One week away from home! I am finally getting adjusted to the daily routine and all that goes with it. One thing I have not adjusted to, however, is what I see and experience anew every day. Overwhelming poverty. I have visited areas in the States that are run down and lacking those things that that average American takes for granted. I have travelled in Mexico and seen a greater level of poverty than their neighbors to the North.
But Uganda. I have not yet digested the level of poverty I have seen. I don't know if others who have more expertise in world poverty will concur, but these people may be the poorest of the poor. Children no older than 7 walking two miles to get water, many from streams of dirty water, and then carrying those 5 gallon jugs back to their village being careful not to spill. There are no caps on these jugs. Upon their return, many of these children will exchange the water jug for a sibling, holding and carrying their younger brother or sister wherever they go.
Without mentioning the other issues and responsibilities these children have, you would think they would have no energy to muster a meager smile upon our arrival in their village. But such is not the case. At one of our visits the children ran alongside, in front of, and behind our bus - for nearly a mile - singing as they went! At another visit, we barely had enough room to step off the bus as throngs of children pressed toward us, hands outstretched, faces beaming, asking us in English, "how are you?"
I guess I am overwhelmed in multiple ways. Overwhelmed with so many who could benefit from my abundance; overwhelmed with their gracious, kind, and loving demeanor.
So, now what? I can't help but think of a couple of Scripture passages. One is from Matthew 25 where Jesus declares, "as you did to the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me." The other is from Philippians 4. "I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me." Even though what I a have seen is overwhelming and the task seems too great, I... you... we... have the One True God who can accomplish anything even when doing so through me and you, as overwhelmed and "under" qualified as we may be!
May we all consider again how the Lord might accomplish His will using you and me!
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.