Thursday, May 27, 2010

So as my time in Uganda comes to an end I sit back and ponder on the things that have been accomplished. I have spent many of the last 90+ days with the Ugandan people. I have been pouring myself into them as if they were in my everyday life, but at the end of the day, I am going back home. So what is it that they gain from my “pouring”? What do I gain? What has the Lord gained?

My heart fills up when I think of the memories I have made here in the past couple months, adding them to the many memories made in the years prior. There is a very special place in my heart for these people and I am thankful that I can call this place my home away from home. The sincerity of these people keeps me humble and anxious to return.

The inconveniences of life back in the states are not that of the inconveniences in Uganda…

Our power goes out or we blow a fuse causing the outlet in the bathroom to be out of order until an electrician can come and fix it for $200; any source of light or electricity in Uganda is like gold.

The local grocery store is out of stock of Tillamook cheese and you have to settle for the generic brand, or you don’t settle and you drive 20 min to another grocery store; Uganda doesn’t eat cheese, you can get it but it is about $20+ a block and no Ugandan will justify 40,000 USHS for any food.

We see temper tantrums all the time because kids aren’t getting the next best toy that they think they deserve; a typical Ugandan kid is perfectly happy dragging a jerry can around all day, laughing as it hits the rocks and potholes causing the jerry can to lose control and flop around like a fish out of water.

Camping in the states a couple times a year brings out the ever-so-evil mosquitoes that we fight off with candles and spray; every night in Uganda people suffer from mosquito bites, many people can’t even afford nets for their beds at night; Malaria carried from these mosquitoes is the number one cause of death in this country.

I am not telling you these stories to make you think twice about the lavish life we live in America. I am telling you these stories because this is why I love it here. Every day is a gift and you never know what you are going to see, hear, smell, taste. These people have nothing yet they strive everyday to be better people. The simple good morning hugs followed by the life stories and overbearing laughs over a cup of African tea; it’s these times that we all look forward to so much here. Just like in the states, everyone here has a story; some bring tears, some joy, some confusion…but everyone has a story. I have had the privilege this past couple months to hear and witness hundreds of stories. These stories are hidden deep in my heart and they have helped me in developing life long relationships with the people of Uganda. God has a plan for each and every person with a story. It is amazing to see the hearts of these people and their love and devotion to God. Despite what life looks like to me as I walk the streets of Uganda; life is okay here even though the problems, poverty and pain is endless.

We here at Christopher house have the opportunity to bring more life into this community. We have these kid’s lives in our hands 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. The training that takes place within our walls could be the only quality training these kids ever get. We have been given the opportunity to go into the schools and teach, this in and of itself is huge. For the educations system to be shown what it means to be a quality teacher, what discipline should look like, what interaction looks like, what trial and error looks like. We encourage character development, we encourage kids to ask questions, we encourage kids to think outside the box…all of which is foreign in these school systems.

Because of this training; over 1300 kids are studying, learning, growing, developing motor skill, social skills, dancing, singing, playing futbal, painting, sculpting, playing instruments, playing netball, reading, writing, learning English, acting, drawing and much more. We are trying to instill good manners, habits, morals and values. We talk openly about what it means to love, share, grow, be kind, stand up for yourself, laugh, eat right, abstain from sex, befriend the opposite sex, share emotions…the list goes on.

Our work here has just begun. It has been a blessing to be a part of this organization and I hope to return on the Lord’s clock. My time here has come to an end once again and I am so thankful to have spent the last 3 months with these people, these children, God’s people, God’s children. I pray that He has been glorified and I will continue to pray that He is glorified with this ministry as they pour their love and lives into this community of many, many people that need to experience true love.

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