Wednesday, October 19, 2011

look a little deeper

For three nights now I've been dreaming of Hoima. This morning when I awoke it took me a good 30 seconds to realize where I even was. We arrived back in Kigali after a 9 hour long bus ride from Kampala. It's been a good thing to have a moment to stop and really think about everything that has happened. From the time we were told we were being pulled out of the country we were only given 24 hours to pack our bags and say our goodbyes, processing the situation was almost impossible in the rush of events. This time has been good. Our brains have had a day to slow down and unwind. A day to untie the knots that are constantly balling up inside. A day to think.

I've thought a lot about the decision that was made. It's still hard not to feel a lot of anger about it, it's a process I know. I think a lot about everyone we left. I think if it was dealing with only us, it might be easier to let go but it is beyond that. A whole community is affected by our quick evacuation. We had staff that had been planning well in advance for the two upcoming programs. National officials and government workers who were meeting us at the refugee camp, expecting a team of people. Now Pastor Danny is left to clean up after a sloppy decision of a pressured man. Teachers also who were going to be given a vacation during our one week take over are forced to resume as usual. And the one that gets me the most are the HIV women we've spent our time with. We know that even after the staff explains why we had to leave, they still won't understand. Women who have been abandoned in so many ways throughout their lives have been abandoned once again by people who've claimed to love them. You just have to imagine how it must feel, especially when the understanding just isn't there. It looks as though the Americans are just peacin' out at the first sign of danger. Where is the camaraderie in that? It seems as though are lives are considered more valuable than the lives of our brothers and sisters, solely by where we were born.

For us Americans it seems like the best decision. Better to save the name of an organization and shy away from "risky" decisions than to consider the lives within a community. This mentality of running at the slightest sign of danger really sickens me. I am reminded how the most powerful nation has responded in the past. What was the response of the one country that had the influence to change the events of the genocide in Rwanda? They removed themselves completely and waited until it was too late to act. We were too busy bent on whether or not we could put a dictionary definition to the actions that had taken place. Beyond that, I am just astonished how easily we buy into the hysteria caused by the media. Obviously one small ripple in the North means a tsunami for all of Uganda, right? A problem for one city doesn't mean the whole country is in danger. That's stupidity. How much longer are we going to allow ignorance to be our crutch and excuse with these issues?

I've found that throughout all of it, it hasn't been the removal itself that I've found to be so frustrating but the thought process behind it. Thankfully, the goodbyes to me weren't as painful as I know they were for the other three girls who have just fallen in love with these people. I know these people and have already had the surprise and pleasure of being reunited with them. And when I had to leave, I had more peace and confidence than ever that God has seen the desires of my heart and will continue to meet them in the future. It was still difficult saying goodbye, just as it is to know you will be apart from your family for the time given but I have hope for what the future holds.

I want to leave you with a little video that was taken during our time in Kapapi. I never got to write much about our week at the health clinic but I hope this gives you just a glimpse of what makes it just so hard to leave...


  1. good byes are never easy- but you impacted lives while you were there AND your life was impacted and changed during your stay. God is over ALL and He trains us in every situation to not react but rather to build in us HIS character- to bear fruit.

    we love you and are praying for you and pastor Danny.

  2. Oh Linds...I had no idea. Praying for you and all of the people impacted by this...