Senior Taylor Hargrave travels to Uganda on a mission trip to spread joy and hope
Her hazel eyes were widely open as she stepped off the bus she had been crammed in for the past five hours. Her feet planted on the red dirt as she could see how different this was from the home she once recognized. Arua, Uganda was a completely foreign world to Senior Taylor Hargrave who traveled halfway across the world to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the villagers.
Hargrave was first introduced to the opportunity to experience a new perspective on the impact of ministry by her best friend, her mom. Together they went with a group called His Healing Hands which is an organization run through First Baptist Church.
On July 27, 2016 she drove down to the LAX airport with the group to get on a strenuous 16 hour long flight filled with packets of peanuts and iced cold CoCa-Cola to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). In Dubai, Hargrave experienced the different culture and the lavish wealth there, which became a huge contrast to what she was about to see in Arua. The next day she hopped on another plane for another five hours to Entebbe, Uganda and from Entebbe she went on a five hour bus to Arua, which was here home for the next 11 days.
“People were touching my skin because we were the only white people it was cool but weird because I felt like everyone was staring at me. But it was exciting at the same time because the little kids were excited to see me.”
She was eager to interact with the people on a personal level and to be able to “Go into all the world and
preach the gospel to all creation,” as said in the Book of Matthew.
“When the little kids see white skin they think gifts, happiness, love and Jesus”
While Hargrave was there she spent most of her time in the pharmacy. Learning how to make prescriptions and fill them.
There were people lined up and camped out overnight in order to get medical care due to their sicknesses and she filled prescriptions for things all the way from cough linctus to malaria medicine.
“I had to learn all the conversions, and I was the only American doing it. I had to work with the Ugandan people, and their medicine conversions are different so I had to be trained into it”.
Hargrave also helped with the eyeglasses booth by holding up signs to test people’s vision.
Hargrave spent her 17th birthday surrounded by what has become one of the most important memories of her life. The celebration that occurred consisted of letters and gifts from her new Ugandan friends and a whole village swinging their arms in the air as they sing her happy birthday.
“I spent my birthday there and this girl named Faith gave me her jersey and I am guessing that she only has one or two other shirts” Hargrave said.
The compassion Hargrave witnessed while she was there was not only unforgettable, but it had an impact on her everyday life.
“I am definitely way more grateful for what I have and we are so fortunate and we always say that but to actually see the starving kids in Africa changes your perspective” said Hargrave.
Hargrave wants to continue to go mission trips and give back through her ministries.
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