Sunday, July 13, 2014

After an extra early start to another beautiful morning in Africa, the team set out to climb monkey mountain and watch the sunrise over the Ugandan horizon.  Although a little cloudy, we sat in awe of God’s creativity, as we watched the colors of the morning paint the African sky and we praised our King with united voices, as well as Grant’s fantastic guitar skills. Once all photos were taken, we headed back to Suubi House where a warm breakfast awaited us (the usual: delicious rollexs with fresh pineapple and banana). Kase then led us in our daily devotions, teaching us the importance of family and God’s intention for us to love others as He loved us.

We spent the morning working further on the house – which is now more than half done and looking fantestic, as Tiff would say! It’s always such a privilege to work with the Ugandan builders. We laugh together, share stories, they teach us a few phrases in Luganda and recently we even have majenga fights together.  It makes the work not really feel like work at all! It’s also really exciting to stop and think that these four walls will house eight orphans and a widow some day!

Once building and lunch were finished, 16 of us squished into the old bus and headed off with anticipation to visit the people in the Kikaramoja slums for the afternoon. I think we were all quite expectant to see how life really is there, and overwhelmed by what we saw. After splitting off into small groups of four (consisting of three team members and a translator, who were girls from the Village of Hope), we visited three homes and gave each home a small gift: a kilo of sugar and some laundry soap. Although they really appreciated this gift, we couldn’t help but feel like we wanted to give more.

During our visits to the three different houses, we were all touched, horrified and impacted in different ways. The desperation in the slums was heartbreaking. The kids were desperate for love, hanging off every part of us they possibly could, fighting for our attention. The mothers and grandmothers of the homes were so desperate to provide for their children with the little resources available to them. One grandmother was making necklaces from paper-beads, although her income didn’t cover the price she paid to buy the materials. Another mother had no food at all for her son, and still another had no milk to feed her newly born baby. Two of the three families had insufficient funds to send their children to school. One mother was so desperate that she even asked one of us to take her baby, to provide the baby with a better future. It’s bitterly distressing to see such desperation. And seeing the unbelievable suffering, we were desperate to help, yet felt helpless. There is so much need, so much suffering and so much desperation: it was hard to comprehend how they had so little when we were blessed with so much. A major realization to me was that the only thing separating me from the malnutritioned child before me was geography: I was born in Australia and she was born in the slums of Uganda. However helpless we felt, we prayed with each family and spoke words of encouragement over their lives and blessings over their homes. We prayed in faith, not in fear, for each child in that slum was born with a purpose and however shocking their circumstances were, I personally had to believe that God has not forsaken them.

We may not have been able to save the 10 thousand people living in the slums, but one thing that was really encouraging to reflect upon was the fact that 80 of those children have already been rescued from the slums. 80 of those beautiful children now live with a family in the Village of Hope and have better prospects for the future. God is always calling those who have much to help those who have little, and I pray and believe that God’s work in Uganda is far from over!! What a privilege it is to be a part of this work here in this beautiful place. - Anna

What a team???
Also, sorry for the extremely long post!  There are plenty of pics below...

Awesome builderers!!

One of about 50 funny face shots!

Lucky and her crew!!

2 very photogenic kids..

Tiff, in her element

giving gifts to the mothers in the slums..

Praying for the family


russ pemberton said...

So proud of what you are all doing. So encouraged.
Praying for the work. Keep up the good work.

Rachael Silvester said...

Great work, those gifts will mean so much to them and you all look so relaxed. keep it up, will be praying for the team :)

Johann said...

Always a tough day visiting Kikaramoja BUT you all are like a fresh wind blowing through the crap and bringing light even for a moment... I am sure that the prayers prayed and the seed sown will be nurtured by the Spirit... Team #16 you are awesome!