March 3rd, 2017 by Stephanie Peace

Prior to spending this month in Uganda, I knew that I wanted to return to work in Africa after completing my medical training, as this has been a call on my heart for many years already. This experience was both a reaffirmation of my calling to serve the world’s poorest people and a recommitment to that calling. Upon arriving at Kiwoko Hospital, I felt committed to working with underserved patients but had increasing doubts about my calling to do so internationally. I felt afraid that I would leave Uganda feeling unequipped to serve in a challenging place like this or feeling that my desire to be here, where just living life is more challenging, would have been dampened by years living in relative comfort in the U.S. What happened instead was a complete affirmation that my heart is in Africa. I feel more complete and more faithful here, knowing that this is what God has called me to do. The things that on the surface are challenging here end up drawing me closer to God’s own heart. For example, less access to internet frees up time for me to spend in worship and in relationship with people. Using a pit latrine, taking bucket showers, and being extremely careful about food waste because of the food and water shortages that surround me force me to be more environmentally conscious (in the U.S. it’s more difficult, as the effects of my wastefulness are not as immediately visible). As a result, I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity and look forward to the plans that God has to bring me back to serve the world’s poorest patients.