Of all the places that God might have asked me to be His hands and feet in the construction and operation of medical facilities……….I don’t suppose that there are many that are more breath-taking than Kigazi. On days like the one that you can see in the photographs it is gob-smackingly beautiful. And I say that 7 years after I first visited and 4 years after we started the project to give God’s children access to healthcare, education and clean, safe water.

As in so many things……Kigazi’s beauty and tranquility is its Achilles heel. Top of a mountain, miles from anywhere, 25km from a hospital, no running water, no electricity, no importance in the government’s schedules – and no hope of change.

But God……

Almost exactly four years after we started the construction project, and just a month after we took responsibility for managing the facilities, it finally feels like our friends (God’s precious children) in this rural community are getting the care and services that they deserve.

In our first month of full operation we started ante-natal programmes with 12 mothers; completed ante-natal programmes with 11 women, delivered 4 babies safely (and in solar-powered light!); held 2 community outreaches; detected 2 individuals with TB; admitted 6 patients to the Hospital in the Hills (all safely released); carried out 2 school health visits (identifying a myriad of needs); and received 3 referrals of pregnant women from the Village Health Team.

We have set targets for all the staff, engaged the community in a meaningful way, introduced time-sheets for staff, and detected at least one life-threatening condition that can be treated. And we have done it because of our Health Services Manager Michael’s excellent work and because God LOVES the poor.

And of course we have identified more needs to better serve this community. The first is for a kitchen (or covered cooking area) where family members can prepare meals for their admitted relatives. We will soon need an additional pit latrine for patients. And we want to cultivate a vegetable garden from which we can feed children at our nursery. The school health visits uncovered a number of children with very bad eyesight that is caused by Vitamin D deficiency. There are very few green vegetables grown on the beautiful top of this mountain and it is seriously affecting the childrens’ health and their education.

And so we will plant vegetables with high Vitamin D content and make them available to our children at the nursery. And we will explain why we are doing so to children, parents and the community at large. And we will provide seeds. And we will do it all because this is what Jesus would do if He were alive in Kigazi today. Practical love. Meaningful love. God’s love.

And an amazing privilege.