On July 22th 2018, 12 CUAA Nursing students partnered with Women of the Pearl and embarked on a journey to Uganda, Africa for pediatric and community health clinicals.
On July 22th 2018, 12 CUAA Nursing students partnered with Women of the Pearl and embarked on a journey to Uganda, Africa for pediatric and community health clinicals. A journey that wasn’t about them – they had to put themselves aside, trust God, and step into uncommon situations, use uncommon bathroom facilities, provide care in an uncommon way, squeeze into uncommon transportation, eat uncommon food, and step into an uncommon educational experience. An uncommon experience that changed lives forever.
“Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Students blessed the children and families at the Jinja Children’s Hospital with smiles, care, laughter, games, and prayer. They observed the challenges of providing care with limited resources, space, and the challenges of receiving care around the hospital schedule. Students assisted in triage, HIV/AIDS clinic visits, vaccines, and spending me focusing on the spirit of the patients and families.
From there, we spent a day at a local school. The students were able to observe the operations at an American‐funded clinic, tour the compound, and experience the daily routine in the school. The Uganda team was treated to a concert and dance, where students were eager to share their voices and traditional dance. After an enlightening bus ride to the Ibanda district, students taught at the Lutheran Church of Uganda Women’s Conference. The team shared information on basic first aid, nutrition, and sanitary pad making.
Delegates of the Lutheran Church of Uganda learned to sew reusable sanitary pads, make a tourniquet, and the importance of hygiene and diet while breast‐feeding. The women aending the conference then took the information that they learned back to their congregations to teach others. The Uganda team then blessed a Lutheran church in the Nakivale refugee settlement with sanitary pad kits, t‐shirts, and balls and games for the children. The trip ended with a cruise to the Source of the Nile and a night of dinner and dancing at the Nderi Center in Kampala.
As I sat on the banks of the Nile, after a heavy rainstorm, I was reminded of God’s promise as the most brilliant rainbow appeared overhead ending in the Nile. Amidst all of the hurt, poverty, illness, and need that we observed over the last week, He keeps His promises that He will not abandon us. That despite hardships, pain, and suffering they are happy because they know He is faithful.
It was an honor and privilege to serve with Andrea, Ashton, Caitlyn, Daniella, Hannah, Jared, Kennedi, Maria, Natasha, Shalena, Tiere, and Tim. They set themselves aside, stepped out of their comfort zone, and changed lives.
—Angie Raasch is a nursing advisor for Concordia’s School of Nursing.
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