Toto Ward

Last week I wrote a blog about how we had visited the “least of these” in a babies orphanage not too far from our home.

We had hoped that the same weekend would include a visit to the Toto (children’s) Ward at the local hospital. However, our plans were not actualized as we had hoped…but we kept pursuing it anyway.

Finally we visited this Sunday afternoon. Even though we had an appointment, and they were expecting us, we found some resistance. but eventually a nurse escorted us to various areas to visit sick children and their families.

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You see, Ugandan hospitals are a bit different from American hospitals. Cleanliness and privacy are hard to come by. A room is full of beds with no division between them. When it comes to children, the beds could be shared by multiple little ones since they are small enough to sleep perpendicular to the typical way we lie down. Patients are responsible for their own sheets, food, basins for bathing, etc. The hospital strictly provides the medical care. Of course some people come with little to no money, so they struggle. Not to mention, the sick child’s bed is likely also serving the mother, and possibly a sibling or few. For many, once they arrive at the hospital, they don’t have a way to get more supplies unless they leave their child because there may not be anyone to bring them the things they need.

The ABIDE girls had made cookies, and we had collected some second-hand children’s clothes to share.

We were first sent to the malnourished children. Our Governess (every two weeks the students choose one among themselves to serve as the Governess of the house, taking the lead for those days) introduced our group to the patients and their relatives. The girls walked around to the different beds to meet the families and pray with them. Meanwhile the nurse and I tried to sort through some of the clothes we had brought, and gave everyone something for their tiny little child. Before we left, one of our students prayed over the entire room of 15 or so children.

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Then the nurse took us to another malnourished room. When these children become healthy enough, they will be moved where we had begun. Oh, how small these little ones are! We didn’t have enough small clothes for most of them, but we gave what we could. Again we prayed for these precious lives.

One woman, Beinomugisha, had two tiny twins. The girl is called Ainemugisha (which means ‘she has a blessing’), and the boy is called Amon. They are two months old, but look more like two weeks. They are surviving mainly on diluted juice. I held Amon, who is still fighting diaherrea, and prayed for both of them and their mother.

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We went to other areas of the children’s wing and shared cookies with older kids and their families, as well as having time to pray at their beds, and as an entire room.

It brought smiles to our faces when our student from Rwanda found some fellow-Rwandans to talk to and pray for in her heart language. She was very pleased with that special time as well, and I know the people she interacted with were also encouraged.

I was proud of all of our girls as I looked around and saw them spread out among the beds talking, smiling, praying, etc.

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Sometimes ministry seems small, but it is never a small thing to share the love of Jesus with someone, especially when they are in need.

…I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me…I tell you the truth, whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:36, 40

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