The African nation of Uganda is a very poor part of the world.
In fact, reports indicate nearly 40 percent of the people live on $1 or less per day.
While Uganda is, by name, a Christian nation, there are plenty of reasons to believe there is a need to share the message of the Christian faith there.
Christian ministries exist in Uganda, and Tim and Nancy Dean of Redwood Alliance Church in Redwood Falls went into that setting with their daughter, Hannah, to serve with a ministry known as Loving One by One.
The ministry was founded by Ken and Sherry Roberts who made their first trip to Uganda in 2004 and there saw the extreme poverty and medical needs of the people in that east African nation.
Soon after they felt God calling them to begin a ministry in Uganda, and today the Loving One by One Ministry includes a school, a medical clinic and a children’s home all in an effort to serve the poorest of the poor in Uganda and to share the love of Jesus with them.
According to Nancy Dean, a conversation with her daughter began out of a desire she has had to participate in a medical mission. That dialogue, became much more serious earlier this year when the decision was made to make the trip.
Both Nancy and Hannah work in the medical field, and Nancy said she felt this was a good way to be able to utilize what she has learned by serving others.
Tim, who serves as the senior pastor at Redwood Alliance, ultimately felt the call to go as well, and so this past June the three of them made their way to Uganda.
For Tim and Nancy this was the first time they had traveled overseas. Both of them agreed their missions trip was an eye opening experience, adding they were blessed by the opportunity they had not only to interact with those who are part of the ministry, but also with other believers from across the U.S. who were part of the team they traveled and served with in Uganda.
According to Nancy, there were about 30 people on the team ranging in age from 13 to 70, adding the group got along extremely well. “We made great friends there,” she said.
The kids who are being served are ones they are finding in the slums of Uganda, and its ministry center is located not that far from the capital city of Kampala where it also offers various ministries.
The school and medical staff who work in the ministry are all local individuals, said Tim, adding there are roughly 65 children who are being educated at its the primary school.
The youth continue to receive support as they further their education and some of that comes from sponsorships from people around the world. The ministry does not charge the students who attend the school, and it helps students who would never be able to pay to receive an education in Uganda.
When it comes to medical care there is a lack of help for many of the people in Uganda, and so the ministry’s hospital provides care addressing everything from pregnancy to malaria.
During their visit, the team had a chance to help at two outreach clinics, and Tim said when they arrived at the locations where those clinics were being held there were hundred of people waiting to be helped. He said the only thing he could compare it to are the lines one might see on Black Friday.
During one of the clinics within five hours there were 500 patients who were seen.
Naturally, as the people are served, whether it is in education or medical care, the Christian message was also shared.
For Tim and Nancy what they experienced as they learned about changed lives is nothing short of a miracle.
The Deans have said the desire to return to Uganda in the future is there, adding they fully intend to maintain a connection with the ministry in Africa.
Learn more about it at www.lovingonebyone.org.