Friday, July 17, 2009

A young woman who does a missions trip every summer

An article in today's Naperville Sun introduces us to a young volunteer who goes to on a mission trip every year, and plans to do more. In the past, Allie Griffin has gone to help victims of Hurricane Katrina and worked at a Native American Reservation. After watching a documentary about the war in Uganda, she began to look for a trip to Africa.

From this story from reporter Angela Bender, we are introduced to Griffin and her mission trip for this summer.

The trip took Griffin to Kampala, Uganda, with about 20 other volunteers from the United States and Canada ranging in age from 18 to 70. For two weeks, the missionaries provided medical clinics and worked in orphanages. Afterward, Griffin didn't think twice about signing up to go on another trip this summer.

This year the trip took place in June. After two days of travel to get to Africa, the missionaries stayed in a guesthouse with "running water, a nice bed and good cooking," but were put right to work.

This year Griffin did triage at medical clinics -- taking blood pressure, temperatures and working with sick children, as well as adults. The clinics run all day, with many people coming to see a doctor even if they are not sick, just because they have the opportunity to do so.

"It's exhausting," Griffin said. "And the line just gets longer and longer. When you come home every day, you need to take a shower and go to sleep. It's a good feeling though."

Griffin has seen how people in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the United States live, but still was not prepared for some of what she witnessed in Africa. With no bathrooms or electricity, but plenty of bugs and stench, Griffin couldn't believe some of the conditions in Kampala.

"The city is more of a slum and that is really sad," Griffin said. "It takes your breath away."

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