This is from our team’s blog a few days ago:
(Take a look at http://www.villagebible.org/uganda for more.)
Today we had a unique opportunity that has never come up on previous trips. Several guardians of students in the Juna Amagara Program gathered together near someone’s home this afternoon, and invited us to come for a time of greeting and fellowship. We easily found the house because we followed the drum and singing. When we arrived, they had chairs set out for us, while about 50 adults were sitting on the hillside. The crowd was made up of many grandmas, mothers, and even a few fathers. Most of them are widows or widowers. We enjoyed listening to them sing a few songs in their native language of Rukiga. After we were introduced, Keith greeted all of them on behalf of the sponsors from Village Bible Church. Lisa shared a lesson about Joseph from Genesis 40 about how God never leaves us, even if we feel forgotten and abandoned, just like Joseph did in prison. We must follow his example and be faithful to God, as He is faithful to us. We may be discouraged because we can only see the path we are walking on, while it is as if God is on the mountaintop seeing the whole village and how everything works together. A couple of the Ugandans shared testimonies, specifically describing the impact JAM has had on their lives. All of us sang and danced together. A big surprise came when several women stood up with envelopes with gifts for each one of us. One by one, they called us up and offered a something that they had made for us. The gifts included things like a small purse, hand woven coasters and baskets, a bracelet, and more. We were quite surprised, but really honored to receive their gratitude for JAM’s influence on the lives of their children. The group even had a chairperson of sorts who coordinated the groups. We were informed that they have even begun working on making bricks to contribute to Juna Amagara’s primary school that is under construction. (This is the same building VBC has helped contribute to in the past.) It was so exciting to hear that the community has just as much of a desire to be involved in the process, as those of us on the other side of the world.
Another highlight of the day: Some of us brought some taper candles to give out in the village where people do not have electricity. We had a conglomeration of candles found in the Garage Sale donations, after Christmas clearance sales, and more. We had the opportunity to pass them out at the clinic to some women who came, and to some adults that came to the community fellowship (like a church service held at the school for the whole community). We ended up with enough to give each adult one, and had five extra to give to children to take to their families. They were so grateful for one single candle. It was a blessing for them to receive, and for us to give.