Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The game that is sweeping the girls of LCH.... Naketti (no literal translation to English, sorry)

All holiday you could find different groups of girls playing this game. It is a bit like monkey in the middle, but the "monkey" is collecting sticks from the ground to. Ten sticks equals one bundle. Once you are hit by the ball, you are "off". They also have found a way to play this as teams and the LOVE it!

Brenda Nabwire collecting sticks.

We also had opportunity for arts and crafts during the holiday. Let the creativity flow...

Aida's lovely painting. I asked her who this was and she said it was her. Ha.

Wycliff (Seddu)

Sarah Gimono

Last week I was in the main hall when one of the kids came to me to tell me that Ambrose (another child) was calling me to see the pregnant pig. This was not uncommon, because Ambrose I usually the one to inform and show me whenever there is a new baby animal at LCH. When I reached the pig pen, Ambrose said very proudly, "Teacha, you are most welcome to my farm." He proceeded to tell me that he was moving stones to create the base for the floor for another room in the pig pen to put the piglets that are soon arriving. After struggling with his wheelbarrow, he removed his 5 stones of that trip and was off again. Of all the kids, Ambrose loves the animals the most. There was another day that I found some cows eating the peel remains of the kasava. Since they were so close to the outside kitchen, I tried to chase them away by using the legs of a chair I had picked up. This was only a momentary success, because as I finished chasing one cow and went for the next, the first cow would just come back. Then Ambrose was called to come help. As he arrived, he simply said go and moved his hands in a shooing motion and the cows left with no problem. So, this is my friend, Ambrose... the friend to the animals at LCH.

One of our sweet girls, Betty, has been struggling to walk properly, due to a disability. BUT God opened the opportunity for her to be one of four children from the Mbale area to have an operation by surgeons in Kenya. We are praying for the Lord's miraculous hand upon her and that she will be able to walk properly once the cast is off. Please pray with us.

A few funny stories:

I taught some of the children the game Capture the flag. They loved it!! I think they enjoyed putting their friends in jail most :) Though, I often saw opposite team members chasing their friends from their side onto the opponents side and still trying to put their friend in jail. But most of the children understood the concept. We moved our game down to the field, which is near one of our Aunties houses. As some kids got tired from running, they were interacting with Auntie Florence's kids. As we were finishing the game, someone called my name. Our conversation went something like this...

child: "Teacha, come see the puppies."
me: "Wow, puppies. How many?"
child: "There are six puppies of the cat."
me: "Puppies of the cat?"
child: "Yes, puppies of the cat!"
me: "Ok?!?"

Needless to say, I wasn't sure what baby animals that I was about to see. When the kids led me to the room, I saw 6 little gray kittens nursing. So sweet. If only my housemate wasn't allergic I would have kept one of the "puppies of the cat" :)

Last week some younger children were looking through the wedding photos I recently took for our driver, Moses' wedding. I was busy with my own work while I put someone in charge of pressing the button to move through the photos with their friends. After about 10 minutes of looking, I hear most of the children make a sort of slurping noise. I didn't mind at first, but then they did it again, so I looked at what they were looking at. It was a picture of the wedding cakes. Ha. Each time they would see a cake they would make a slurping noise and whisper, "Mmm, cake".

I love these kids so much. They continue to surprise me and make make me smile. May the Lord continue to grow them up into the men and women He will use to change the face of Uganda.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Cultural Moments"

There are still moments, despite the 3 years I have spent in Africa, that I am still caught off guard by the sheer difference in culture or reality (in comparison to how I have grown up knowing life). For those who have been here awhile and “ culture shock” has ideally warn off, we call these times of realization, “cultural moments”. Really, I think they are one in the same. And if I am honest with myself, I pray that I will never grow immune to these “cultural moments”. I don’t want things to be too normal or unmoving because then I am less likely to be seeing the hand of God.

I had one of these moments last week. I was visiting a friend from church at her home for the first time. (Side note- my car is SUCH a blessing and allowing me the freedom of mobility to do things that I have been wanting to but not easily able to because of transport). Anyways, I had called my friend, Agie, because she had been telling me that she wanted some time to meet with me and speak about something. As I drove up to our meeting location, I fully expected to pick her up and take her out for a soda while we talked. But, as I have notice many times being here, people want me to see where they stay. So, I parked my car at the petro station and we proceeded though a group of houses, past the grazing chickens, beyond the boys practicing their dance moves, and into another section of housing that was squared off into a courtyard setting. I shook hands with 5 dusty little kids shouting, “Mzungu! Mzungu! Mzungu! How are you?” and ducked under some sheets hanging on the clothes line to dry. Then we had reached Agie’s home. She welcomed me and I entered in behind her, removing my shoes at the door. She dusted off a wooden stool for me to sit on, as she sat of a yellow piece of furry fabric below me.

With one hand out and the other hand touching the extended hand’s forearm, she shook my hand and said, “You are most welcome. Thank you for coming to visit me in my home.”

As we sat discussing the day and moved into deeper topics, I began to have my “cultural moment”. There I was, on the ONLY proper “seat” in the “house”, talking with this woman about a business venture to sell bags of charcoal. There I was, graciously welcomed into her home that was a single room, not more than 15ft by 15ft. Actually, the house had 2 “rooms”- the bedroom and the sitting room/kitchen area/play room- partitioned by a sheet hanging over a string. I was humbled. Lord, who am I that you would choose me to be in such a place and have the blessing of visiting this friend?

It was once her 4 children came in and greeted me one by one- the girls kneeling down and shaking my hand in respect, that I thought to myself, “So, where do the kids sleep? Surely not on the twin bed in the “bedroom”.” I then noticed the stained mattress leaning against the wall of the “sitting room”, ready to be put down that night for all 4 kids to sleep on.

Again, Lord who am I that I have anything of spiritual worth to encourage this sister of mine. She could teach me so much about contentment and God’s provision and how to live out the verse, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough worries of its own.” My friend Agie lives moment by moment with the Lord. He is the one who sustains her. He is the one who protects her and her kids. He is the one whose thoughts towards her are precious and more numerous than the grains of sand in the sea.

I will admit it was a bit overwhelming. To understand that God is near, in such material poverty, because my Ugandan brothers and sisters are rich in experiences that cause them to trust that the Lord is their Shepherd, they shall not want. I am grateful for these “cultural moments” because they open my eyes to the heart of the Father.