Every day our blessings are like the termite hills that we see everywhere on our travels. They grow bigger and bigger and just as you think your heart cannot hold more your heart expands with love and grace proving the heart always has room for more.
Our day started with a vibrant joyful church service where the Lord was praised in words , in song, in dance, and in arms spread out reaching out to Him. Five people gave testimonials with 3 of them being from our sessions. They shared how they were already spreading what they had learned - already becoming Ugandan Eve Educators in their communities. One said that he felt what he had heard was a miracle for him. We are humbled by what we hear knowing that this is God’s message to them, our team are just the conduits. They asked us to share with you at home their love and care for all of you.
One song in particular was sung in Lugano but my heart understood every word that was said. Pastor Michael spoke words of encouragement to young and old, something that is so needed here and welcomed with open arms and hearts. Faith is so strong in this church congregation and cannot be waged even with the many challenges that are faced every day. Pastor challenged all to give 2 to 3 students that were present in the church a message of hope and encouragement modelling how to build esteem. Debbie D spoke so eloquently about our work here and Angela uplifted us all with her message of hope and challenge to stand up for justice.
At the end of the service we were swept away by a river of love as both children and adults embraced us and thanked us again, so humbling when we had received such priceless gifts of love from them.
Lunch was a traditional Ugandan meal of chicken and vegetables cooked in smoked banana leaves. Did you know that you can cook a whole chicken or even a goat in banana leaves? We were delighted that Juliet (pastor Michael’s wife) joined us and shared her story. There were 3 words that carried her and gave her strength “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” From the book of Jeremiah.
The latter part of the afternoon was spend doing care and compassion home visits.
One visit was to Christopher. Him and his wife provide a home to his family of four adults, 3 children and a baby. There home is a space of 20ft by about 16ft, dirt floor and 2 covered outdoor areas. When we arrived we interrupted a meeting of a neighbours savings group- families meeting to improve their lives this in an area. Christopher and his wife brought in Justine, a little 8 year old they found abandoned by her mother. This family having so little still opened their heart to her, providing a safe place. Christopher asked us to pray that they do better in life and for health.
Our last visit was to Slivia, an elderly lady living on the edge of a field that she tends and grows vegetables in, habituating in structure she has built for herself. She is all alone with no family in her life but a neighbour, Anna Maria, also aged who keeps an eye on her. Slivia was married many years ago but she was “barren” and because of this her husband beat her and burnt her and threatened to end her life. So she fled in fear for her life and returned to Mpigi to a plot of land owned by her father. Today she was overwhelmed with joy she said because of all the people on the street we had chosen to visit and bless her with gifts from the church. She asked us to pray for a house for her and her health as her body is in pain.
For the three families we visited today we worked with Peace Portal Church to provide food staples for a month and some comfort items for the family.
We have just finished debriefing and I am left with a mixture of joy and sorrow, hope and sadness. I realize that these are often such close companions in life.
In the continuous flow of blessings from our experiences today I pray may our hearts continue to find meaning and rest.
Blessings to all of you