Page Six: Mother's Day (5.23.2017)

The women sang
And they danced
They screamed for joy
As they gathered in a safe place.

So my friend started a ministry within an Uganda slum called Uniquely Woven. They meet on Tuesdays for fellowship and then the team goes on Thursday to do home visits. So my first Tuesday I got to experience an open room full of moms coming together and being celebrated. 

Mother's Day is a day of recognition. A time to share in the celebration of Moms everywhere who deserve a day to be seen as more than their actions but as their sacrifices. In the States it is a day of pampering but there, these women aren’t often recognized for their day to day actions or the love that they do their best to express.

Mother's Day was a blessing to witness. The moms were told that God values them and their gender doesn't change a thing. They were told that they were worth celebrating. That the word strong doesn't even begin to describe them. 

Before it began I just sat on the back row and looked at what God was doing, where He was moving. I could see Him within this place. Take a culture that says women are less than, that their purpose is to serve. They are expected to cook, clean, make babies, and raise them too. And many of these moms are doing that alone & add in a Jesus and His love and you see something so beautiful. 

Worship was probably my favorite part. Don't get me wrong, some of these women are here to get something, but some were there to receive truth. Worship in Africa can be described as vibrant. It's full of life, laughter, shouting and dancing. It's full expression with no fear of others thoughts. When a song was sung specifically for moms, a Jaja (grandparent) came in who is so short and wrinkled and full of life you can't help but weep from the sight. As soon as she started dancing around and jumping your heart would have caved in too. They are perfect examples of unrestrained worship. 

We got to feed them a feast but we had so many moms we ran out of plates! We had to wait and wash the plates when they were done then serve some more. On their way out they received a healthcare gift and everyone was very excited. 

In the end the moms left happy, hands full, 6 gave their lives to Christ, and hopefully with a tiny bit of understanding of Gods love. It is beyond amazing seeing God’s hand at work & His presence in those with willing hearts to serve.

Learn more Here // Uniquely Woven


Page Five: The Menu

I always get asked questions about food and what they eat there so here is my menu
 from my time in Uganda, Enjoy!
(I didn't take many photos in Uganda but here are the foods I ate photos curtesy of Google)

CHAPATI: The bare essential of cooking in Uganda. Similar to a fried flatbread & highly addicting.

ROLEX: Take the Chapati, add egg and you get a Rolex! Dependent on the vender and the day they are often made with tomato, onion, cabbage etc. They also come in different sizes dependent on the price so lets just say my stomach expanded because the first time I couldn't finish the smaller one but by the last week I ate a 2k. Now I am still working that one off.

KIKOMANDO: Chapati soaked in beans and juices

My Thursday Lunch Meal: Rice, Greens, Irish (potatoes) and Matoke (cooked banana). After home visits on Thursdays with Uniquely Woven, one of the moms makes the volunteers lunch every week. 

Dukem's: Shout out to Natalie for cursing me with the craving for Ethiopian food ALL THE TIME. (There is an Ethiopian restaurant that I went to four times within my two weeks in Uganda.) This is a mixed plate on Injera!

& my bucklist food was...

I bet you were hungry until you saw this picture. This was the wildest thing I ate on this trip. On home visits for street outreach one of the families made their living by selling these on the main street. They were taking off the legs and cooking them with seasonings while we were there. They are interestingly buttery. 

That was the menu from my time in Uganda! 
A blog post on Uniquely Woven ministry & their Mothers Day Celebration to come on Thursday!


Page Four: Street Outreach (5.22.2017)

If you have ever been to a third world country 
you have witnessed poverty.

The overwhelming fact of the matter is there isn’t any food, people are trying to survive and can barely pay for their one room home in the slum community. Showers are not expected and clothes have holes everywhere. Shoes are not always worn and if they are they might be two left shoes. Sickness, malnutrition and untreated wounds are probable and behavior is unpredictable. 

If I could write down a very detailed description of this so you could feel it and connect, I would, but it is so hard unless you see it with your own eyes. But whether you fully understand or not it doesn’t matter. It exists.

Doors was founded on seeing a need within the street kid communities and becoming driven to meet those needs. (Here is the video of their story if you want to hear it form the beginning.) So in Katwe DOORS staff and volunteers come on Mondays and Wednesdays to spend time with the kids and help fill some needs.

A normal day was meeting at the elephant statue, walking in with another volunteer and watching as the kids recognize those volunteers who consistently show up week after week. They run up to them with joy in their faces and kneel as a sign of respect and shake hands excited for this time. Dependent on the day, it starts, probably late, and games are played and worship is sung. A message is shared and pages are colored. Dependent on what is available sometimes other activities are included, Chapatis and clean water are offered, and prayer is weaved in.

I wish I could tell you that God used me to change someones entire life but the fact is I didn’t. I prayed for them, I hope I inspired them, I hope I watered one seed just a little bit before I left. These volunteers though, they show up. Again and again. They meet the families, they do home visits, attend to emergencies and they believe in these kids. They discipline and they drive them forward towards progress. 

While I was in Uganda I talked a lot with people who are in full time ministry there and something that is interesting is the opinions on short term trips. It is true that Americans who travel somewhere typically have a mentality that they are going to change something in the world. That maybe they can make a difference & they can. But in reality a good term to describe these short term trips is “vision trips”. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Peoples lives aren’t fixed overnight. Not all needs are filled in one afternoon. People forget, lose focus, become hungry again. But short term teams & trips are necessary. You know why? Because people need to see the needs to connect. People need to see what other people live like for some insight. People need to go home and talk about it.

So that was my takeaway from the kids who love openly, sometimes wanting something, but almost always grateful. People need to witness the truth of the world but also the people willing to do something to change it because that causes action & action is used by God to create something beautiful.