DURHAM – Premature babies and Chinese children were among recipients of work of a recent four-member mission team trip to Uganda.
Teri Broeker, Missouri Baptist Convention Preschool/Children/Student Missions/WMU representative; husband Kevin; and teenagers Kayla Moore, 16, and Tara Toops, 17, aided former Durham pastor and wife Josh and Kimbre Thrower who are SBC missionaries in Kampala, Uganda. The Broeker’s and Moore, 16, are Durham First members. Toops, 17, belongs to Southern Baptist Fellowship in Wayland.
“We led a Bible club at a Chinese church in Uganda, mainly for missionary kids and church members,” Broeker said. “I also spoke at a mother’s tea about the joy of being a mom.”
The team met Mama Tulia, who ministers to mothers of preemie babies, and gave preemie diapers, onesies, and blankets they brought from the U.S. to share with the mothers.
“It broke my heart. There were 96 babies in the small ward of an under-funded hospital, with three-to-four babies in each incubator.” Broeker said.
Broeker and the teens visited women in slums where Mama Tulia regularly ministers. They led a Bible study in her home; taught women how to make carrying bags from old t-shirts and crochet scrubbies from netting (which may be income sources for the women); and led Bible study for children, including over a dozen Chinese at the Muenga Baptist Church.
“I saw two women accept Jesus as Savior that Mama Tulia had discipled,” Broeker said, adding Mama Tulia began this ministry after losing one preemie and having another preemie live (now age four).
“I had two preemie granddaughters of my own, but what I have compared to them (in Uganda), breaks my heart,” she said.
“Some women are teens, one baby was conceived in rape. A lot of women don’t have mothers or family to teach them (motherhood). They lack good nutrition. The majority of the age population is 15-18 because many people died when AIDS was prevalent,” Broeker said.
One lady, Rose, when her father learned a baby was a preemie, abandoned her. The landlord pitched her possessions. Another woman brought Rose into her 5×8 foot home.
Both Toops and Moore were first-timers on a foreign mission trip.
“My favorite part was working with Mama Tulia. It was so sad to see the babies,” Toops said.
Toops said in one worship service, the pastor wrote his message in French, preached it in Swahili, and it was translated to English.
“It was different, but it was a great experience,” Moore said. “I wanted to go since we knew the Throwers. Part of me is helping people in need. It was great to do that with people of a different culture. It was fun to see the kids having fun at Bible school and showing those in the slums that you care.”
Toops was called to missions several years ago when her church participated in an associational ‘On Mission Celebration.’ The Uganda trip reinforced the call.
“It fired me up. I had a good conversation with International Mission Board missionaries, and it cleared my mind of which path to go. I see the need for long-term missionaries. I enjoyed the work we did and the missionary life of sharing the gospel and serving people.”
“I feel called to serve in missions, not necessarily as a missionary,” Moore said, adding she “definitely” wants another foreign mission trip.
Kevin Broeker worked on various wiring and building projects for the Throwers, who moved into a new compound where visiting teams will stay.
“Josh and Kimbre have such a busy life. Josh serves as a team leader, and they get the language and other materials they need. It is amazing the number of things they do. We joined them in their ministry to do what they do all the time. What we did, compared to their work, was just a little bit,” Teri said.