Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Night in the Killer's Hut plus Grace and 'Old Man'

Grace, Damasko, Leah, and Florance
Trudy and neighborhood kids

The Killer’s Hut

Damasko and I went grocery shopping and then had a boda take us to the bush. After seeing the killer’s hut, which is at least twice as large as Damasko’s family’s, I was thinking that killer probably wished he hadn’t done his bad deed, as he had to leave a decent home, as far as huts go. The hut was one fairly large room, with a small back part, in which the chickens reside at night. It did have a couch and two chairs – with no cushions. The kids had written scripture on the dirt walls with chalk.

A great mish-mash of neighborhood kids arrived soon after we did. They wanted to touch the white skin, though some were afraid. They did warm up quickly, so we sang ‘Making Melodies’ and ‘Jesus Loves Me’ in the Luganda language. Their favorite was to have their picture taken, so they could see themselves on the camera - a hit every time! 

The toilet was totally in the open, just a small hole cut in the dirt. Really, a little coverage would have been nice! Uh-huh, you try that! :)

Grace cooked some matoke bananas over wood in the back for dinner. It was good.

Night time
Damasko pulled out the song book from their church and we sang several hymns together. I loved singing, ‘Great is thy Faithfulness’ as I sat with this beautiful family. The room was dimly lit by a small flame from a paraffin lamp. Yes, tears in my eyes and thankfulness in my heart for this moment in time. Before sleeping, Damasko offered up a long, beautiful prayer, as we bowed our heads.

Grace, Florance, and Leah, placed two small twin mattresses on the dirt floor. Somehow, they managed to put mosquito netting over the beds. Damasko grabbed his quilt and placed it on the hard sofa. Ouch! Grace directed me to one of the mattresses – and she and the girls all climbed on to the other. I felt so bad; I told them I would be happy for one of them to sleep with me. They told me that is how they sleep every night. My mattress had been borrowed. What can you say about overwhelming kindness?

I woke in the morning to Grace praying softly from her bed. After we were up, an old man wandered into the room. They simply call him ‘Old Man’. It seems that ‘Old Man’ has no family and no income. When Grace has food, she shares. Incredible - the family who has nothing, and goes hungry at times, shares food with this old man, though he is not a relative. Grace’s family is definitely ‘rich’ in ways that truly matter. May God blessings be upon them for their kindness.

'Old Man'

Update: 3/28

Thanks to one of our donors, today I had the joy of bringing Grace and ‘Old Man’ in on bodas. ‘Old Man’ borrowed a shirt, but didn’t have shoes. His slacks were filthy. I was able to purchase some clothes for each, plus a good pair of shoes and some sandals. I then took them to the hotel in which our teams stay for a buffet lunch. I wish I could really give you a picture. Grace is 38, thin, with a beautiful face. Her clothes were full of holes, and her shoes didn’t fit. Old Man shuffled barefoot up the stairs. Their eyes were huge. The wonderful staff gave them a huge amount of food, so they were able to take some home with them. We left the hotel and went shopping for a mattress. Also, Old Man wanted a padlock for his hut. What a privilege to put each on a boda, along with his/her thick, twin mattress wrapped and tied down to the boda, holding their many sacks – zooming off to the bush. A sight I will long remember!

As I think about the day, I know that Grace and Old Man would never in their lives have expected a day like today. I think also about our libraries and know that through literacy the next generation has the possibility of pulling themselves out of poverty. Our library work here is crucial, as together we truly change lives.

Thank you for reading. Please keep our libraries/librarians in your prayers, as well as the other wonderful people we have come to love in Uganda.


1 comment:

Janet Marek said...

Trudy, thank you so much for sharing your heart and these touching stories of the remarkable Ugandan people. We are starting our service learning units at school and I love connecting my students with yours there.

My love and prayers!