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Blessed rain! Treating refugees in Uganda.

by Cindy Lund Bickley | Mar 22, 2017

Cindy is serving right now as a volunteer in Northern Uganda, providing free health care to refugees fleeing violence and famine in South Sudan. Read her most recent story from the field:


Blessed Blessed Rain!

Thursday, it RAINED! We had a pretty good rain to wash the dust off all of the plants last night and enough to cool it down to the mid-eighty degrees. I am so grateful to be able to start the day off without breaking out in a sweat!

volunteer-help-refugees-south-sudan

Thursday, the patient load was pretty light (200 or less). Around 1pm, I was able to visit my translator's family and tour his home. Wow! What an experience to get a glimpse of how refugees live. I was met with such a warm welcome. The family was sitting on a makeshift platform all scrubbed and clean, wearing their best. The area ground was swept and cleared of any debris. They had borrowed a plastic lawn chair for me to sit on. What an honor to be treated like royalty.

David took me to his mud house that he had shaped and built. Proudly, he showed me his bed that he had constructed of branches and ropes. Hiss house had one triangular window about 8 inches long carved out of the mud. You could see sunlight coming in around the edge of the steep thatched roof. The only other piece of furniture was a small, roughly-built, square foot table holding his prized processions: flash light, Bible and some of his sketches. His clothes were in small grocery sack hanging from a nail in the wall. The door consisted of some roofing metal put together with a hinge. He had a birthday bag hanging from another nail. In the birthday sack was a new bed sheet that he had won recently in a talent contest. He mentioned he was saving it for a special occasion.

The only other piece of furniture was a small, roughly-built, square foot table holding his prized processions: flash light, Bible and some of his sketches.

He took me over to his sister's house and showed me her place. It was a little bigger but had a mat on the floor for his sister and her twin babies, and a hand-woven string hammock for his sister's mother-in-law. Their sole possessions were in a small cardboard box.

After visiting for a short time, many of the neighbors started coming over along with their children. Soon, they were filling their courtyard. Along side of the courtyard was a short building made of sticks tied together. I asked David what it was. He told me the kids wanted their own church so they built one. He is planning to put a thatched roof on it. Before I knew it, several of the kids were in the structure and started singing.

It still makes me smile seeing this picture of pure, innocent joy - having fun and worshiping their Creator with song... They don't have toys and hardly any material possessions. They have experienced war, hunger and family turmoil. They could still play and be kids with pure abandonment!

My translator, David, told me he and his family had made the choice to leave with the clothes on their backs. He said that he had personally seen five of his friends die. They tried to survive, hoping to go back to their home, but there wasn't any food and it was too dangerous.

They have experienced war, hunger and family turmoil. They could stillplay and be kids with pure abandonment!

What was amazing that he did not sound bitter or angry about his situation.

I am amazed at the resiliency of the refugees; how they overcome such atrocities and still mange to be upbeat. I see the very sick ones waiting for hours to be seen and to be treated, willing to give you a smile " a God Bless you" and a thank you before leaving.

Who have you thanked today?