Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our time in Uganda has been unbelievable! It is hard to believe that we only have a few days left. Our days have been packed and our hearts have been broken over and over again. The pervasive sickness and lack of basic resources are overwhelming. I am still not sure I have adequate words to describe all we have seen. I anticipate it will take a while to fully process all I have experienced here.

We have been in Jinja since Wednesday night to stay at Canaan’s Children’s Home. Currently, approximately 120 children (ages 3-18) live here. Many hours of our day is spent with the children when they are not in school. These two 11 year olds “claimed” me the minute I stepped off the bus on Wednesday night. At least one, if not both, are by my side every chance they get. It has been a joy to share Bible stories with them, play games, and just sit with them.

Claire and constant companions. Goodbyes on Tuesday will be hard!

Our residence at Canaan's (with a clinic on the ground floor)

 On Thursday we visited the school where the children (and many others from the village) attend. In the afternoon, we went to Amani Baby Cottage and held and played with babies and young children. Many of them have been abandoned and are sick, some with HIV. It was hard to put my little guy down when we had to leave!

On Friday, we worked with a church based ministry called Home Again. This ministry focuses on widows and children from the Karamajong tribe. They are truly the “very least of these” in this culture. Many of the women are widowed due to AIDS and suffer from AIDS.

We split into four groups and visited with them in an extremely impoverished area. I had the privilege of sharing scripture and speaking with over 50 of them and leading them in sharing testimonies and prayer requests. God is at work in many of their lives! Afterwards, we purchased Ugandan beads they had handcrafted. Again, my mind and heart has not had time to completely process the struggle and physical destitution they live with on a daily basis.

Today (Saturday) we walked to Amazima. This ministry (through a sponsorship program) educates hundreds of children each week, helps provide medical care, and has a Bible study and feeding program on Saturday. We arrived at 10 and played with the children and helped prepare lunch for over 300 children. I worked in the cooking area with two women who work with Katie Davis. We chopped onions, stirred rice, and “cleaned” and cooked chicken. What an experience and blessing to spend time with these young women and to hear their stories! I was also able to talk with Katie for a short time. God is really using this ministry to share the gospel with the children!

Tomorrow our team will split between two churches. My group will travel into Jinja and teach the children and teens. I am excited to support a young woman, Lydia, who will teach the lessson. It was fun to see her eyes light up when I asked if she would like to teach them! I know she will do great!  In the afternoon, the children will sing for us and we will present the leaders with all of our gifts for Canaans.

Each day is very long but full in a good way. The Lord has provided everything we have needed for each situation. However, to be completely honest, it is very difficult not to be overloaded by the conditions most in this area live in. We are all very tired, but praying to finish strong with the children and ministries we are working with.

Pray for us as we continue to try to share the love and message of Christ, that God will protect our health (only one has had to go to the clinic), and that He will guide us in all that we do!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lori, What an incredible trip. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to see the conditions the people live in. I am thankful that you and your team are there to share the Gospel and just to show God's love and concern for these people. I also know that the people and children there are impacting you and your team as well. I know that God will honor your time there. I am praying for God's guidance and for everyone's health. God bless, Vicky Parrott