Patients and Staff
Divine Liturgy at St. Nektarios
MEDICAL CLINIC FOR NORTHERN UGANDA
In 2010, Fr. Joseph and Karleen Kunz, a parishioner and professor of nursing, were members of a medical team which served the poorest of the poor in northern Uganda. In ten days the team treated almost 4,000 people. Fr. Joseph was appalled to learn that the annual medical team is the only medical services available to most of the people of this region. That means that for most of the year there are no medical services.
Also Fr. Joseph and Karleen observed that there were few people who appeared to be past their forties in age. This is because of the low life expectancy. Ground Zero for Ugandan terrorist and rebel activity was in this area. The people are only a few years removed from the displaced persons camps.
In 2011 and 2012 the parish helped raise funds to send a medical team for each of those years. Fr. Joseph became convinced that a full time medical clinic was the only answer to the medical needs of the area. In discussions with Sue Nelson, team leader in 2010 and team member in 2011 and 2012, He learned that a doctor from Grease had purchased land in Akony Bedo for a site for a clinic and/or school. Akony Bedo is ideal because it has a well, is centrally located and is relatively secure. In correspondence with Fr. George, a local Ugandan pastor it was decided that a 2,200 square foot building would be adequate for use by a native R.N. and a lab technician. The cost is anticipated to be about $50,000 US.
During Lent of 2012, Fr. Joseph address those in attendance at the weekly Sunday Pan-Orthodox vespers and a total of $6,500 was raised toward the clinic construction. Fr. Joseph has sent letters of diresct appeal to lawyers and other professionals in the area whom he knows and we now have app. $23,000 on hand. Every dollar raised goes directly toward the cost of construction. St. Philip parish pays for all costs of fund raising. When sufficient funds are in hand Fr. Joseph will go to Uganda to approve the final plans and to set up an account for the distribution of funds. Distribution will be under the control of Fr. Joseph
Please consider a tax deductible contribution toward the clinic. simply make your check payable to St. Philip Orthodox Church and indicate on the memo line that it is for the medical clinic. God bless you for your consideration of this appeal and to all those who have already sent their gift.
UGANDAN MEDICAL MISSION 2010
3 STORIES, 55 PHOTOS AND THE AUDIO OF A REPORT
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
UGANDAN MEDICAL MISSION TREATS 3,800 PATIENTS.
Fr. Joseph and parishioner Karlene Kunz, a professor of nursing, departed for Uganda on June 12. Arriving in Kampala, Uganda the next day, they joined seven others in forming a medical team to treat residents of northern Uganda. This area had been decimated by war and insurrection for the past twenty years. Now relatively secure, former residents are beginning to return and their medical needs are tremendous. Malaria is a scourge of this area and intestinal worms are pandemic. Working out of Gulu first and then moving to Lira, Uganda the team treated over 3,800 patients in nine rural clinics. The first day saw a new record for one day patient count when over 700 were examined and treated. The team pharmacy worked until 8:30 pm filling prescriptions by the light of a kerosene lantern.
HOLY UGANDAN PRIESTS LOVINGLY SERVE GOD'S PEOPLE
It was a most humbling experience to be in the presence of such holy men as the Ugandan priests that we worked with. They are truly "fathers" not only to their parishioners but to all in need in their areas. They try to provide for the people's temporal as well as spiritual needs. Though poorly paid, many of the priests take from their own pockets to help those most in need. No one in need is ever asked if they are Orthodox. Each is treated as the child of God that they are. All of this work is done with a smile and a joyful heart.
UGANDAN MISSION WAS A JOY, AN ADVENTURE
The people of northern Uganda were a great joy to be with. Despite their poverty they always insisted on feeding us lunch as a token of their appreciation. In one village, after Sunday Liturgy, we were entertained with native dances. Some of our members reciprocated by teaching the children to sing: "He's got the whole world in his hands." We brought jump ropes and balls for the children to play with.
THE THREE MISSION TEAM MEMBERS.
As part of the mission teams being sent throughout the world by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, three St. Philip parish members will travel to Africa in 2010. Jean Jolly will be teaching in Tanzania. Karlene Kunz and Fr. Joseph will be part of a medical mission to upper Uganda. This will be part of a parishwide outreach.
A LETTER FROM FR. JOSEPH ABOUT THE AFRICAN MISSION TEAMS
November 16, 2009
My purpose in writing this letter for you is to give voice to the “least of God’s children” who suffer terribly and because I need your help to help them. In June, God willing, I will be leading a medical team to
What am I going to be doing as leader of the team since I have no medical training? My job is to help get them there, look out for them while in-country, help secure medical supplies and medicine, and get them back safely. We will fly into
In the rural areas around Gulu where we will be working, there are few medical services available and no money for medicine. Some of the villagers own only the clothes that they are wearing. We are able to bring only small amounts of medicines into
We try not to be a burden to the people that we come to serve. The team members are therefore asked to cover their own costs which will be approximately $4,500 each. This includes airfare, visa, and shots including yellow fever and typhoid as well as the needed malaria prophylaxis. Some of the money will also be used to defer in-country transportation costs, costs of interpreters, the purchase of bottled water, medical supplies, etc. While the doctors can afford to pay for their costs, the nurses and medical students would find it difficult. Likewise the $20,000.00 for medicines that I mentioned is the minimum goal. The more money we raise the more medicines we can buy. What medicines we do not use while we are there we will leave with one of our trusted contacts for continued distribution.
We are a small parish and cannot meet these financial requirements alone. In addition to participating in this medical mission to
I have never asked anyone for money before and my parish has never held any form of fund raiser but we consider it an honor and a duty not just to ask but to beg on behalf of these, whose very lives depend on us. Some may ask “why not our own first?” These Ugandans, like all mankind, are “our own” for like us they were made in the “image and likeness of God.” I ask that you take the time to prayerfully decide how and to what extent you can help. If you want to talk more about this important project, please feel free to call me at the church. If I am not there it will ring through to my cell phone.
To give whatever is in your heart, please make checks payable to St. Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church. One hundred percent of all contributions will be used for these teams with all costs of raising the funds born by us. Checks can be mailed to the parish. We are, of course, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation and all contributions are tax deductible.
Thank you for your kind and generous consideration of this request on behalf of our brothers and sister who need so much. Please pray for all of us at St. Philip for without God’s grace we can do nothing.
God bless you,
UGANDA MEDICAL MISSION PLACED UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF
THE GREAT MARTYR AND HEALER ST. PANTELEIMON
Karlene Mary Kunz, R.N. and Fr. Joseph leave for Uganda.
On Wednesday, June 9 an Akathist to the best known of the unmercenary physicians, St Panteleimon was held at the parish. Well attended, this service placed the 2010 Ugandan Medical Mission under his patronage. The names of each of the short term missionaries were read and God was beseeched for their safety and for the success of this mission of mercy. At the conclusion of the service, all present were anointed with oil from the shrine of St. Panteleimon.
On Saturday, June 12 Karlene and Fr. Joseph will leave for Uganda. They will be part of an eight person medical mission to the people of northern Uganda. We pray for the mission's success and for the safe return of the missionaries.
In Fr. Joseph's absence Sunday Divine Liturgy at St. Philip will be celebrated by Fr. Stephen from St. Sava's in St. Petersburg and by Fr. Joseph McCartney, a new priest visiting his family in the area. Vespers will be as scheduled and lead by a reader. In an emergency please call the church and the call will be transferred to Matushka Jeanne.