Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Miles Upon Miles - Uganda

After we landed at Entebee International Airport we quickly loaded up into 3 different taxi's and begun the trip to our 'African hotel' where we would be staying for the next 2 weeks.

Like I mentioned before, I thought I knew what it would be like.
What it would look like. What it would NOT smell like.

I clearly had no idea.

For the next hour we drove through town-after-town, passing
village-after-village straight into the capital city of Kampala.

My mind could not accept all that I was seeing.

For miles upon miles, as far as the eye could see:


100% poverty!

Aside every dirt road
Behind every "house"
 Up every hill
Around every corner…

Miles Upon Miles … 
complete POVERTY all around.

Little toddler children alone next to extremely busy roads.

Dogs wondering the street. Sleeping anywhere they could.
(Some piled 3 high, dead on the roadside,
waiting to be burned.)

Goats roaming the streets looking for anything to eat.

Mopeds called "bota-bota's" (taxi's) coming within HAIRS of slamming head-on into your vehicle.

People everywhere.

Dirt everywhere.

No running water.
No trash system.
No plumbing.
No sanitation. 

The ‘homes’ are mounded together by cardboard boxes, brick and mud.
Children everywhere.
Babies with no diapers.
Toddlers with no clothes.
Shoes? You tell me. 

My mind was spinning.

Miles upon miles.

Endless poverty.

I believe it was at this point that my spirit
and my heart went into a bit of a shock.
I truly had no clue how to process or make sense
of much of what I was seeing.

Maybe it was just me. Perhaps everyone expected it to be like this…
I sure didn’t

My spirit was paralyzed.

As bad as it may sound (and at times I admit it sounds negative)

it is truly not the case...

I fell in love with Uganda.

In all the chaos, in all the filth,
in all the pollution, in all the need,
the Lord was revealing Himself to me
in ways that only He can
in a situation like this.

To the average Joe, it looked horrible.
It smelled horrible.
No one in their right mind would bring their family
here for a vacation. 
This would be absurd.

However, as my spirit went into shock,
my God was there ministering to me.
It was as if He was sitting right next to me
in the taxi whispering in my ear.

It was as if I could hear Him say,

“These are my people.
The children represent me.
What will you do? 
Will you humble yourself and love my people
or will you turn your heart against them?
I did not call you for your own selfish gain.
I called you to deny yourself,
pick up your cross and follow Me,
no matter what it looks like.
I am calling you.
What will it be?”

The taxi ride to our hotel was a great trial for me.
Every ounce of my spirit was tested
in ways I could not explain.

However, I can tell you this,
I weep now at the thought of going back.
I would leave tomorrow if I could.

The smells, the filth, the poverty,
the hunger, the needs… the children… the people…
they have stolen my heart.

I asked the Lord months ago
to break my heart for what breaks His…

I believe He has started His work.

"He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
    and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?'
    declares the Lord."
Jeremiah 22:16 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Robin....heartbreaking, heart opening and the way you write I can taste and see and feel small portions of what you tasted saw and felt. Thank you for sharing it with us.