We departed Kampala for a three hour journey to Hoima. The countryside along the route was so beautiful! We arrived at the job site- Think Humanity Girls Hostel around noon and got to work immediately. We planned to get most of the work done the first day, then come back to finish Monday morning. The team stayed focused and we finished at 7:30 PM! It was so gratifying to see the building light it up with dusk setting in. The next day was Sunday, we attended the worship service with their girls who will be living in the dormitory we lit. The girls lead the entire service and did a wonderful job! That afternoon we stopped by the hostel and picked up the girls. Our next stop with the Mustard Seed, orphanage where the very first SLA installation was done more than 20 years ago. I felt like we had come full circle. The Think Humanity girls were so helpful as we played games with the children. I was moved to tears hearing Charlene tell stories about two young adults have grown up at the Mustard Seed, Charity and Allen. Bishop Wilson who was instrumental, in getting Bishop Hathaway to come to Hoima paid a quick visit in the afternoon. To round off a very busy day we took the Think Humanity girls out to the jobsite to see the lights in the dorm. The girls were so excited to see the lights! So much love!
hy is this my third trip to Uganda? The love of heat, sweat, mosquito bites, tsetse flies, smoke-filled air, the chance to fly in an airplane for 18 hours, the love for rice and beans? No it’s the genuine love for these people that transcends color race religion language and politics. Once in the heart of a Ugandan you are never forgotten, with each trip I have established relationships of support love, encouragement and empowerment and it works both ways: me for them and them for me. As I leave this place I am more supported than I was when I arrived, more loved and treasured more encouraged and more empowered to go home and keep on keeping on. I pray that my presence has done even more for those I’ve met have known and loved for the past four years, then they for me but this is hard to imagine. This nation has taught me so much!
Shortly after being assigned our rooms and roommates at the Nile Porch, I found myself being told the most remarkable story of a Ugandan woman’s struggles and how she stood up and now helps women in her area and beyond to do the same. Her heart wrenching story of difficult choices, abandonment, poverty, despair, surrender, and the unbelievable pain that wove its way through girlhood and young adult womanhood unfolded between two strangers in a banda on the Nile’s edge. No words could ever be adequate to say in response and so I moved close and embraced my new friend, my sister. After we composed ourselves we went to re-join the group late and what would become our customary way (I like to think I’m becoming a bit more African with each visit- following African time). Having started our friendship in this very profound way we soon moved to ordinary things-we shared clothing, jewelry, toiletries, I learned how to fold and wear a scarf Ugandan style. On the last night I shared part of my own story how I nearly made a choice that I knew I couldn’t live with to save a marriage I knew it would never last. We had this pain in common you see. In just 4 days I learned the common struggles of women forced into situations and how strong a woman is who stands on her own two feet and pours herself out to others in very ordinary ways.
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This was a wonderful amazing trip! For my first mission trip ever, it was more than I can ever explain. It has impacted me in so many ways and changed my life. Meeting and getting to know so many wonderful people and it was nice how everyone on the team gelled. My favorite part of the trip was our first school, Ray of Hope, that we worked on. Seeing all these children, and their smiling faces filled my heart with love and joy. To watch them with her ice cream cones that Charlene got for them was just priceless and I am so fortunate to have been a part of it. The entire trip from start to end was an experience of a lifetime and will reside in my heart forever. We worked hard, danced, smiled, laughed, shopped, and ate, and had tears of pure joy. From the work-site, staying in dreamlike places to meeting the First Lady of Uganda it was all just mind blowing. I am truly so blessed and won’t soon forget it. The best part of this trip was that I got to share it with my daughter Brooke. She brings me so much joy, this trip will be a cherished memory we can share for the rest of our lives. I hope we have impacted others in Uganda as they have impacted us. This has meant the world to me.
Where to begin it is simply impossible to put into words what the last two weeks have meant to me. Through Solar Light for Africa and Charlene’s loving guidance we were able to come to Uganda and share God’s love in a very practical and necessary way. There was much talk on this trip about how different our lives are from the children and adults we interacted with but I believe that it is our basic humanity, and we are very much alike. We all want love, compassion, relationship with each other and God. I know that we came here to help, Uganda but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Uganda gave me much more than I gave her. I’m eternally grateful for this amazing experience and the fact that I was able to share it with my son Stanton. I hope to go back again with my whole family. I look forward to our continued relationship and I am a better person for having had this experience I am so grateful. Reach well for Jesus!
This trip has meant the world to me. My first trip to Uganda was amazing, but I don’t think I allowed myself to absorb the experience as much as I could have. I lost my attitude this time around and let myself be open to everything and that resulted in this trip being life-changing for me. Tears were shed the last few days because I didn’t want to leave this amazing country and the extraordinary people I now call my friends. From installing solar, playing with the kids, trying new foods, and dancing this was a trip of a lifetime and I will cherish all of these memories
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