Summing up, the reason we go to Uganda is to simply live our Christian faith and bring honor to God by serving the needs of the Ugandan people on a very practical level.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Day 1 - Mornings Work
We started the first day early with a simple breakfast. We were the last ones down to breakfast all the others were seated and enjoying their meals. I looked at the buffet table and commented that we had missed breakfast. No, was the reply that was breakfast. Remember the two “rules”, no complaining and no talking about food back home. Breakfast was dry toast, a hard-boiled egg, & a banana.
After a brief team meeting of the days events we were each assigned a different location for the days work. What we didn't know was exactly where we would be going, the composition of our crew, the abilities of our crew and how to repair these homes. I would need to depend on the locals for all my training.
The physical work was going to be difficult, Hand-mixing cement, with shovels & hoes, and then applying the mixture to inside and outside walls of the widow’s homes with trowels. This would be time consuming and exhausting work but satisfying.
The materials the first dry were deposited by dump truck near the road and 50 meters from the house we were working on. This met that we would need to move the sand and dirt by wheelbarrow for the entire day. Another exercise in love and patience.
The men I worked with were all volunteers just like me, but I was Mzungu (white) and they were all locals. My mission was to work alongside of them, just as hard as them. Martin Luther once said, “preach the gospel always, and when necessary use words”. My goal was to preach the gospel by my actions. It has been said that actions speak louder than words. In this case I wanted the Mzungu to keep pace with the rest of the work crew.
One conviction I had before leaving was to learn from the locals and not go to Uganda as the teacher, but to go to Uganda as a student. I knew if I went inquiring, and asking, I could learn something special about local construction and learn something special about the people.
All the literature I had read before leaving for Africa explained how their culture was family, community, and village oriented. This is very different than our “western” values of independence, and individualism.
We didn't know a lot before leaving the guesthouse for our days work but what we did know was that we needed to be spontaneous, patient, and to perform under uncertain pressures. We were reminded of the two “rules”. First “No Complaining”! This was strictly forbidden. The second rule was, no talking about food from home.