When we arrived at Jesus Worship Centre in Nateete, Uganda, it was around noon on Friday. The church was abuzz with dozens of locals seeking medical attention. For most of those present, it was the first time they would ever see a doctor. You see, in Uganda, only the wealthy can afford health insurance, so the vast majority of the population is unlikely to ever step foot in a hospital or clinic. And the few that do, are unable to afford prescription medication. On this day, however, their presence was the only expense.
After checking in at a tent set up outside in front of the church, the families or individuals then entered the sanctuary and set down in a waiting area. At first, there were about thirty to forty people in line to be weighed and have their blood pressure checked by the nurses. Following that, they made their way over to a corner where they would meet with one of three doctors. Once they’d seen a doctor, the people were given prescriptions as needed. While all of this was going on inside of the church, there were two other tents set up in the back. In one women could be screened for breast and cervical cancer, and in the other their blood was tested for HIV, malaria, and other diseases. It was a beautiful thing to be a small part of.
As we walked around and greeted some of the beautiful people of Uganda, Pastor James Kato explained to us how about 150 people had already come through earlier in the morning. Most of them could not believe everything was free and were extremely thankful. They sat, many of them with multiple children, and waited so patiently. I saw Jesus in every one of their faces.
Heidi pulled out some crayons and a couple tablets of paper, and a spontaneous coloring session with seven or eight kids broke out. A three-year old little girl taught me how to dance, which was no easy task, and we both felt a little closer to heaven. I’m just beginning to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “Whenever you did it for any of My people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for Me” (Matthew 25:40, CEV).
The day came to an end much quicker than I would have liked, and when it was all said and done, over 300 people were treated at a pop-up hospital deep in the heart of the Pearl of Africa. And the great news is we get to do it all over again today.
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