Sunday, August 05, 2012

Uganda 2012... Day 5

Day 5... Sunday in the Village
We hit the ground running again today.  After a last second load by the computer to get the blog posted, we had just enough time to run the laptop back upstairs before piling in the bus headed for church, Ugandan style!  I feel so old when it comes to pictures and blogging.  My camera is a bulky one and my internet  is a 14” laptop, the ones I am traveling with carry both in the size of a deck of cards called the Iphone.  I haven’t even had time to check facebook and for some reason I’m locked out of my email account so by the time I get pictures transferred over, cropped and resized, uploaded to the blog and inserted in text written in the wee hours of the night before, well I’m sure this is a boring “that was so 12 hours ago” account.  On the other hand, I believe I get to spend much more time relishing the memories of the day by the more labored recording.  So, onward.
Janet, now a dear friend from Kakira, greeted me as soon as we got out of the van chased by children yelling Muzungu.  It was such a sweet reunion.  We are sisters, living continents apart, but tied together by our love for Jesus and a petite child named Olivia.  I searched for Olivia right away, but she had been sent to get her mother from a village quite a ways away so that we could meet her. You can bet through both services I was glancing over my shoulder hoping I would see her come in. 
CBC has a new building, above ground built of bricks and much larger than the previous basement that was dug in the ground, by hand and wheelbarrowed out years ago.  That dirt floor basement is now used as a separate room for the children’s ministry.  The windows are openings without glass, but the cool breeze was such a relief from the stifling heat from 2010.  The service opened with energy and enthusiasm and praising  in song. They are just as demonstrative in their worship as I remember and the children just as delightfully clinging very close.  Pastor Scott preached a message of 3 points.  There is one gospel, Jesus.  There is one purpose, giving of ourselves…for the life of me I cannot remember the 3rd and  I’d like to please blame the children for sitting on my lap and distracting me with their fascination of all things Muzungu!  My bible was held tightly by one, my glasses were shared by another.  Olivia has a sister Jesca who has also been taken in by Janet.  She sang in the youth choir then came and met us.  The girl who was shy as can be the one time I was able to call, was equally shy in person. Like her sister, she has a beautiful smile. 
We were introduced and asked to say just a few words about ourselves.  Tomorrow we begin all three conferences.  We were all convinced today that there will be A LOT of children.  I am so praying that we will not run out of craft supplies, having only prepared for 500.  That sounds crazy, I know, but man the numbers of them… Rogers, the oldest of the Compassion boys, came all the way from town to the village to have church with us.  It was such an effort and so sweet.  He wore the suit he bought with his Christmas gift we sent him and his mother sent a plaque that had been hanging in their home with John 3:16 burned into the wood. 
The rest of the team left the village after church for lunch while the 3 Plums stayed and went with Janet to see the home where they live. It is 2 rooms, an upgrade from just one, when the girls came to live with them.  Each room is about 10 x 10.  One serves as the living area, cooking outside on the porch.  The other is a bedroom for all 5.  One set of bunkbeds.  The top for Edrine, a son.  The bottom single sleeps Jesca and Olivia and a bed each for Sharon, a cousin and for Janet.  Clothes piled to fit in corners.  Janet showed me the marks for each girl’s last school term.  I still hadn’t seen Olivia and I was very anxious.  We walked through the market which is only on Sundays.  Several blocks look like a flea market, and we were able to purchase some fabric.  We headed to a small meadow kind of area where rustic tables and chairs were set up for us under a tree.  Janet had hired a friend to prepare a feast for us.  Two kinds of chicken, some beef, rice, pasta, potatoes, nut stew, poshe and pineapple.  It was delicious and so much food.  A banquet that began just after Olivia finally arrived. 
 I cannot tell you how I felt when we exchanged hugs after 2 years of thinking about this sweet girl nearly every day.  I cannot, because its just a heart thing.  Somethings are better left felt, without the depreciation of a description.
  I love her so.  She is as beautiful as ever, and so so grateful for the help we have been able to provide.  She moved her chair so close, that our stackable chairs were nearly stacked while we were still seated in them. She spent the rest of the day by my side, arms linked with hers, head on my shoulder.  She signs her name in school Abbo Olivia Jodi, taking my name as her mother.  I met her mother,and felt funny about the great show of affection towards me in her own mother's presence and our language barrier accompanied with her reserved nature made the meeting seem a bit awkward.  Jesca and Olivia’s father died several years ago and her mother “went with” a different husband, this is when the girls were pushed to the side, or outcasts in their own families.  Two more children have come and the new man is gone now to be with another woman.  It is very difficult for the mother, 2 children at home, no income, farming a very small plot for their food.  I understand better now why she was willing to let the girls go to Janet’s home.   This is a very common scenario and contributes a great deal to the struggles of families in Uganda.

We walked for a while waiting for the team to return and then broke up into teams of 3 and 4 to go visit some of the most desperate families.  We went into a small room with an aging sick woman.  Blind, with pain in her legs and back.  She is a believer but has been having visions or senses that there is something dark or evil in her home wanting her to die.  So we prayed for her.  It’s the most we could do. We headed out to several other homes, but the residents were out.  Dann however discovered his secret weapon with the children and we walked through different small gatherings of darlings.  He lets them touch his hair! They are fascinated by the white.  Its not blond, its not brown…its silver-white and they love it!   He was also teaching them some pretty awesome dance moves that have until toda,y been reserved for the most special occasions like family dance parties and Ryan’s wedding.  Uganda will never be the same and the kids mimicked his every move with huge smiles.  They now think Americans are still stuck in disco fever if that tells you anything.  I love him.
Dann and Kristen have been asleep for hours, I need to get some myself.  Our day in Kakira went from 9am to 8:30 tonight and we haven’t yet begun the official work we planned, teaching.  But tomorrow will come and we will do our best with what God has given us both in talent and treasure.  Please pray that those who come will either meet Jesus, give their lives to Him or find a deeper understanding of his word.  It’s the best part of life... its the giving and serving and loving... the very best part.

No comments: