Friday, January 29, 2010

Minakulu, House of Hope, and dinner

What a week! We went to a town named Minakulu from Wednesday-Friday to check out a portable bible school. When we got there, we set up our mattresses in a cement room—our home while we were there. There was no electricity and no water (no showers or toilets either), and we were totally roughing it. We thought it would be difficult, but we handled it. I’m really proud of us. It didn’t hurt that Christian, another one of our house moms, came along to feed us.

The first day we were there, we just sat through a few of the lectures at the school. It was cool. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy it, but I didn’t (and I still don’t) feel like I can play a vital role at a bible school. I’m not a preacher or a teacher. It was nice to see what Favor of God is up to anyways. We went back for dinner and sat under the stars. When we went to bed, we taped up a mosquito net for Christian and tried to sleep. About 20 minutes later, the net fell off the wall and she was completely wrapped in it. She started moving her arms frantically and Casandra yelled, “It’s alive!!!” I couldn’t contain my laughter! We all got up and helped her put it back.

In the morning, we were supposed to teach a health class. I think I didn’t fully enjoy this trip because the level of miscommunication was RIDICULOUS. No one was informing us of anything we were doing at any time. Instead of teaching a health class, our leader walked us through the nearby villages, telling us who had a latrine and who didn’t. We were so confused. However, we ran into a group of people by a stream of milky white water, and Angela was able to tell them how to clean the water. After that, we went to class again.

In class, Angela and Casandra shared lessons that were planned. I wasn’t given anything to share, but of course, they still asked me to go up and speak. So what do you do? Sing them a song! And what song should you sing for a big group of Ugandans? Mighty to Save. AGAIN! Oh well. We went back to wash up and have dinner, and then we taught a song to the group who was with us. In turn, they taught us an Acholi song. It was fun.

We also got to sit down and hear Christian’s story. In junior high, she used to run in races. On the last day of her seventh grade class, the LRA came and abducted a ton of kids. She was one of them. They walked several miles out of town and as they were walking, they saw a chicken. They told Christian to chase after it for dinner. She started chasing it, but it ran into the bush. She saw it as an opportunity to escape. Even though they told the children that they would kill anyone who tried to escape, she ran for it. She ran all the way back to town! She told us that she had a new appreciation for life. She even acknowledged that God saved her from this mess. She said, “God put me through fire so I could burn for him.” She is amazing.

Christian has five kids and is horrified of mosquitoes because her husband died of malaria. Even though she has been through so much, she still has more joy than most people. The coolest part of being in Minakulu was spending time with her. When they taught us the Acholi worship song, I could just see an overflow of her love for God. She sang for about an hour, jumping from song to song, and she loved it! We did too.

This morning was a little more of a nightmare in regards to miscommunication. We were getting picked up by our driver at 11am in order to go home. However, some leaders thought it was a good idea to ignore that and take us walking to villages. We walked through dense bush. It was a good experience, but it was frustrating when we really running late and they didn’t care to turn back. We finally made it back and packed all of our things. We made it back to Gulu and I took an amazing shower. After that, we watched the House of Hope soccer game where I hung out with the girls. I’m starting to connect with a few specific girls and it’s really fun. To end the night, we went to dinner with Coryn and Jamesdon who are visiting from Kampala. Now for bed!


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