Thursday, June 28, 2018

Uganda, June 2018: Casey's View

A sadness came over many of us this morning, knowing it was the last day we had to spend with the children

here in Uganda…but such a joy too, anticipating a visit to the orphans and community of the school we call Pearl, located in Nanjeho, on the Kenya border.  Pastor Hummer’s son Derrick runs the school with high energy and seems a friend to all.

The day unfolds.  We arrive to crazy cheering, singing, and dancing of small children in their fresh clean uniforms.  They ushered us from our beat-up but loved van and sat us under a large tent.  Small groups of children passed by our tables performing skits, reciting biblical passages, singing, and showing us some fantastically expressive dance moves.

Then down to business.  We broke into the usual eye-glass team and a team designated to play games with the children.  The glasses team tested about 50 teachers and local adults and gave out reading glasses, double-testing our “patients” by having them read from Romans 10:9.  The group hanging with the kids brought out 5 soccer “footballs”...but being the conniving Americans we were, 200 kids also got exposure to one strangely shaped ball we called an “American" football.  

Lunch was eye-opening.  Local foods of all sorts came out from the darkness of mud huts and were placed at our table under the shade of a beautiful Mimosa-like tree.  Onlookers of the meal included what looked like a semi-domesticated wild dog, three or four pigs, a few lucky chickens under the table (and a few unlucky ones on the table top).  The complex of mud huts, thatched roofs, and banana trees was modest but beautiful.

After lunch one group visited a small women’s group (15 or so) with testimonies, prayers, and bible passages.  The women were over-the-top excited and it was great fun to support them, hear their stories and to share ours.
The testosterone-laden group headed back to interact with the kids. to play more ball, and MAKE BRACELETS (so maybe a little estrogen in the mix). It was a Jesus-learning afternoon since we tied the colors of the bracelets to the story of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The memories of this day will stay with me for a long time. We loved on the kids and it was so powerful to feel the love back from them to all the white people they lovingly call “M’zungus.”  I will be praying for the health of the kids, their growth in Christ, and their development academically. I will also be praying that the word “M’zungu” means what I’ve been told it means.


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