Much change in one year – a clinic, a school, a home
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the day Bethany Gregory left to help Dr. Scott and Carol Kellermann at their mobile medical clinic in Uganda.
For six weeks, Bethany wrote in her journal, detailing her experiences, which ranged from delivering a baby shortly before its death, dancing and singing with community members, praying for dying mothers, and diagnosing and treating tropical diseases.
Over the past two weeks, the pages of her journal from 2003 have been published on the front page of The Union.
Bethany’s words have brought a new level of attention in Nevada County to the Kellermanns’ work. Tonya Wellington, a member of the Penn Valley Community Church, said other members of the community have been asking how they can help the Kellermanns since the journal entries began running.
Wellington said her own children, who are 14 and 15 years old, are the perfect age to spend time at the Kellermanns’ clinic and, hopefully, will be able to make the trip to Uganda in October with a Penn Valley Community Church group.
Visitors to the Kellermanns’ camp in Uganda will find things have changed since Bethany’s departure. The Kellermanns have built a house to live in, and an actual clinic was constructed so patients no longer need to go to the giant ficus tree for treatment. This new clinic was named Lake Wildwood Clinic to commemorate the support the Kellermanns have received from Lake Wildwood residents, Wellington said.
More students have enrolled at the school Carol Kellermann was instrumental in founding – they can even boast of having the first Batwa to finish primary school. One of these two, Keneth Turyamubona, will be the first Batwa to attend high school and plans to study medicine.
Many more individuals from Nevada County, as well as other parts of the world, have also gone to help the Kellermanns. Volunteers come to perform a variety of duties ranging from medical aid to construction work.
The Kellermanns have also relied on the generous financial support from the Nevada County community to buy medicines and construction materials, and pay for the salaries and training of Ugandans as nurses at the clinic.
Two local churches – the Trinity Episcopal Church in Nevada City and the Penn Valley Community Church in Penn Valley – have been instrumental in helping organize both money and people to aid the Kellermanns and the Batwa.
In 2002, more than $55,000 was raised for the Kellermanns through Trinity Episcopal Church, said Laura Buckner, the church administrator. Buckner said Trinity serves as the “clearinghouse” for receiving donations from the county and around the world.
Sometimes the donations are a mystery, she said. “We received $1,200 from a man in Texas who said he was called to do it. We don’t have any clue why or how he found out about (the Kellermanns).”
The Penn Valley Community Church also receives donations and organizes groups of volunteers a few times each year to go to Uganda to help the Kellermanns.
Scott and Carol Kellermann are expected to return to Nevada County for a short visit in September to educate and fund-raise so that their missionary work with the Batwa can continue.
How to help
Trinity Episcopal Church, 201 Nevada St., Nevada City, CA 95959. Donations can be made in any amount to either fund:
– Pygmy Education Fund ” $200 will support a Batwa child for one school year.
– Uganda Fund ” Money used for construction costs, local staff salaries, and medical supplies.
Penn Valley Community Church, P.O. Box 360, Penn Valley
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