Friday, November 13, 2009

Uganda Diaries - Part VIII

When I was younger and used to visit my grandparents in the summer, I would write letters to my parents detailing literally every single thing I did - including everything I ate for breakfast and the details of every book I read. I realized that my Uganda blog posts are turning into the same thing, so I've decided to tone it down on the play-by-play of every single day and just talk about the highlights.

Nov 11
This afternoon, Amy, Matt, and I took all of the kids t-shirts that people from Harpeth had donated and we went out to the open field behind the school to hand them out. We went out and there was only one kid on a swing. Then within probably 10 minutes, we had well over 50 kids (and a few moms) crowding around us trying to get a shirt. Most of these little kids were literally wearing tatters, so it was such a blessing to watch them put on a whole article of clothing. The kids were ecstatic. They were jumping around and shrieking and laughing in their new shirts. After we handed out all the shirts we had, we brought out a couple of tennis ball and almost all the kids were on one side of the field while Matt, Amy, and I stood on the other end and threw the tennis balls in the air while they all tried to catch them, racing around and tackling each other, laughing their heads off the whole time. Amazing.
Later this afternoon, Brenda and Bob asked the 3 of us to attend their faculty/staff meeting. It lasted a good couple of hours and the two topics on which we probably spent the most time were:
  1. how the students always take all the food before the teachers get any
  2. what they were going to do about how the hoes always end up missing
...neither of them things that you'd hear discussed at a school staff meeting in the U.S.
Amy taught me how to play backgammon tonight...we needed a little "escape". Matt, Amy, and I had a really good talk tonight and spent some time praying. As amazing as our experience has been here, there are things that have been hard and have been frustrating and we just needed some time to put things into perspective and pray that God would just use us as He sees fit, remove our selfishness, and give us His heart for the people...

Nov 12

I was asked to speak this morning at chapel about the importance of studying the Bible, which of course was not something I could turn down. So I got to speak to the students and the staff about what the Bible has meant to me, how it has changed my life, and how vital it is that they be in the Word. After I was finished speaking, one of the teachers stood up and thanked me then said that he has wanted to be a better student of the Word and has a lot of questions and wondered if I would be willing to discuss them with him. How could I say no to that?! Amy and I talked with him some after chapel and he said that he’s been wanting to get saved but just has a lot of questions. He also said that he’s been failing at following the Bible. Unfortunately, he had to hurry to get to class but I’m really hoping that Matt, Amy, and I can have a chance to meet with him again.

This morning, Amy and I started a project with one of the students, Ida. They recently bought mosquito nets for the beds in the dorms and we had to do a lot of cutting and tying and hanging of nets. It’s quite a project and we barely put a dent in it today.

Tonight after dinner, Matt, Amy and I went for a walk out in the field behind the school. It was PITCH black. We of course had flashlights but every once in a while, we would turn our lights off and it was crazy how dark it was out there. What’s even crazier is that there are a few families who live along the edge of that field in tiny mud huts with no electricity or water, so we could hear the sound of little children’s voices but obviously couldn’t see them.

It’s kinda crazy to think about how those little kids really don’t know anything outside of what they’ve always had. We tend to feel so sorry for them because they don’t have lights and TV and warm showers, but fact is, they don’t really know what it’s like to live in that kind of ease. All they know is that they’ve always had. Fact is, we probably feel a lot more sorry for them than they do for themselves. Of course, it doesn’t diminish their poverty and doesn’t change the fact that they are in physical need. I don’t really know what that’s supposed to mean…just an observation.

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