When Crystal McPherson opened her e-mail on April Fool's Day and discovered she would be travelling to Uganda in Africa this July, she thought someone was trying to pull a fast one on her.
After applying to—and being rejected for—a mission trip opportunity with the Young Living Foundation based out of Utah, McPherson was a little down in the dumps.
But her spirits soared when she read that two spots were available for her and her husband, Patrick.
The McPhersons are Fort Frances natives but had been living in Kenora. They recently moved back here to raise money for their new adventure.
Although the trip is for a good cause, it comes with a high price tag. The couple needs $9,000 if they both want to head there come July.
Half of the money is needed by the end of April and the rest by the end of May.
As such, the couple is holding a spaghetti dinner in conjunction with Tess's Kitchen at the Church of the Holy Spirit on Saturday, May 27 from 4-6:30 p.m.
They also have a “Go Fund Me” page, where they already have raised $1,400.
In Kampala, the capital of Uganda, they will be working with three different organizations to help children and locals.
The one McPherson is most excited to work with is called “Sole Hope," which helps people who have "jiggers”—a flea that burrows deep into feet, making it difficult to walk.
She noted she is looking forward to seeing the children heal as they will be able to run around and play like they couldn't before.
“You see kids who are healthy other than the fact that they have these parasites in their feet,” McPherson noted.
“It is so simple to fix,” she added.
The two other organizations that will be joining them in Uganda are “Healing Faith," which deals with malaria education and prevention, and "African Hearts,” an organization that tries to get children into school and out of poor living situations in the Ugandan slums.
Patrick McPherson admitted he has a few anxieties about the trip, including the long flight there and numerous diseases the couple may come into contact with.
But overall, he is excited to “be part of a whole new experience.”
“It's not every day that you have the opportunity to go to a new country and see this stuff,” he reasoned.
Those interested in helping the McPhersons raise money for their trip can donate at www.gofundme.com or buy tickets at Northwoods Gallery & Gifts and Tess's Kitchen for the spaghetti dinner.
You also can contact Pam Edwards or Tania Cox.