REDWOOD CITY (KPIX 5) -- A Peninsula woman known as "Mama Becky" is doing more than she imagined possible serving poor villages in Uganda for the last 13 years.
Becky Miller wanted to share Bible stories during a church missions trip to Uganda in 2006, but there was a problem:
"Whenever we were in the poor villages, no one had a book or picture," Miller observed.
So the retired Redwood City teacher and realtor co-founded Imagine Acts Ministry.
Since 2007, she's raised money to print and give away thousands of Bible storybooks illustrated by a Ugandan artist.
"I just was touched by their poverty and by their need," Miller said.
Imagine Acts Ministry has raised more than $880,000 and expanded its reach.
It built an outpatient clinic in 2014 co-founded by Dan SSempanyi, a doctor the nonprofit had helped put through medical school.
"So we call her Mama Becky, just because of her love." said Ssempanyi, also known as Dr. Dan for short.
Shalom Medical Clinic in the poor village of Kimunda serves about 50 people a week. Mama Becky insists the clinic minister to the whole person.
"Many of them come to the clinic hungry, she wants to see them fed," said Dr. Dan.
Bay Area donations recently fed 400 families starving during Uganda's COVID-19 lockdown.
"People lost jobs, they can't feed their children," he said.
Near the clinic, Miller also oversees construction of a new 10,000-square foot hospital in southern Uganda near the Tanzania border.
A well is already built, and coming soon, an emergency room, delivery room and surgical center.
"Dr. Dan told me this morning he'd done a surgery on someone's shoulder and he has a single light bulb and a single bed," said Miller, pointing out the great need for the surgical center.
Clinic co-founder Dr. Namutebi Roy, also known as Dr. Roy, says whatever Mama Becky does, she shows love in action.
"You have someone at the back of you saying, 'Yes, you can do this, your best.' So she helped me to boost up all my energies to serve people with love and care," said Dr.Roy.
And the nonprofit's supporters, like Janet McGovern, marvel how one missions trip gave Miller a new life mission:
"To come back, having seen such a need there, and have her life basically take a U-turn, it's just an inspiration," said McGovern.
"It's truly a dream come true, it's a vision that's become a reality," smiled Miller.
So for serving Uganda's poor through Imagine Acts Ministry, this Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Becky Miller.
for more features.