Rick Gregory, Writer

Translating Messages From Heads To Hearts

We were in Uganda for 6 weeks this past summer, not with any particular agency. About 3 or 4 years ago, we really started getting restless, wondering what the last half of our work life would (or maybe should) look like.�We both�felt like we had tasted what America calls “success,” and found it lacking. Part of what I wanted to do was be strategic about preparing for the transition if there was to be one. I began by going back to Junior College to get all my general ed classes finished, with the ultimate goal of transferring to Cal Poly for animal husbandry. (Sherry and I ran away at 18 to get married and I never went to college). Sherry had also gone back to school and graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2003 with a degree in Criminal/Social Justice. As I went to Orange Coast College for my GE classes, she went to Golden West College�and started knocking out all the pre-reqs for Nursing school. Our thought was that she could work as a Nurse and I could do some development projects with animals wherever we ended up.

Then 2 years ago, our daughter-in-law Bethany (married to our youngest son, Daniel) spent her Inter-Cultural Studies internship (from Biola) with Dr. Scott Kellermann, who founded a hospital for the pygmies (www.pygmies.net) at the entrance to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in SW Uganda. The Forest borders Rwanda and the Congo, so it is at the very southwest corner of the country. If you remember the movie “Gorillas In the Mist,” that is the very forest and those pygmies are the very ones to whom Dr. Kellermann is ministering. After Bethany got back and recounted some of the stories of her internship, Sherry and I were moved to write Dr. Kellerman and ask if he could use 2 fifty-year-olds with no medical training. He wrote back and said, “just come!” So that’s what we did! While there, God confirmed for both of us that this was His plan all along and that we were to return there as quickly as was practical for us to do so. It seemed that all our training was a precise fit for the situation there in Bwindi and He had really knit our hearts with Scott and Carol Kellermann and several of the local pastors and church leaders.

Once we’re done with our formal training, I’m not sure what organization we will go through. Our church, Grace Brethren of Long Beach is in the process of evaluating whether they will send us out as formal missionaries. We have just begun that process, so don’t know what the outcome will be. We have another year or so to get it all figured out.