From Despair to Hope: Over 1500 people touched by GFR Medical Clinic in Uganda

Posted by: Julie on Thursday, August 20th, 2009

clinic-pic-1.jpgI am emotional again even as I sift through these pictures to upload to this blog post.  I wish I was sharing this story with you all in person right now because I fear that my written words will not convey the fullness of this experience.  I will never forget this day as long as I live.

A week ago, on our final clinic day in Uganda, we pulled up in the car as over 900 people waited in line to see Dr. Bill at our GFR medical clinic.  It is mind-blowing to me how many people in Uganda do not have access to healthcare.  People will walk literally for days to get to a medical clinic; and even then, the chances are slim that they’ll even be able to afford the fee.  Our GFR Team, with the help of our trained emergency room physician and GFR board member Dr. Bill, ran three days of a free medical clinic in three different villages of Uganda.  In those three days, we treated over 1500 people.  It seems impossible for one doctor – with untrained assistants like us following his orders! – to see 1500 people, but it is absolutely phenomenal how fast Dr. Bill works.  He is highly proficient in international medicine, and his work in the ER prepares him well for stressful and fast situations.  I took about 4 minutes of continuous video footage of this so you could see how it works.  As soon as my video buddy TJ edits these videos, I’ll post them to this blog.  Thank you TJ.

The day we saw the most patients was this particular day last Thursday, our final day of the clinic.  That day we saw over 800 patients.  In this particular village, more people gathered to see the doctor than had gathered at any other clinic we had done – either this trip or our last one in March.  We were told by our GFR Ugandan staff that this was because there are no medical clinics for several, several miles in this area and so people had been walking for a couple of days and many even stayed overnight to wait in line to see the doctor that day.  It was an amazingly humbling experience.  I can’t imagine how Dr. Bill felt.  Being given the gift of being able to treat people with medical care is a gift straight from God, and when he saw that crowd I know he felt the weight of that responsibility.  He took it as a great privilege but also as a great responsibility.

dr-bill-and-baby-at-clinic.jpgWe set up the pharmacy (tables with thousands of bags of pills we put together and labeled the night before), set up the registration table at the front, designated a couple of the guys at the front door to control the crowds and ‘organize’ people as they came in, and set up the doctors’ station for Ugandan medical intern Dr. Ivan to sit with Dr. Bill and translate patients’ requests as they came in.  We were ready to go.

We saw about 300 patients before the sky began to get a deep grey and the wind began to blow… Suddenly it began to pour rain outside.  People waiting outside in line didn’t move a muscle.  They had not walked tens of kilometers for a couple of days to leave their spot in line and miss their chance of seeing the doctor.  Only a handful of the 600 people who remainined in the line had umbrellas, everyone else simply crouched down onto the grass covering their heads.  Then the tin roof above us in the small building we were in began to get very loud… Hail!  It was hailing outside.  We looked out the open windows and sure enough there were large hail pellets crashing down on the people outside.  This scattered about 400 hundred people in the crowd as they screamed and ran for safety.  Anyone who has never been in a hailstorm before without shelter, it is incredibly dangerous to let large hail hit the top of your head directly.  It’s very sharp and coming at a high speed to your head.  400 people left, but…. the 200 people waiting closest to the door remained.  I could not believe this.  People were screaming and clamoring to get into the doors of the clinic, and Bob and David had the difficult and heart-wrenching job of keeping them out so chaos would not ensue inside the clinic – where 30 people were already inside waiting to see the doctor next.  So we kept things moving as quickly as we could, all the while not being able to hear ourselves at all because of the loud and fast hail pounding on the tin roof above.

Someone suggested lunch might be a good idea since we could no longer communicate with one another because of the loud noise of the hail.  But as our lunch pails came out with our supplies to make PBJs, crackers, and bananas, I lost it.  For us to sit inside this shelter and eat while people were waiting outside in line getting pelleted by hail just didn’t seem right.  Tears ran down my face in an uncontrollable fashion, and there was no way I was eating that food.  It just wasn’t right.  My friend Melissa had the same thought.  She took one look at my tear-stained face and said, “Let’s give our food to them.”

It was like the five loaves and two fish story.  We broke up our sandwiches into four pieces each, cut up our bananas, cut up our pineapples, broke in half our crackers, split open our hard-boiled eggs and cut them down the middle, and we began passing out our food to the people in line.  Our GFR team is an amazing group of humble servants, and the rest of them followed our lead almost immediately.  Everyone else gave up their food as well.  And between the 12-15 or so of us who had packed food, we were able to feed quite a large number of people in that line.  I’m sure it didn’t take away the pain the people were feeling from the hail pounding on their heads or the despair of potentially not getting to see the doctor after having waited so long, but it at least showed them the love of God that is in us to put their needs before our own.  I hope they felt that.  They were very grateful, and many of them cried and hugged with gratitude even for a small slice of food.

After the hail subsided about 30-40 minutes later, we were able to continue the clinic.  The 400 people who had scattered because of the hail returned and joined the other 200 in the front of the line who had waited through the storm.  We went as fast as possible to try and see everyone before darkness came because there was no electricity where we were and we’d have to stop as soon as it got too dark to see.  So we worked until it was absolutely impossible to see anymore, and we still left about 100 patients untreated in that line.  It was gut-wrenching to see the people still waiting to see the doctor, but we had done all we could do that day.  Dr. Bill gave a final charge of gratitude and inspiration to everyone who helped with the clinic, and then we had a moment of prayer in thankfulness to God for making this possible.

clinic-waiting-line.jpgI want you to take a look at this picture.  This sea of faces represents the hundreds of people waiting in line for the clinic.  Despair all over them.  There was an amazing thing that happened as they crossed over the threshold of the clinic doorway.  As they entered in to see Dr. Bill and be blessed with the medicine prescribed and given to them, hope fell all around them.  They left the clinic doors with hope, thanking God for giving them this opportunity to receive treatment.  It was absolutely amazing.

I was very convicted by all of this.  I flippantly cancel doctor appointments when something else comes up, I complain about having to wait in the waiting room any longer than 30 minutes, I argue about the high costs of things and negotiate discounts of ungratefulness for the treatments I have received.  How selfish am I to disregard the gift of healthcare with such disrespect.

No longer.  I am deciding today to change my attitude.  I want to make a challenge to you to join me as well.  Take your heart of gratefulness to God and invest with me in the efforts of Global Family Rescue to help bring more hope to these families.  We’ll be going back in March to run more medical clinics, visit more families, and bring the love of God to more people in Uganda.  It would mean so much to us to have your support.  I’m giving $1,000 right now by clicking here.  Please join me however you can.  And comment below in encouragement to us all if you’re in with me on this.  Demonstrate a sacrifice of our own selfishness and an investment in the lives of people living in poverty and in need of a transformation from despair to hope.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.  I love you all and appreciate the love and support you give to us and to Global Family Rescue.



23 Responses to “From Despair to Hope: Over 1500 people touched by GFR Medical Clinic in Uganda”

Julie Says:
August 20th, 2009 at 5:55 am

A couple of you have asked me about the donation page. Click through to the link above, and click on the ‘Make a Donation’ button. It’s at the top of the page. Then it will take you to the page where you’ll make the gift.

Thank you all so much for your generosity!



Pius Says:
November 11th, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hurrah, that’s what I was

seeking for,

what a information!

existing here at this

blog, thanks

admin of this {website|web site|site|web


turcioshumb Says:
October 8th, 2012 at 4:57 am

nice and thanks.

charlesmgreen blog Says:
October 8th, 2012 at 4:58 am

Easy to understand,I like it!

shellyarodriguez blog Says:
October 8th, 2012 at 5:01 am

very good and cool,thank you for your sharing.

orajlee3727 Says:
October 8th, 2012 at 5:02 am

nice post,thanks for share.

leonardyhurtado Says:
October 8th, 2012 at 5:04 am

I really appreciate your help, it is very useful for me,you will get good grades!

Frank Capulong Says:
October 28th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Love this outcome ! Desire I might have performed one thing like this for my father in 98 in advance of he handed . Like this story !!

Vicenta Graciano Says:
November 2nd, 2012 at 4:54 am

you’re in point of fact a excellent webmaster. The internet internet site loading pace is incredible. It seems which you are doing any special trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a outstanding job in this topic!

Lashaun Clare Says:
November 7th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Hello.This post was really remarkable, particularly because I was investigating for thoughts on this matter last Saturday.

youtube2mp4 Says:
November 7th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

Bonusy bukmacherskie Says:
November 8th, 2012 at 9:01 am

I leave a response whenever I appreciate a post on a website or if I have something to contribute to the discussion. Usually it is triggered by the fire communicated in the post I browsed. And on this article From Despair to Hope: Over 1500 people touched by GFR Medical Clinic in Uganda | I was actually excited enough to post a comment 😉 I actually do have some questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be simply me or does it look like a few of these remarks look as if they are left by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing at additional places, I’d like to follow you. Could you make a list all of your social sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Frances Fadely Says:
November 13th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I wanted to put you the bit of remark to finally thank you very much again for the precious tactics you’ve documented in this case. It is simply shockingly generous with people like you giving freely what a number of us would have offered for sale for an e book to help make some bucks on their own, chiefly seeing that you might well have tried it if you ever considered necessary. These thoughts additionally acted like a great way to be certain that other individuals have the same dreams the same as mine to grasp significantly more related to this matter. Certainly there are some more fun periods ahead for many who check out your blog post.

homepage Says:
November 13th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Between me cute blue mittens free and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

homepage Says:
November 15th, 2012 at 1:06 am

hello and many thanks for your information , I’ve certainly picked up something new coming from right here. I did however abilities several technological points utilizing this website, because experienced to be able to reload the web site lots of instances previous to We could get it to load accurately. I had been wondering if your webhost is OK? Not too I’m complaining, although slow running instances intervals will often influence your ranking in google and can even damage a person’s quality standing if marketing and advertising with Ppc.

Maryalice Christesen Says:
November 17th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Well I sincerely liked reading it. This subject procured by you is very constructive for good planning.

November 19th, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I do like the manner in which you have framed this specific concern plus it does indeed give us a lot of fodder for thought. Nevertheless, coming from everything that I have observed, I just simply hope when the actual reviews pile on that people remain on point and don’t start upon a soap box regarding some other news du jour. All the same, thank you for this excellent point and while I do not really go along with it in totality, I regard your perspective.

cam4 Says:
November 24th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Audio began playing any time I opened up this website, so irritating!

July 23rd, 2019 at 5:08 am

It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from this article as well as from our
argument made here. Says:
August 6th, 2019 at 2:18 am

yangın kapısı en kısa sürede çıkış yapmanızı sağlayan nitelikli kapıdır. Ucuz yangın kapısı panik barlı kapıdır. Yangın kapıları yangına dayanıklı kapı olması gerekir. Ucuz Yangın kapısı, depdan teslim yangın merdiveni kapısı, Acil çıkış kapısı firması, Yangın kapılarında süper kanpanya, yangın kapısı fiyat, depo teslim panik barlı kapılar

porn fast fuck Says:
November 15th, 2019 at 4:53 am

funny dope head jokes

dope funny id codes for roblox


Leave a Comment