Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'm home!

Wowzers! I apologize that it has been a while since I've been able to write you all, we've been so busy that I've found it difficult to sit down and write about everything that has happened. Also, power here is pretty scarce so my computer spends most of it's time dead, unable to be charged....

The kids at Precious Children
Well! I'm almost unsure of where to even begin, so much has happened since I've arrived in Hoima. Saying I'm happy to be here doesn't begin to describe how unreal it is to be back. It feels like I've returned home. Seeing all the familiar faces has made coming back so sweet. Not only that, now I have three other friends/classmates of mine joining with me on this great return. The place is just as I remember and even better!

Holding on for dear life in our mode of transportation-a truck bed
Well, let's see... This last week has been a bit of a whirlwind. Each day we'd do morning staff devotionals at the UAOG (Uganda Assemblies of God) Rescue office aka the school (Precious Children), it's kind of a common place that we all gather together at.
early morning devos
Then after our devotions we go and work in the school with the teachers from like 9-11am, then after time at the school we head out to do home visits with the HIV positive women. UAOG Rescue has a program called Restore Hope where women who are HIV positive come together as a community to learn to live life positively with their illness and situation.

So every week the women come to a gathering at the office where they sing, play games, dance, share laughter and hope with one another. Beyond the once a week meeting the staff of UAOG Rescue goes out and does monthly home visits. Because we're came for our practicum they've focused this week on the Restore Hope program. Each day we've gone out in two groups to visit 3-4 women in their home and to hear their stories, pray and build relationships with them. It's been unreal.
praying over a woman during our home visits
Part of the Restore Hope project is that they give micro loans to the women that have preexisting businesses so that they can save money and create sustainable projects. So as we visit we get to chat with the women, hear their stories and then see what they do for their different projects.

this lady grew mushrooms for her sustainable project
Being gifted papyas after our visit
picture sharing time!
a woman who sold the most delicious chapati for her project
After our home visits we grab some lunch and then we are on our way to do HIV/AIDS prevention in the Secondary Schools. It's been stretching as we learn about the issues surrounding the AIDS epidemic here in Uganda. It's hard to describe the norms and mindset here. It's not something that's easy to reverse, that's for sure. Sometimes my heart gets heavy when we go to the schools and we're faced with the vast problem of promiscuity among the students. Regardless, I am thankful to be apart of this team that is bringing awareness and light to these issues.

handing out books of hope and Bibles at the schools
Becca during the HIV prevention
game face-small group talks
Then after HIV prevention we return to the office for either Praise and Prayer Meetings, Worship Practice or just a time of debriefing and planning for the next day. We begin early in the mornings and go late into the evenings, so whenever we rest it is certainly sweet.

all the women from A Day To Remember
Then on top of all our daily activities we've been planning for a special event that happened yesterday. It was a 6 hour program for the HIV women called "A Day To Remember." We rented out a hotel, provided lunch and made an entire afternoon just for them to relax and truly feel appreciated. This was pretty significant, especially after hearing each of their stories. These women who already have a life-threatening disease are usually the only ones left to care for their family, so you find them toiling each day just to provide so their children can survive. Many of the women are 50+ and still spend countless hours digging in the fields. All of that to say, they never really get a break. Then on top of that, they have to battle each day through the social stigma surrounding HIV as well as all the burdens that come with life.
painting the women's nails during A Day To Remember
We had this special event where all the women dressed in their best gowns and came for a day to remember. We painted their fingernails, ate lunch, sang worship, had a dance competition, brought in comedians, had hulu hoop competitions, and played games with balloons.
Balloon contests
Singing worship for the women
After all the laughter, fun and joy we shared between one another we spent the second half of the evening ministering and lavishing love on them. We did a skit about baggage, led more worship, prayed with one another and then finished off the night by washing their feet.
Foot washing
 Man, that act of service was probably one of the most powerful and most humbling experiences yet. All of us girls and the staff just sang worship songs as we sat each woman down to wash her feet. It was incredible to see how loved those women felt. And for some, it was the first times we had really seen their faces light up. The program was really more than I could've expected and planned for. Each of us girls put in some heavy planning and a late night to make the program happen and honestly we were so surprised at how well it went. God is so faithful to honor our efforts.

After a long day and an incredible time with the women I was informed that the next morning I would be preaching at Pastor's church -Victory Family Church. I thought he was joking. Apparently he wasn't. Hah. Anyways, that was this morning and I spoke about having abundant joy in suffering. Many of the women from the program showed up too! I was so thankful. I'm certainly no pastor but it went well and I was thankful to have the opportunity to share.

preaching on joy
To end a tremendously long post, next week we spend at the medical clinic in the village. I believe we're doing household surveys and then holding a free clinic. I'm sure this next week is going to be filled with new adventures!


  1. Heard from my dad you were there and received many of these same pics- it is good to hear all you had to share!! I'm in tears!!! YAY Lindsey!!!

  2. AH-MAY-ZING!!!! So powerful!! I had Holy Ghost goosebumbs the entire time. Way to affect eternity, Lindsey!!