March 09, 2012

let us not grow weary in doing good

“I’m staying on your trail; I’m putting one foot in front of the other, I’m not giving up.” Psalm 17:4

I’ve felt like giving up a lot lately. Moving to Uganda hasn't been easy and the pressures and demands of helping run a children’s sponsorship program in the middle of Kampala weigh heavily on me. There is constant need around every corner and so often I feel like I can do nothing to help.

It was about 11:30 at night and I was coming back from dropping a friend off at the airport. While sitting in traffic at a stoplight downtown, a handful of young children were walking in between the idling cars begging for money. Their faces were hungry and desperate as their little hands reached out hoping a coin or two would be dropped into them.
As I drove away, my heart broke.

It’s not fair Lord. Why? How can I really help those children?

Mary, one of our sponsored children cries lonely tears as we have to say goodbye and leave her at boarding school. She is 6 and a total orphan. Mary desperately longs for a mother’s care and love.

Ben is also an orphan who has diabetes and keeps failing in health. We are trying to help him manage his condition but how do you tell him he must eat more and drink clean water when he has no money for either?

These are just a few of the stories from this week that make me want to give up. There is the everyday “wear and tear” of living in Kampala with no car doing fieldwork. It’s the dry season; the heat and red dust alone can discourage a person. The days can be filled with lots of walking in the hot sun door to door. From one problem to the next.

So what keeps me going?

These children, these widows I have the privilege of working with can’t walk away like I can. This is their everyday reality. I just stepped into it 4 months ago and already I’m ready to quit? They wake to painful realities everyday.

Their children are home crying because they so badly want to be in school but there is no money for school fees. They work hard trying to earn some income to pay for rent, food, medicine to treat their HIV, but they are often too sick to work and come up short.

They wake to phone calls that their sister was hit by a car and killed instantly, she has left 8 children behind. Or they come home from burying their uncle only to be greeted by the horrible news that their child has mysteriously dropped dead.


 I share only a small fraction of their struggle. And yet when all the widows in our program gather on Tuesdays for our weekly meeting, they close their eyes and sing worship songs to the Lord with tears dripping down their faces. The words God is good and God is faithful still roll off their lips. They believe it with every fibre of their being.

And I grumble and falter and feel like quitting and
question God’s goodness and intentions, his plans and his provision. I have much to learn from these women.

For whatever reason, God has asked me to come and know the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings among his poor and forgotten in Uganda and in the process find true abiding peace and joy. 

I’m looking for it, straining to find the joy.
Some days are harder than others. But it's there.

His widows and orphans know it, taste it, see it and believe it. I’m hoping to capture it too.

In the meantime what can I do? How can I really make a difference? By putting one foot in front of the other.
 By not giving up.

I can stand back and marvel at their courage,strength, perseverance and their faith that can move mountains.
I can love. 

I can also tell their incredible stories and see how God might use these stories to move hearts and provide for his people.

1 comment:

  1. I can imagine how overwhelming then needs are, Renee. And the red dust. And ...

    I am so glad you started a blog and can tell some of the stories.

    I would love to hear some of the funny things of living in Uganda, too.

    Sending love,