my heart happy because I feel like I don’t see this often. When my message was done, I let Tony know I was leaving and why. He said it was fine.
I found John Basco and David (sponsored by Benjamin from last years trip) sitting by the house. John Basco talked to me a little more about school and opened up about something he was nervous to tell me. I told him he should never be nervous to tell me anything. He can message me and I will pray for him and encourage him when he needs it now that he has my number. John Basco also talked about his family and then last years trip. I was shocked when he said he remembered me! I don’t think we really talked last year. God just put him on my heart to sponsor. He said, “yes, I remember. You were so quiet last year.” I said, “see I can be shy like Joyce.” I wish all my family and friends could sit with him and talk to him. If he ever comes to Washington, I would love to see if my pastor would let him talk on a night service or something. He is an amazing man of God! My other struggle this morning, was knowing Alma and John Basco were leaving after lunch. They, along with David, Chloe, Joel, and Dr Andrew were flying back to Karamoja. The rest of the Ugandans (and our team) were able to stay. The Ugandans will just have a long ride back in the bus with all our luggage, including kitchen supplies. I helped Alma with loading her bags into the bus and stood on there talking to everyone. Dr Andrew kept telling me to come with them and I told him I could not. The only two we were missing was John Basco and David. I went to get them as did Brian. I gave David a hug and John Basco. I told him I love him so much. Then they quickly walked to the bus. Brian grabbed my arm and whispered, “is he your boyfriend?” I said, “no, I pay for his university,” but I don’t think he understood at first because I had to say it a second time. Dr Andrew once again asked me to come, so I asked Sam to drive to Joanne. I jumped off the bus and Nick gave me a goodbye hug, I told him I was not leaving. He said, “well never mind then.” I ran toward Joanne and yelled her name. Before I could say anything she said, “you want to go with them?” I said, “yes, if that is ok with you.” She said yes!!! I was so excited. I got to see my “roomie” and my young man a little longer! I sat on the jump seat between Bryan and John Basco. Martin and Chloe were in front of us so I was able to talk to all of them. I asked John Basco what his favorite part of the clinic was. He said yesterday after he talked in church, someone went up to him and thanked him for what he said and encouraged him. I also learned that this is the first airplane ride for him and Bryan. I told him he needs to send me a message and tell me what he thought of the ride once he gets home.
Once we arrived at the airport, Sam said the plane already left. He was joking because it was actually not there yet. There was a storm coming as we waited. The rain started to come and I asked same if he wanted to dance in the rain with me. He said, “No, I was thinking about hiding.” I told him I loved the rain. Then I told him we could head back to the building so he could hide from the rain. Joel and I stood in the rain for a little bit while everyone else was under cover. I would have stayed in it longer, but I wanted to be able to give goodbye hugs and not soak everyone. The main storm rolled in as the pilot was landing. He told us the storm should be over in about 10 minutes. Knowing how long it took to get to us and seeing how dark and rainy it was so far away made me not believe him. It actually took quite a while to pass and we ended up going inside to wait. I spent time with Dr Andrew and he looked through some of my pictures from the trip. The pilot finally came in and said that they were going to make a run for the plane. As I was standing there recording them, I had to tell my self to hold it together. Knowing I probably won’t see Alma for a couple years is hard, but knowing I won’t see John Basco for a year his even harder. I have felt connected to him since last year, but after all our time together and our heart to heart talks, I feel even more connected. I love that I was “adopted” by the Karamoja tribe last year and even more so that God put this young man from Karamoja in my life. Now I really know they are my tribe. I do love the people of Usuk, but there is something about the people in Karamoja that grabbed my heart and never let go. The beginning of the ride back to Usuk was hard. I asked Martin if I could get some pictures from his phone. I mainly wanted the ones that happened after o photo boomed their photo shoot in Karamoja and ones he took with the guys on the roadside while driving to Karamoja before clinic.
When we got back to the mission house, the power was out. Sarah saved some food for the three of us. Because I missed the meeting, I asked how many people we saw today at clinic. I was told we saw 819 today and the Usuk total was 1904. Then Dr David also said the three day total was 2977. Then I had to pack my carry on for safari and get by main bag ready to be loaded for the trip back to Kampala with the guys.