Going back to Uganda was wonderful in many ways. It was inspiring to see the new structures in the villages, from school buildings to latrines. I definitely could see progress made.
When our group went to a home visit in Nakabango I realized our mission is not yet complete. Though some of the children have the opportunity to attend school, many still do not. The small mud huts had no electricity and no plumbing or water. What do they do at night I wondered? No real bed either, lying on the hard ground, some with small pieces of foam as a bed. The reality of their home life hit me hard and made me more resolved than ever to stay involved with the Hearts and Hopes mission to serve these people.
Meeting my sponsored child was also inspiring. We had only sponsored Mary a short time as our previous sponsored child graduated from the program but I felt a connection to her instantly. When her blind Mother came over to thank me for sponsoring her daughter I was humbled as she knelt at my feet. I felt so unworthy but also grateful that my family could help sweet Mary in some way. I will never forget that experience.
I had the opportunity to do health education with some of the girls in the villages through a organization called Days for Girls. Julie Ake, Lauren Arnold and I distributed sustainable feminine hygiene kits to the girls that were made with love from the ladies at Messiah and Days for Girls Rolla. These young ladies were so grateful to have these kits and our hope is that they will no longer have to miss school when they have their periods. It felt wonderful to help these young ladies in this way and I am so thankful for all the women that took the time and talent to help make the kits. They were so appreciated!!
I was moved by our team. Each person brought a special gift to the table. Everyone was patient, loving and thoughtful. Our leader Julie is an inspiration; she has touched so many lives in the villages and she works so hard making everything on the trip go smoothly. She takes away much anxiety because she takes care of all the details that could overwhelm the team otherwise. Hats off to all the members of the Hearts and Hope team in Uganda. What a wonderful team of caring individuals! I also have to mention, we had a group of young people on our team that brought much energy and laughter to the team. It was great seeing them in action with the kids, and they tackled every task without complaints. Jane, Lauren, Jacob, Landon, and Brandon---you guys were great!!