Blog by Lyn Jacobson
Wednesday brought another day of gratitude to our experiences in Uganda. It is hard to convey how much we have learned and the emotions we have shared with our efforts in finishing “Seaside East” our first church at Mumatumba. All of the interior painting was completed by our team led by Kurt Evans, John Boyer and the rest of the Seaside painting crew. The youngsters on the team (Justin Pratt, Jimmy Flanagan, Brandon Farmer, John Paul Knutsen, Robbie Knutsen and Sam Knutsen) egged on by Holly Smith got into a paint fight and Justin painted a Mohawk on his head as a show of tribal unity. The village team also experienced a “rush” of school children at the school when they threw out free soccer balls. A few kids turned into hundreds as the swarmed around the bus. The “mzungu” (white people) had brought another day of excitement into the village supported by Seaside.
Our medical outreach team consisting of Monica Boyer, Rebecca Meyer, and Chris Bray set up a marketplace medical center to service the needs of the people. They saw some of the nastiest wounds you could imagine and with little medicine to dispense, they provided a source of hope and a little TLC that is much needed in this area. Denny and Aaron entertained the patients with guitar playing and singing. These true medical warriors spent all day in this outreach medical service and could have stayed longer.
Another team went to the school for special needs where their motto of “disability does not mean inability” spoke volumes about their attitude in teaching children who are deaf, blind or physically handicapped. Jeanette Knutsen was able to sign individually to many of the children and we handed out about 100 beanie babies. The head master mentioned that they were in need of lined composition books and pencils so we raised an educational fund with the 13 members of our team and purchased about 116,800 schillings (about $65) of 15 dozen books and dozens of pencils as well as 5 bags of sugar. They were thrilled when we returned with the donation about 30 minutes later.
We were also able to tour a coffee factory where individual coffee bags (much like tea bags) are a new concept that they are trying to export to upscale coffee drinkers with a discriminating taste. Uganda is #7 in the world coffee producing market.
Our team continues to do incredible work impressing the locals and being treated as heroes by the local people. On their return from Mumatumba the bus was greeting all along the way with smiling and waving Ugandans almost as if the word had spread that the “mzungu” were coming. We have been truly blessed.