Since we were bringing other needed supplies to the family and the house is about a 30 minute walk, we decided to load everyone into our van.
Not my best smile. In the second row you can see Kyle, an intern here at GSF sitting next to Penelope, our social worker. The five middle and high school girls tried to hide, but you can still see a few of them.
The youngest ones rode in the boot (the trunk for our American friends.)
When we arrived, the Jajja (grandmother) was so happy to see us all. She kept saying how happy she was and walked around making sure to greet each one. The students brought the gifts to her, a mattress to sleep on, a few plates and cups, jerry cans for fetching water, two blankets and some clothes. She was so very happy! Here is a photo of the group.
The Jajja and mom are sitting in the back and the twins are sitting with some of our teenage girls.
Since they had not yet begun the project, some of our students got to work helping wash dishes.
They didn't have enough basins that could hold water, so we went for a walk to buy some.
Elijah helped clearing the area around where they were going to build.
Somehow it became a digging contest...
We realized that we were going to need a lot of water to make all of this mud and to finish washing, so we decided to walk with the mom to the place where they fetch water. It is a little less than a 10 minute walk down hill...and at least 20 minutes on the way back up. Wow! This is what they do anytime they are going rouse water, to wash dishes, to bathe, to wash clothes, to cook, to boil and then use to drink.
As we began walking back uphill, I gained a new appreciation for Ugandan women. They are the ones usually fetching water unless they have children who are old enough, but still at home.
I carried two of these and my whole upper body is feeling it today. When we returned with the water the structure was going up.
It was time to mix the mud. The younger students had been waiting for this part all morning.
Some of the men working brought some snacks for everyone from the local trees.
We had to leave before the project was finished, but it was a wonderfully exhausting day! I think we all have a new appreciation that we have running water in our homes, a bed to sleep on at night, and a roof over our heads to keep us dry. It is easy to forget to be thankful for these amazing blessings.
The next morning I went for a run and decided to check in on the progress. On my way there, I passed the local mosque. As I was passing the mosque, I stopped to greet a woman and her daughters in Luganda. They were all wearing their hijabs. In Uganda everyone usually greets one another, but the woman and her children did not speak to me. This was the first time I had experienced anything like that. We have several Muslim friends and acquaintances and all have been very kind.
Here is a photo of the mosque. For obvious reasons I did not take a photo of the woman.
As I reached the home of the women we were helping the day before, I stopped to greet them. They were so happy about the work being done even though it was not yet finished. Here is a photo of the family.
Spending a few days serving these new friends in the village has really been a blessing. I am reminded how gracious God has been to me, not just in providing for my physical needs, but in the midst of my spiritual poverty as well. When I was dead in my sin, Jesus Christ died for me. He has loved me by sacrificing his own life! Any sacrifices we make for others, pale in comparison.