Janine LeGrand is a Long-term SAMS Missionary serving in a ministry of health education in Masindi-Kitara, Uganda, where they face many health challenges. Janine shares this recent story with you:
Usually I tell you about what is happening in the health clinics, but what about the people behind the clinics that help support them? In Uganda I have a Diocesan level Health Board that advises me. This board includes our Diocesan Secretary (the “second in command” after our Bishop) and many of our elders, mostly priests. The lady at left without a white collar is my neighbor Rachael, who is a nurse and local politician. We just had a very good board meeting last week and these people are helpful advisors. We have a new program, Church Health Promoters. I was put to the task of creating the t-shirt logo. I made a design similar to a design often seen on ambulances and medical clinics, a caduceus or the Rod of Asclepius, with mine showing a snake on a cross. I was thinking of the story from Numbers, where Moses is told to have people be healed by looking up to a serpent symbol he made—an early example of the church being involved in healing. The reaction from my board was a bemused, amused “Can you imagine?!” Little did I know that a snake on a pole is a symbol used by witchdoctors here! I have been here more than seven years now, but I am still learning. It sure wouldn’t have gone well trying to recruit volunteers from our churches with that. They approved the design, minus the snake.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about working together. I work with my board, and I work with my team that does the preparation for the medical teams that visit.
Sometimes it can be frustrating, especially with those from another culture, but my team is such a blessing. Janie is our newest member from American Peace Corp and helps train church administrators in what needs to be done for an outreach. She helps with cervical cancer screenings and family planning. William works with Village Health Coordinators at each site, and Jimmy, translator extraordinaire, trains and works with our interpreters. We all have a job that helps us get the task done and help others, but it is not just the board, and the support team here in Uganda that help others. You are an integral part of my team, too. Without my supporters I would not be able to help medical teams in Uganda. The longer I am here in Uganda the more I see the wisdom of working together both near and far.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NIV)