Tonight is our last night in Uganda. I have found, the last few days, that I have barely had the energy to think, much less to write, which is why I haven't posted an update in a while. I think three weeks has been about my limit, at least this time around, but I am so hoping I can come back again next year, to spend more time with these wonderful, beautiful people. It has been an adventure, to be sure.
The past few days have been spent mostly tying up some loose ends. We delivered gifts we forgot to give to children, spent some time sightseeing, and visited the homes of some people in the community who deserve quite a bit more love and care than they receive. We met a widowed grandmother who takes care of her six orphaned grandchildren, and does not even have a mattress to sleep on, and an old man with no family left, who lives alone in a mud house, sick with breast cancer. Another elderly widow, also caring for her orphaned grandchildren (2 or 3 of them), who is hard of hearing, was recently very sick, and unable to even leave her house. But she had no one to bring her food, or water, or anything else. There are too many similar cases to count.
When you look into their eyes, so many of these people seem absolutely hopeless. It's as though you can see into their hearts, into their souls, into their dreams, and there is nothing left. It is as though they have spent all that their meager bodies and minds have provided, and nothing remains to be shown to the world. But some of them have fire. Some of them have an unconquerable spirit, and seem to know that life (and death) holds more for them. These are the ones who hold strong to a faith in Jesus Christ, the one true Lord, and find joy and peace in Him, even amidst their suffering. Or maybe they have not yet come to that place, but even so are on the very brink of discovering the new life that can be had because of His sacrifice.
My heart weeps for those who cannot, or will not see what the Lord has placed before them. But my very soul rejoices with those who look into your eyes, and smile from their hearts, and proclaim that they are born again. For them, walls of mud and a roof are straw are simply a part of life, not a barrier set before the path to happiness. I do believe that the road to heaven is made of dirt. The dusty red kind, that stains the soles of your feet, and says to the world "I have walked the path less trodden, and shall know my brothers and sisters not by how clean their clothes, but how dirty their feet".