The team from First Presbyterian Church arrived at the Entebbe Airport at about 10:40 p.m. (local time). We are seven hours ahead of Columbia, so that was about 3:40 p.m., a mere 26 hours after leaving Columbia. We were met at the airport by Dave and Dar (short for Darlene) Eby, Tony Miiro, Joshua, and Mike. Fortunately they had a truck, so transporting our bags, and nine team members was no difficulty!
The drive to the Eby compound took nearly an hour and we were all glad to climb into real beds after trying to sleep on the plane.
Team member – Laurie Price
No sleeping in for this team! We had a delightful breakfast of freshly made bagels, yogurt and lots of coffee sitting on the Eby porch.
Next we went to see where the clinic is to be held, on the new campus of the Africa Reformation Theological Seminary (ARTS), formerly the Westminster Theological Seminary, which has just relocated to this new campus. ARTS is in the process of gaining accreditation from Council on Higher Education and they hope to restart classes in October.
The pavilion will have the triage station, the doctors, and the eyeglass examination station. The pharmacy and eyeglass dispensary will be set up in the new library. While we were there Saturday workers were finishing installing the beautiful new tile floor in the library.
After returning to home base, the Eby’s threw us an early “fourth of July” barbecue. Dave grilled chicken and Dar had already prepared American style potato salad, as well as tossed salad, coleslaw, sliced pineapple and watermelon. The team was joined for this celebration by a number of Ugandans and seminary students who will be helping with the clinic this week, including our two young Ugandan doctors. Also, neighboring missionaries joined us. Still adapting to the time change we retired early. Our tenth team member, Art Sartorius arrived late Saturday night.
Team member – Laurie Price
This morning we worshipped at the “New Presbyterian Church,” which gathers in the pavilion of the ARTS campus. The church is “replacing” an existing one that met on the site. This morning we sang a number of “hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs,” heard three seminarians read Scripture or share a short testimony, and then were challenged yet uplifted by the sermon given by Dr. Eby.
We gathered on the Eby porch at 5:00 p.m. for prayer and more singing. We felt physically and spiritually ready to start our week of the medical clinic—though the real reasons for our being here are to share the gospel with those who come.
Team members – Bill Bates and Laurie Price
This past February the Uganda accrediting agency for graduate education suddenly notified the seminary that (even after 9 years of operation) it could not be a part of the umbrella Westminster Theological College and Seminary. Instead they needed to separate, both physically and academically from the college. Further, the seminary had to stop offering courses immediately. What a shock to those—especially Dr. and Mrs. Eby—who had worked for a decade to develop the seminary.
The Eby’s thought at first that their ministry here in Uganda was over—that the seminary was dead. Yet they, and all others that are part of the school, prayed fervently that the Lord keep the seminary alive, for it had been so clear that He called the Eby’s to Uganda to develop this seminary. They begin to search for another location—land and construction prices in Kampala have sky-rocketed during the past 10 years; how could so much money be raised in such a short time to construct and reconstitute the seminary?
The search for property led to a just-closed former primary school only a 20 minute drive from the Ebys’ missionary compound—but $500,000 had to be raised by April 15, an impossibility for humans alone. But, the Lord brought in the needed money!
The property was purchased and seven, or so, seminarians who could not return to their native countries (South Sudan and Burundi) and who had been staying on the Eby compound moved to the new property and remodeling began. What has been done in about two months is hard to describe. Yet to be finalized is the accrediting agency’s recognition and approval of the seminary. The complete application was delivered this past Friday and, if all goes well (we are trusting that the Lord will clear the path), the seminary can reopen this coming October. No students have been lost, and prospective students continue to contact the seminary.
Team member (pharmacy worker) – Bill Bates
July 5, 2016
Mission Mutungo 2016
A small church meets on the Africa Reformation Theological Seminary (ARTS) campus. Below is a photo of the worship service, last Sunday (June 5). This pavilion (the ARTS dining hall and assembly/chapel) will be the site of the medical clinic, July 4-9. Below the pavilion photo is a map showing the area of Uganda where we will be located.
Ugandans will have the choice of being seen by a medical doctor at the clinic or being seen in the eye glasses clinic. On Saturday, June 11, Dr. Davis Curtis, from North Carolina conducted the "Eye Doc in a Box" clinic here in Columba to train team members Sarah Trice, Paula Hill, and Frank Hill in a simple refraction method Dr. Curtis developed for fitting glasses. Dr. Curtis contributed more than 100 pairs of glasses for the mission. Additionally, so far, more than 125 pairs of new and "gently used" non-prescription reading glasses have been donated at collection boxes at First Presbyterian Church. This provides us with more than 225 pairs of glasses. We hope to increase that number to at least 300.
We will continue to accept both new and "gently used" prescription glasses and non-prescription reading glasses until Tuesday, June 28. If purchasing new reading glasses please select good quality glasses. Dollar store readers do not last well. You can drop off glasses at at two locations:
Pre-trip report #3 - June 14, 2016.
We have met three times to pack medicines to take on the trip. We are packing 30 pills in each little bag. We will have a "pharmacy" set up at our clinic and our doctors will prescribe medicines that the patients will receive from our "pharmacist." in the prepacked bags. You can see the many bottles of pills and bags we have used, and this is just one of the packing days.
We have packed Tylenol, Motrin, Aspirin, and multi-vitamins. Here are some photos of our pill-preparing. Several of our team have brought additional volunteers to help. Thank you to all of those who have come to help us!
You can see Dr. Hill (below) packing the small bags of 30 pills into a larger bag, which will go into our luggage. Each of us will have one piece of luggage with supplies we are bringing and one piece of luggage for our clothes, etc.
We have been notified in which village we will set up our medical clinic. Mutungo is a village area about a 15 minute drive from the Eby compound in Lubowa. We will use the Africa Reformation Theological Seminary campus for the medical clinic and the base for evangelism.
We also have a detailed schedule.
Thursday, June 30: Team departs the US
Friday, July 1: Arrive at Entebbe Airport; transportation to the Eby guest house.
Saturday, July 2: 7:00 to 8:30 a.m. get ready and personal devotions.
8:30 a.m. breakfast.
Prayer, orientation and clinic logistics in a.m. and early afternoon.
Afternoon relax and rest.
Evening prayer and video.
Sunday, July 3: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and depart for worship at 9:45 a.m.
Worship with New City PC in a.m.; afternoon rest; 4:00 p.m. “4th of July” BBQ; evening worship and prayer for the mission.
Monday, July 4: Medical clinic and evangelism Day 1
Personal prayer and devotions, 6:30 a.m.
Breakfast 7:30 a.m.
Depart for Mutungo 8:15 a.m.
Set up and conduct clinic and evangelism
Picnic lunch at clinic; kids ministry, house-to-house, school, village, prison evangelism in afternoons using evangelism team people able to leave clinic.
Break down clinic at or by 5:30 p.m.
Depart for Eby guest house 6:00 p.m.
Dinner at guest house, 6:30 p.m.; Sing & debrief after dinner (8:00 to 8:30 p.m.). To bed at 9:00 or after. Missionary midnight is 9:00 p.m. We will be tired!
Tuesday, July 5: Repeat Medical clinic and evangelism Day 1
Wednesday, July 6: Repeat Medical clinic and evangelism Day 1; dinner at restaurant
Thursday, July 7: DAY OFF
Breakfast 8:00 a.m.
Options: 1. Recreation options include Entebbe Zoo and Botanical Gardens, half day boat trip to Chimp Island from Entebbe; 2. Relax and rest at guest house in afternoon.
Friday, July 8: Repeat Medical clinic and evangelism Day 1
Saturday, July 9: Repeat Medical clinic and evangelism Day 1, but close clinic at 3:00; depart clinic at 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, July10: Worship in a.m.; afternoon relax; evening debrief, worship and pray.
Monday, July 11: Rest/relax day at Eby compound; optional shopping in Kampala in a.m.; dinner at guest house; 8:00 p.m. depart for airport
Pre-trip report #2 - May 24, 2016.
Ten people comprise our team. Nine are from First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina (an asterisk identifies a person who has served previously on a mission trip to Uganda:
*Frank Hill (MD and Team Leader), *Paula Hill, *Bill Bates, Chuck Davis (MD), *Bruce Easterling (MD), Cameron Levine (nurse), Laurie Price, Robert Price, and *Sarah Trice.
Joining the team from South Dakota, where he is a teaching elder at Black Hills Community Church in Rapid City, is Art Sartorius. Art has participated in short term missions previously and this is his first mission to Africa.
The philosophy of the medical clinic is to open the door for the gospel to be shared. We are going to serve the medical needs of Ugandans who live near the Africa Reformation Theological Seminary (formerly the Westminster Theological Seminary) on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. While seeing to the medical needs of people, we will share the Gospel with Ugandans waiting to be seen - through our fellow Ugandan believers who will serve as our translators. We will hold the free clinic for five days. The people are very willing to wait around all day to be seen by a western doctor, so there are good opportunities for evangelism. The people of Uganda are very friendly and warm, open to the gospel, and very appreciative of the medical care we offer.
We will be flying out late on the June 30, arriving in Entebbe, near Kampala, on the evening of July 1. It is a long (25-hour, 9,200-mile) trip. we are traveling from Columbia to Atlanta to Amsterdam to Kigali (Rwanda) to Entebbe, arriving there late on July 1 and returning to Columbia on Tuesday evening July 12.
In Kampala we will stay with U.S. missionaries, Darlene and David Eby. On Saturday, July 2, we will settle in and and have a little cultural orientation. On the following day we will join them for worship.
The medical clinic will run Monday-Wednesday, July 4-6, with a break on Thursday, and then continue on Friday and Saturday, July 8-9. On Sunday, July 10 we will again worship with the Ebys. Monday is a chance to shop and rest up, with departure for Columbia on Tuesday, July 12.
Please join us in praying God will work in, and through, each of our team members during this trip, that we will, as individuals, grow in God’s love, serve well, and be moved to share His word in ways that will reach the people we meet and work with. Most of all, pray for the working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the Ugandan people - that they will be open to the good news of Jesus Christ.
We are collecting new and “gently-used” glasses. There are two donation boxes.You can drop glasses off in the Security Office in the Palmer building, or take them to the box in the Atrium on the Book Service table.
For information, contact Laurie Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or 799-9062, Ext. 222.
Pre-trip report #1 - April 22, 2016. (Team members updated June 13.)
This page was last updated June 14, 2016.