Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Working for...

Meet Rogers. 
Rogers is the prison dentist we met four years ago during a visit to the prison. (A visit which, I should tell you, was one of my most fearful African experiences. We walked inside a huge, thick door, and the guards locked it and took our passports. I just kept saying, "You don't understand. I'm not called to prison ministry!" ). 
Rogers is still the dentist at the prison. He  comes out each summer to be our dentist for our clinics.  Upon working with him four years ago, our American dentists proclaimed him among the best-- even in America. I enjoy working with him, and especially seeing how kind he is to the children he works with. At clinics like this, we primarily do tooth extractions because there are not follow-ups. Rogers tells us he would prefer to try to save the teeth, but cannot do that in a clinic environment. Over the years, we have "hooked Rogers up."  He has a portable chair, equipment powered by electricity, and plenty of tools and medicines. 

He does, however, still have to improvise!  

That pressure cooker on a propane tank is how we sterilize the dental tools. (A huge step up from cleaning them in our hotel showers like we used to!). 

Contrary to photographic evidence, I worked hard today as Rogers' assistant. We even removed an impacted wisdom tooth--- the same procedure I had done about six weeks ago!  Tough. I worked hard to be brave for the sweet girl who was having it done!  

Robert and Kaitlynn counted out pills for the pharmacy this morning. 

When the clinic started, Robert was in charge of wound care. I was a nervous mama, but he has a lot of experience and is really pretty good at it!  

Once all the wound care patients were seen, he went with Pastor Matthias to get bananas-- for EVERYONE at the clinic!  

By the end of the day, he was doing his favorite thing... Entertaining the clinic kids by teaching them lacrosse!  

There is a sign at the front of Pastor Matthias' church, where we did today's clinic:  "we labor for God's Kingdom."  

Every one of us worked today. Serving bananas, assisting with dentistry, counting pills, holding babies... Whatever we were doing, wherever we were, we were working. The real question is:  "What were we laboring for?"    

We have talked a lot here among our team this week about serving wherever you are. We have 18 high school students from Tampa with us, and we've talked about the fact that they don't have to be in Africa to serve. I don't either, and you don't. 

Today, we all (not just the team here-- you too!!) did jobs that might or might not have been or felt like our "calling."  We did labor. What were we working for?  

Rogers, while laboring in a prison, has earned the respect of many other dentists in America and Uganda, and has just started school to become a maxillofacial surgeon. He also is about to become the dentist for the President of Uganda.  God is absolutely taking note of Rogers' labor. 

Tonight we got to see our old friend Pastor Zach, the "ghost of Uganda."  The Muslims here have tried to kill him eight times because of the work he's doing for the Kingdom.  God continues to protect him, though. (If you haven't heard our stories of Pastor Zach, or had the opportunity to meet him, look on you tube for the "ghost of Uganda" video. I think it's there! )

I want to work wherever I'm sent, but mostly, I want to be sure I'm laboring for the right thing-- the only thing that's eternal-- the Kingdom of God. 

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