- Gillian Maganda
The God of Bricks and Beans
Kiwoko Hospital (KH) is a community based hospital located in the Anglican Diocese of Luweero, central Uganda. Born in 1987, it has grown to become an extensive modern hospital serving the rural community; and CMSI had a long involvement through the sending of mission personnel. In spite of no longer sending long-term mission partners to serve there, we continue to support the life-saving medical work, through Friends of Kiwoko Hospital, and some of those former Mission Partners are still actively involved from a distance.
A recent story from the hospital wards demonstrates that the dedicated staff at KH are continuing to save lives and live out God’s grace in action, as they treat not only the physical needs, but seek to be channels of God’s love in action.
Bakkita & Samson:
While life for women in Uganda is not always easy, 27 year old mother, Bakkita loves her new-born son, Samson deeply. A week after his delivery he developed a serious swelling that caused him to cry at night and remain restless throughout the day. The lack of sleep, coupled with worry, forced Bakkita to consult a number of elders that suspected Samson had worms. After days of deworming medication, and no sign of improvement, Bakkita sprang into action, and took him to various clinics for help. At a local government hospital, she was told that Samson had a hernia and could only be operated on at the age five. This news left Bakkita broken, as she was hoping to find an immediate solution to her son’s problem. Restless as she was, she walked into another health facility where they referred her to Kiwoko Hospital. When Samson arrived at Kiwoko Hospital back in Nov 2020, it was found that he had two hernias that required immediate attention. Later that same evening Samson underwent surgery and the hernia in his groin was repaired. Based on the surgeon’s recommendation, a decision was made to have the second hernia repaired only when Samson turned one. Fortunately for Samson, the hernia in his groin had not caused significant damage to the intestine trapped in it. No wonder he was in so much pain!
Postoperatively, Samson was admitted to Kiwoko’s paediatric ward so he could recover, although he developed pneumonia which then prolonged his stay at the hospital. Three weeks later he was discharged, but Bakkita was left with a significant medical bill. For a mother of four children who makes bricks and grows crops for a living, it seemed impossible to raise the required cash all at once. Thankfully the hospital were able to subsidise Samson’s costs and they also agreed with Bakkita that she could make the payment in five instalments, over a number of weeks. She worked hard to reduce her hospital bill by selling all her maize, cassava, beans and bricks, and the hospital management agreed to let her take her beloved son home, with the hope that one day she would return and pay the 50,000 shillings (£10) that was left on her bill.
The story of this loving mum reminded me of God’s amazing love for us. Just like Bakkita living in a rural community in a far off land, our heavenly Father pursues us with an everlasting love. He cares for the wee people like Bakkita who arrived at KH knowing that her son would be treated with love and respect, whether rich or poor, and that the doctors would do everything they could to save him - a beautiful reflection of the Father heart of God towards us!