Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fundraising for my Medical Mission Trip to Uganda.

This summer (July 9 - July 19), I will be traveling to Mbirra, Uganda to serve as a member of a medical mission team.  I am very excited about this opportunity.  I was approached around the first of the year by my friend Elena Clayton.  She is the wife of the coordinator of the trip.  She asked if I would be interested in going.  I told her that I would think about it.  Truly, I wasn't that interested in going for the following reasons:  1) It is a 22 hour flight, WHAT! 2) it is a 10 day trip away from the boys, 3) it is a medical trip and I don't know a lot about healthcare (I have a lousy bedside manner), 4) the trip is very expensive - $2,540.00, to be exact, and 5) there are cobras on site.  Last year a little boy stomped on the head of a cobra and killed it.  The thought sends shivers down my spine to this day.

But . . . I told Elena that I would think about it - so I did.  The more I thought about it, the more convicted I felt about going.  In my mind I made every excuse why I could NOT to go.  For example, I can't be away from work for 10 days, I will have to cut my family vacation short, I CAN'T be on a plane for 22 hours. So every time Elena approached me I would say, "I'm still thinking about it."  Finally, after a few weeks of unrest - I told God that I would go.  Later than night I told Michael about my decision and he told me that the trip had already filled up so I was out of luck.  Secretly, I was pretty happy.  After all, I had made the decision to go - it just wasn't going to work out - oh darn.  As the time passed, I felt less "happy" about my stalling.  Don't we teach our children that "not doing something when asked" is still disobeying?

Last Monday as our Sunday School class was preparing dinner for "Rescue One," Dustin and Elena asked again if I was going to Uganda this year.  Confused, I said, "but the trip is full."  Dustin then explained that he had counted me in that number so I had a spot if I wanted to go.  This time, I knew exactly what I needed to do.  I told him that I was "all in" and decided to take the Scarlett O'Hara approach to funding the trip - "I'll think about that tomorrow."

Well alas, tomorrow has arrived . . . and it is time to start thinking about raising money.  As I mentioned earlier, the total cost of the trip is $2,540.  I realize that I will not be able to raise all of it, but I would like to raise as much as possible.

Let me tell you a little about the trip.  We will be staying in a small village in Mbiira.  There are two missionary families from Hendersonville, Tennessee that run the orphanage in the village.  Over the course of a week we will put on a medical clinic, first for the orphans, second, for the partnering church, Mbiira Baptist Church, and third for the villagers and any surrounding villagers.

Last year, the team provided medical, dental, vision and pharmaceutical care to over 2.000 people - people that did not have access to healthcare. This year we hope to help the same - all while being the hands and feet of Jesus.

So, what does this $2,540 go toward:
1) our airfare - yes, this is pretty expensive.
2) medical supplies.  We bring all of our supplies with us. We each bring two large suitcases.  Those suitcases are filled with supplies for the trip.  We put our belongings for the trip in a backpack/carry-on.   Yes, we will smell pretty bad by the end of the week.
3) new mosquito nets for the orphans
4) diapers and formula for the babies

Our room and board is provided by the two missionary families that live in the village.  They also provide us with breakfast and supper.   We will bring our own lunch food with us.

Along the lines of full disclosure.  On our last day in Africa, we will be white water rafting on the Nile - so we will be having a little fun too.

Please know that it is very difficult for me to ask - I am a terrible fundraiser/salesman.  But, if you feel led to give to this trip, or know anyone who is looking to fund missions,  I have created a "Go Fund Me" page.   http://www.gofundme.com/ry36zg (copy and paste this link in to a web-browser). Any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Regardless of how much or little money I raise, I am going to go.   God is the great provider and he will find a way to get me there.

I have included a few pictures from Michael's trip last year.  He worked in the vision clinic.


Last year, Michael filled a last minute spot.  Literally last minute - he had 10 days notice.  This almost meant that the person who backed out had already paid for the trip in full and offered that to Michael.  











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