What do you get if you cross Portstewart Strand, the Boom-Boom Room, and Kilkeel Harbour?

Wilsons_2013 Posted by Rory Wilson on Tue, 28 Sep 2010 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

…Kijjangi of course.

Kijjangi is a little fishing village on the shores of Lake Albert. Fishing is everything here. Then after landing their catch, the fishermen have money to drink, dance, find girlfriends, and then go out fishing again. The village itself is on the beach – dry sand which if clean would be pleasant between the toes – sadly it’s not so clean as you can’t dig latrines on sand, so there is no sanitation at all for the whole village. The standard of housing is also a little suboptimal – perhaps you recall a parable of Jesus regarding the foundational characteristics of sand? Fishing is everything – so there is no school, and no health clinic. The only medical care available is by buying drugs from the provisions store, or travelling the 50 km along a mud road to Hoima, the nearest town.

Lake Albert is a lake which forms most of the boundary between Uganda and Congo. Lying in the Rift Valley (indeed the Lake is significant enough to give nomenclature to this part of it – the Albertine Rift,) the approach is dramatic after a 7 hour drive from Kiwoko to see the ground drop away and the lake far below and the Blue Mountains of Congo beyond. Some of the pleasure is reduced when you realise as you descend the loose gravel hair pin bends that the brakes aren’t working well, part of the roof rack falls off and then you get stuck in sand because the 4-wheel drive has packed in!

But why am I in Kijjangi?

The hospital mission team were here a year ago doing some teaching at a conference organised by the local church. When some locals heard that there were doctors in town (well a pharmacist and 2 junior nurses is better than nothing I guess) they came to seek medical assistance. With no medical supplies and limited diagnostic skills there was little the mission team could do to help – but they agreed to return. In 4 days we treated 700 people, gave reading glasses to 100, saw 35 make commitments to follow Christ through the evening crusade, helped with some teaching at the Bible conference for 400 local Christians and took 35 church leaders through Christianity Explored. The local church was responsible for the conference and we were largely providing the medical input. It was encouraging to see such leadership from local people. Such partnership is encouraging to be part of. On the side of the hospital, it was also only made possible by partnership with some UK based doctors who provided the drugs which could then be given out free to the people – who otherwise could not have afforded them.

The Gospel of Jesus is for the whole person – how pointless to cure someone’s heart disease and not talk to them about their eternal future when their mortality remains. How false to try to convert them to follow a loving God while not addressing their physical needs. It was good to be part of such a few days. There were some who had significant medical problems addressed, and others for whom no significant medical benefit could be obtained. One 10 year old boy was clearly very unwell. He was left as the head of the household when his parents died several years ago. We diagnosed him with HIV and discussed his condition with the neighbour who was helping out. What a dreadful situation. We could not cure him at all. We were able to treat some of the complications bothering him at present, give him some clothes we had brought, and pray with them, but it is still very sad. His younger sister tested negative for the virus when she came to see me later in the day.

Thank you to those of you who were praying while we were there. It is significant to have prayer support at such times. One 20 year old Muslim girl called Hadijah came to us and said that she wanted to become a Christian. We talked and then prayed with her. Please remember her in your prayers in the months to come.

That’s all for now

Love to you all

Rory Denise + Gideon.

Comments

Paul Baker said Mon, 04 Oct 2010 04:45PM
Thanks! You just made me look smart in Belfast Bible College! About 20 minutes after reading this blog we were asked "Is Evangelism the most important thing?". I quoted you... "how pointless to cure someone’s heart disease and not talk to them about their eternal future when their mortality remains. How false to try to convert them to follow a loving God while not addressing their physical needs". Brilliantly put! Keep up the good work. We're praying for you and the rest of the team. See you soon!! God bless, Paul.

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