Home > Our World > News > News Archives by Date > 2010 > September > Archive
And the lame shall walk in Uganda

 
Translate

7:00 A.M. EST Sept. 29, 2010 | ANZU, Uganda (UMNS)

Young teen Enza Amitye hopes to walk again after receiving a splint through the response of mission teams from four United Methodist churches in Kentucky. A UMNS photo courtesy of Grace Nakajje.
Young teen Enza Amitye hopes to walk again after receiving a splint through the response of mission teams from four United Methodist churches in Kentucky.
A UMNS photo courtesy of Grace Nakajje. View in Photo Gallery

The 13-year-old boy was carrying millet home from a trading center four miles from his home when he lost control of the bicycle he was riding. Enza Amitye lay on the ground helpless with a fractured leg until someone could carry him home.

There, the orphan of Uganda’s civil war found little sympathy. The neighbor whose bicycle he borrowed accused him of being careless. The grandmother he was living with wept not for him, but for the 12 kilograms of flour lost on the ground.

With no money to take him to the hospital, his grandmother treated him with hot water and herbs for three months. As his condition worsened, his grandmother began “asking God to kill me and join my parents in the grave.”

His friends would no longer play with him. Instead, they called him lame. They told Enza if he did not die his only future was to be carried back and forth to the streets to beg for a living.

Then, The United Methodist Church in Uganda and a medical mission team from Kentucky stepped in.

And the world one day may have another physician to heal the lame and brokenhearted.

The church returns

As refugees from the country’s long civil war begin to return to their villages in northern Uganda, The United Methodist Church is among the organization’s heeding the government’s call to assist in the peace recovery process.

Map locates the Arua area of Uganda where the Kentucky medical mission teams visited three villages.  A web only map courtesy of the CIA.
Map locates the Arua area of Uganda where the Kentucky medical mission teams visited three villages. A web only map courtesy of the CIA.

The region’s infrastructure was badly damaged. Although people have returned to their villages from the camps, access to water and health facilities is still difficult. People have to walk for long distances in search of water, medicine and even food.

As part of its response, the East Africa Annual Conference collaborated with a 15-member mission team from Russell Springs United Methodist Church, Jennies Chapel United Methodist Church, Coffey’s Chapel United Methodist Church and Dunnville Christian Church in Kentucky to offer medical care to people in the Arua region.

Roland Moore of Russell Springs United Methodist Church, the team leader, said mission workers were overwhelmed by the need.

“Malaria is severe among the people we treated,” he said. “We also had cases of leprosy, eye problems, sexually transmitted diseases, rash, fungus, respiratory illness, worms, stomach upset nausea, childhood illness and fracture. We diagnosed, gave drugs and glasses.”

In seven days at the end of August, the team treated about 1,500 patients in the villages of Anzu, Kulu and Lebanon.

One of them was Enza Amitye.

Building hope

A United Methodist district superintendent in the region contacted a local official, Samuel Asiku, to mobilize people for treatment by the mission team. He came across Enza in the village of Apia near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“His grandmother was helpless, and the boy was perhaps awaiting his last breath. Thank God for the free medical services from the Kentucky mission team,” Asiku said.

Enza’s bone had separated from the joint, Moore said. He was put in a dynamic splint for four months.

Villagers from the Aura area line up meet with members of the medical mission team. A UMNS photo courtesy of Grace Nakajje.
Villagers from the Aura area line up meet with members of the medical mission team. A UMNS photo courtesy of Grace Nakajje.
View in Photo Gallery

“This case was serious because the boy could either not walk again or even die. But the splint will enable the bone to get strong enough for him to walk by the next four months” he said.

Dr. Saul Lyakua of Arua Referral Hospital recently said Enza is recovering well.

The United Methodist partnership is only the beginning of a long journey toward recovery in the region.

“We need to provide clean, safe water in the future as a solution to water-borne diseases,” Moore said.

East Africa Bishop Daniel Wandabula says more support is needed in the areas of food, security, water and education.

But lives are beginning to change, as Enza can testify.

“I now feel the joy deep in my heart. I believe I will walk again,” the teen said. “I pray that I will go back to school and become a doctor.”

*Nakajje is a United Methodist communicator with the East Africa Annual (regional) Conference.

News media contact: David Briggs, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

Comments will be moderated. Please see our Comment Policy for more information.
Comment Policy
Add a Comment

Ask Now

This will not reach a local church, district or conference office. InfoServ* staff will answer your question, or direct it to someone who can provide information and/or resources.

Phone
(optional)

*InfoServ ( about ) is a ministry of United Methodist Communications located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. 1-800-251-8140

Not receiving a reply?
Your Spam Blocker might not recognize our email address. Add this address to your list of approved senders.

Would you like to ask any questions about this story?ASK US NOW