Today’s journey took us outside Kampala’s squalor and desolation and into creation.
Uganda is a land of rolling hills carpeted by rich soil that births vibrant green life. I just didn’t know that yesterday.
Today though, in Kisoga, I learned more than that.
It started when I got off the bus and was greeted by Susan
She spotted me and my bottle of water and made eyes that beckoned me to kneel down to her level. After inspecting me for a moment she reached out with an open left hand to stroke my cheek.
Then, having taken her measure of me she reached out for my bottle of water and demurely tucked it under her arm. Then, wordlessly, she took her doll made of banana leaves and gently – very gently – placed it in my hand.
Eventually I would convince her to keep both and as I headed off to visit another home she toddled after me… we were eventually broken up, however, when she decided it was time to head back to her friends.
She was the doorway to a very different day.
In this rural town, Compassion International runs two major projects at a local church. It is a wholistic approach to child development – an approach that acknowledges children are, first and foremost, spiritual beings but that as human beings their physical and medical needs are endless.
Compassion has helped inject life into this community with a program serving more than 300 kids… a third of whom come from parents who are HIV+.
Theirs is a violently poor life where malnutrition is a regular concern to overcome.
But what Compassion has done for those kids is to give them a path to life…
…there is yet hope in this country.
It is dim and focusing on that hope is a discipline rather than an overwhelming desire. But there is hope and that is my favorite four letter word.