Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Nobody Ever Visits Me Out Here

Sometimes I struggle with the reality of helping you understand what normal life looks like here in Uganda.  For us it looks different than for the average Ugandan.  Over the past few days, I have taken four separate groups of students/disciples on specific mission trips.  The purpose of these trips was to take the things that we've been teaching all year and allow them (albeit sometimes awkwardly) to integrate into practical application.  In other words, we put into action the very things that we studied. I did this will Middle School and some High School over the past 3 or 4 days.  We did a lot of home visits of HIV infected mothers.  For our young people, it was a priceless lesson in how to overcome awkwardness and engage intentionally in loving and serving others.  It was exhausting, yet the things that I saw were absolutely stunning and so over many blogs I'm going to share those things with you now through pictures.  Today is about Betty.

 The lady here we will call Betty.  Betty has four children and lives in the swamp.  She is HIV positive and (for reasons that you will see in a minute) she never has guests.  When it rains, she is very afraid because the water comes up to half of her door way.  When the swamp surges, it washes the garbage over that small wall you see above onto her property and into her home.  This place is a breeding ground for disease and infection.  There is always standing water in her home.  "I can't believe that you came out here to see one ever comes to see me!", said Betty with a look of shock on her face.  She asked, "why have you come here?"  "Oli Wa Mugaso Ngo.", I replied without hesitation.....translation:  you are very important.  I had 7 students with me and the house wouldn't hold all of us, but she demanded that we come in feel welcomed.  As we did, any awkwardness from our students began to melt away.  Our students went around and introduced themselves and told Betty how welcome they felt in her home.  They then sang songs to her, talked to her about her stories and countless struggles and concluded by praying over her and giving her rice, posho, beans, etc.  6th graders led this and I watched as their passion to love and serve came alive.  It was very hard to get there.  The pictures below show the 100 meters that we crossed on rocks due to the flood waters.  They did it and they did it with smiles on their faces.  To see these young men and women in action, serving God when it wasn't easy, was beautiful.

We carried a heavy tote full of goods to Betty's house through 100 meters of this.  Betty had to put down rocks in her house so that we could step in to her home.  It was humbling to see this woman who is clearly not well, working so hard to get us a place in her very small home.
Betty lives where she lives because she has nothing.  When I say nothing, she literally has the things that we gave her to eat the day we arrived.  She cried as she told us a painful story. When HIV enters the picture often times the women are left to take care of themselves and their children.  Apart from Christ, it is a bleak situation.  Not this day, however.  There was rejoicing in this house over a simple 30 minute visit that Betty declared was a God ordained appointment.  I've never seen anything so difficult and glorious all at one time.  I'm so grateful to have been able to watch these students be intentional and go the distance.  My prayer is that God will allow me to watch them continue to grow in their relationship with Him and watch it impact the globe for His glory.
The following are our 6th graders blessing this home and those that were in it.  One of my favorite parts was that there were younger children outside watching.  When our kids started praying, they covered their faces and prayed along with us out loud. Thank You Jesus for taking hold of all of these hearts and for allowing me to be a part of this.  YOU ARE SO GOOD!

1 comment:

  1. Amazing. And beautiful, heartbreaking, eye-opening. Thank you for the pictures and words which I'm sure cannot begin to convey all you have experienced through this, but give us a glimpse, at least, into your ministry. Keep it up and may the Lord bless and anoint you!