Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 4

God at Work
A few weeks ago I learned about a man called Allen Howe. Allen is a pastor who does pastoral training work in Uganda. I initiated a contact with him so that perhaps we could meet and share ideas and plans. I didn't hear from him for quite some time, but last week I received an email in which he indicated that he would be glad to meet with me, but was getting ready to go to Uganda. He schedule would not allow for the meeting before his trip. He suggested that perhaps we could meet in Uganda, but that didn't seem likely. He sent me his schedule and it turns out that Allen was on the same flight as we were. We got to meet momentarily in the airport in Brussels and then were able to visit for quite some time during the flight. God is at work in everything we do.

Our Favorite Thing... so far
By far, we have all enjoyed the music the most. Namboole Church, where our training is held, is providing their praise team for our seminar sessions. John Kiviiri's son, Daniel, plays the keyboard and drums (at the same time) and there are 3-6 young ladies who lead the singing. Most of the time we do not understand the words, but we certainly experience the worship. There is clapping, waving, hand raising, dancing, shouting and lots of energetic and loud singing. As Brad began his teaching on worship today he wondered what he was going to teach these people who have such a glorious relationship with God.

The different pastors at the training session have also been given opportunities to sing solos. They are not necessarily beautiful songs, but they are definitely heartfelt and true. Yesterday, two young men put on a cd and then danced to the Lord. It was different than what I would expect at home, but it was definitely good.

This morning we got to spend some time at the Wesley Preschool. There are 40 students there from 2 1/2 to 7 years old. The school is humble. Visual aids are all homemade. School uniforms are stained, tattered and nearly worn out, but these children are loved and cared for. They sang us a song to the tune of Frere Jacques called "Baby Jesus." It was beautiful.

We know that the world is a difficult place. Today we came face to face with that reality. It really began yesterday. Dorcas is one of the singers in the praise team. She also serves meals, washes dishes, listens to our teaching and has sweet and gentle spirit. At the close of our session yesterday, Dorcas invited us to her home. At first we thought she was being polite. We teased each other that she was flirting. But she seemed very serious about it and today she persisted.

Our plan is that tomorrow we will end the training after lunch. I suggested we come to her home after we finished then. But she insisted that she had been preparing for us to come today. So we relented and went.

She was so excited to have us come. We traveled in our van down one dirt road after another. It rained this afternoon so everything had turned to mud. Nothing looked nice today. Finally we were driving down a street that was filled with pedestrian and auto traffic, but was the size of an American alley. Children stopped to look at the van with the Mzungos (white people). Everyone was friendly, but we were very conspicuous.

Finally the van was parked and we set out on foot. The small homes were packed together in what seemed like a mishmash pattern. We followed Dorcas for about a block between homes, past latrines and through the mud. For a moment she took my hand and thanked me for coming to her house. When we finally arrived, her two youngest children greeted us. Maria is four years old and Shalom is two. When Shalom saw me she screamed and burst into tears. I think I was the first white man she had ever seen.

When we got into Dorcas' home she invited us to sit down. The total of her home was one room of approximately 10 by 15 feet. In it is a bed, a small couch, two chairs and a large cabinet. Chad, Brad and I sat, along with John Kiviiri and Joseph Kanyike our hosts. Then Dorcas told us the story of Shalom. For the last 10 days Shalom has had welts on her legs. She now has a large blister that covers the entire area between her nose and her upper lip. She is in constant pain and has a fever. Dorcas thinks that Shalom has small pox or measles or something. She really has no idea. Dorcas doesn't know what to do and can't afford a doctor. When we asked how much it would cost to see a doctor for Shalom we learned that it would cost between $10-$20. Dorcas does not have any money. We decided that we will be taking Shalom to the hospital tomorrow afternoon. Please pray for Shalom and Dorcas.

As long as you are praying for them:

  • Pray for Maria as well.
  • There is another daughter who is 11 years old. She lives in a village with her grandfather because her mother cannot afford all the children.
  • Dorcas lives alone with her two daughters, but her husband is her landlord. She does not pay rent, but lives next door to him. He provides no help or support to her. I am not sure of all the details, but Dorcas definitely has a hard life and complicated relationships.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God is certainly blessing your work for Him! What an experience this is for all of you, and also an emotional one. Thank you for letting us be a part of this mission. Am praying for all of you and for those whose lives you touch. In Christian love, Judy