Our time in Africa was divided up between house visits in rural villages, ministering at Nyenga Christian Church and School, and finally partnering with an amazing organization/ministry in Uganda called Sole Hope. Sole Hope is an incredible organization that gives medical relief to men and women and children of all ages who are affected by a skin-burrowing parasite called a jigger. These jiggers live on the ground and can enter into the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, and even spread to other parts of the body. Once a jigger has burrowed into the skin of its host it lays its eggs and multiplies which can cause paralysis, festering open sores, and disease—and in worst cases amputation is needed. Once a week, Sole Hope gathers its team and they make their trek into areas infested with jiggers to give medical aide and relief as well as go over ways to prevent jiggers.
Once we were at our location site our team learned that jiggers become a huge problem in these areas of Jinja because hospitals and clinics will not treat patients with jiggers. This lack of medical assistance is all based on the belief that jiggers are not a bug but a curse from local witch doctors and in turn people are left with no help and no relief. That is until Sole Hope stepped in. Sole Hope is constantly breaking down superstitions and walls of disbelief and offering people hope through medical aide and the love of God through their actions, words, and consistent presence. Sole Hope is continually conquering the challenge of fighting jiggers and offering more than just a pair of shoes to the precious people of Jinja.
Thursday started out with our team in Jinja and a tour of Sole Hope’s Guest House. We got to see first hand where the shoes are tailored and completed for the people of Uganda. So many times we see causes and organizations being promoted in America that you begin to wonder what the process looks like and is your contribution going to people in need. With Sole Hope any doubt was dismissed as we saw the transparency of their organization and the deep passion they have to bring change and healing to Uganda. From start to finish our team got an up close and personal view of how the shoes are made, the supplies needed to make the shoes, the people’s lives impacted by Sole Hope, and the entire jigger removal process and prevention.