But, in the end, the answer was yes. She wanted to go. Without any reluctance or resistance. And the children wanted to go as well. Maybe they didn't share the same concerns. Responsibilities. Obligation. The expenses involved for five people. Or maybe just the thought of a completely different environment ... an extreme cross cultural environment. But she and the children had none of those.
But, in the end, the answer was yes.
Brian finally agreed that it would be a family adventure. He, his wife, Maren, and their three children, two sons, age 22 and 12, and a daughter, age 16, made the 10,000 mile trip around the world. They spent 12 days in Uganda, East Africa.
|Dr. Brian Snyders examining students|
The Snyders family will never be the same. The 12 days they spent in Uganda resulted in their lives being changed forever. They saw things, experienced things, thought about things, and considered things they had never done before. And they are changed.
The change in them was not isolated. Like dominoes standing on end and colliding with each other, event after events have fallen in a symmetrical pattern because of that small yes.
|Maren dispenses medication in Jinja slum|
But, all it took was an encounter with little William and his grandmother to change all of that! He was a small, two year old boy who needed serious medical attention. The best surgeons available in Jinja discovered a pathological fracture in his left tibia and conducted a surgery which removed the the dead bone. Unfortunately, they did not irrigate the leg with antibiotic and a nasty and chronic infection continued. William had surgery yesterday on the same leg at the International Hospital Kampala with the best orthopedic surgeon in Uganda, Dr. Muballe.
|Penina & David with their mothers at IHK|
Brian and Maren lost their last born son to cancer not long ago. He was just 19 months old. The pain of that loss and the faith they have in Jesus Christ intensified the love they have for children and their medical challenges. They suggested that they work with Next Generation Ministries in doing something about those two lame children, Penina and David, from Fountain of Hope Primary School, along with William.
|Pediatric Ward the day after Penina & David's surgeries|
He discovered that David had his left leg amputated after a doctor suggested if it wasn't, the deformity on it would turn into cancer. Unlikely. Finally, Dr. Muballe discovered that Penina had broken her leg back in November of last year, but due to a severe lack of finances her single mother had, nothing was done. A pin would have to be inserted in both parts of the broken bone and screws attached to it.
All of these procedures have been done since the Synders returned to Idaho. All because someone living a busy and comfortable life in the paradise of Idaho decided to give God a simple yes and come to a suffering third world nation.
Hope. Something in short supply here in Uganda. Poverty, disease, witchcraft, corruption, polygamy, and fragmented families are but a few of the contributors to a lack of hope. But, hope can come in all shapes and sizes. Some people may discount the impact of short term missions like the one to which Brian and Maren said yes. Try and convince Penina, David, and their mothers and families. Try to convince William's grandmother. It's pretty difficult to put a price tag on HOPE. Thanks for saying "yes" and bringing hope to many here in Uganda.
More specific details and photos of the medical journeys of all three children are available at Next Generation Ministries Facebook page.