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Harrison City parishioners prepare for two upcoming Uganda trips

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:02 p.m.
(c) 2012 Aaron Loughner
Kendra Simpson prepares fries to go during a fish fry fundraiser at Community United Methodist Church in Harrison City on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. The church is raising funds for two mission trips to Uganda in 2013. The chuch served fish lunches and dinners towards this goal. There are three others planned in the upcoming months. Aaron Loughner | For The Penn Trafford Star
(c) 2012 Aaron Loughner
Volunteer Julie Smith fills an order 'to go.' The Community United Methodist Church in Harrison City is raising funds for two mission trips to Uganda in 2013. Last Friday the chuch served fish lunches and dinners towards this goal. There are three others planned in the upcoming months. Aaron Loughner | For The Penn Trafford Star

A team of parishioners from the Community United Methodist Church is preparing for two mission trips to Uganda next year to continue the work they started in the African nation in 2009.

Since church members began their biennial trips through the McKeesport-based Uganda Christian Solutions, they've contributed to the construction of a church and a school.

A trip that's scheduled for January will have about 15 people from Southwestern Pennsylvania focusing on continuing improvements to the new buildings, including the installation of a sound system at Mt. Olives United Methodist Church in Mukono.

Another trip in March will concentrate on medical needs, including health exams, wound care, child immunizations and instruction on good hygiene.

The missionaries partner with doctors in Uganda to provide care, said Jeanine Rasky, who will make her third trip to the country in January.

“We're not taking western technology to them,” she said. “We are meeting them where their needs are. We listen to their needs.”

Team members began holding monthly fish frys at the Harrison City church last week to help raise the estimated $3,500-per-person price for airfare, food and expenses related to the project. Fish lunches and dinners also will be served on the first Fridays of November, December and January from noon to 7 p.m.

In just a few years, the team has watched as the church members there moved from a thatched hut to a brick building that features a congregation of more than 100 people. The school in Banga, which still needs a cement floor, has five classrooms.

“Their priorities are their faith, their family and survival, in that order,” Rasky said. “It's amazing.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8671 or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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