We’ve been in Uganda for 3 months and a week already.
We’re finally reaching a point of feeling more settled- our house feels more like home, we are establishing routine, we’ve figured out how to function in our setting. We’ve gone through bouts of illness and homesickness, and we’ve had holidays and reunions with family and friends.
(Don't worry, Caleb was fine...He hates having family photos taken.In all the other options, I'm the only one looking at the camera. :-/)
In the past 2 weeks, we’ve had a few things stand out starkly from the background of every day life to remind us why we have made this move, and why we have dedicated ourselves to the work we’re involved in.
The First Thing:
It has not rained here in Uganda in about 6 weeks. Everything is dry and very hot- hotter than normal for this part of the country. Everything is coated in a thin film of orange dust. Little plumes rise from beneath our feet whenever we walk to the little shop kitty-corner from our house. Our few little potted plants pathetically soak up the water we pour on them each day. We don’t have a garden as of yet, but if we did, it would need constant watering to be productive.
Because of the general lack of water, the Department of Water and Sanitation cuts back on water that flows through the taps, monitoring and portioning out what can be used. This often means that in the early hours of morning (5-6 am), metered water is available, but the rest of the day our sink is dry.
We have the blessing at our house of having a small elevated tank that fills when the metered water is available, and then is gravity fed to our bathrooms during the day, allowing us to shower, flush toilets, and wash our hands.
Not everyone has a blessing such as this.
We also have an additional blessing of a 10,000 liter rainwater collection tank in front of our house, just like the tanks that our ministry, the Ugandan Water Project, places in communities all around Uganda. Because of this tank, we have not felt the drought nearly as keenly as has most of the rest of Uganda’s population. Because of this tank,(which was filled to overflowing in the copious rains we received before the dry season abruptly started), we have had the water we need to function well in our home- we never lack for drinking water because whether from the tap or the raintank, we can pour it through our Sawyer Filter and have safe, clean drinking water. We use the water from the tank for everything we need- washing clothes, cleaning the house, washing dishes and bathing the boys after they are covered in dirt and dust from their sandpile! :)
Not everyone has a blessing such as a rain tank.
Our landlord was wise to install the tank when he built the compound, and we are so thankful for his foresight. It has made us ever more aware of just how important the work of Ugandan Water Project is in communities- in many places, a UWP rainwater tank is the only source of potable water for miles, and it makes a huge impact in the health and well-being of a community. As we thank God daily for the provision of water in our lives, we are also thanking Him that we have the opportunity to share such a blessing to others in our beloved Uganda.
The Second Thing:
Collins has been traveling with the UWP Installation Crew, going to the communities that are the newest recipients of UWP Rainwater Collection Systems (for more info on a UWP system: www.ugandanwaterproject.com). After a set of installations in a community near Masaka, he related to me that one of the tanks was put in place on a Muslim school. The headmaster of the school told Collins that he just didn’t understand how this miracle of a tank was being bestowed on them.
“The person that referred me to UWP and helped me apply was the Pastor of that church in our village. But I am a Muslim. Why would he want to help me? He runs a school here in this village as well. I am his competition for students! Why would he want to help me, his competition? If I was his friend, I could understand!”
(I have tears brimming in my eyes as I type this, I am so overwhelmed by God’s goodness!)
Collins told the man that we at UWP are ambassadors for Jesus- and Jesus gives His love freely, and so do we! It is only because of Jesus that this man can see such a miracle extended from his Christian “competition”.
Collins told me this story as we were sitting in a traffic jam, and his face lit up as he said, “I go expecting to plant the seed that Jesus is free to everyone…in this case, the Pastor had already planted the seed, and I just had to water it!”
We love the revelations that happen when our eyes are opened to see more clearly how our everyday actions impact the lives of others! We’re thankful for everyone that has supported us to bring us to this point- relocating across the globe is full of great challenges, and we are refreshed to know that our efforts are having an effect!
Thank you for standing by us, and please, keep us in your prayers!