This week I got sent an anonymous email (I didn’t even know you could block your email address) that was quite terrifying. It stated
“ Do you ever think maybe places like Uganda that face such challenges should just be left to themselves and let survival of the fittest take it’s natural course maybe self destruct? Does the effort we put into these countries make a difference isn’t it about time we realized we are wasting our time and should just focus on ourselves.” There was more included in the email but I think that’s for another day.
After reading this email I wept. Hard, not because I agree with them. But because my heart broke knowing that this person may never truly understand the value of ALL HUMANS. If this person could only spend 5 mins here in Uganda I believe their outlook on countries that face similar challenges would be radically changed. If you could look in the eyes of my family and friends here in Uganda you would instantly know this place is so much more than any challenge. Oh my sweet friend who sent me this email my heart hurts for you. My prayer is one day God leads you to Uganda or to a place that faces the challenges Uganda faces and you can see all that these places has to offer. That you can experience the fullness of “these places” I pray that you understand that God has a purpose and a plan for these places. That although generally judged, if we spent as much time learning and experiencing these places as we did stereotyping them; the stigma and stereotypes would change instantly.
I have to admit not more than 5 years ago I was questioning similar things. I once had defined Africa by its challenges; I believed the goal was making these countries more like ours. I didn’t really know if people could make a difference in countries that faced these challenge . Oh thank God I am wrong. The goal is never to make African countries like America. It’s about bringing the truth, love and justice of Jesus to people who don’t know him. Its about living out the commandments of the bible to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and stand up for those who don’t have a voice. It’s not about saving the world but making a difference in one persons life. It’s about trusting that God has overcome all darkness and challenges we face.
I am not saying Uganda doesn’t have challenges. It does. Very big, hard, messy, complicated challenges that I can’t fix. Luckily I believe in an all mighty God that can and will redeem this place and all of these people. Each day 410 people are infected with HIV. 50% of the population lives on less than a dollar a day. There are a reported 2.8 million orphans in Uganda. Unfortunately corruption is well known in this part of the world. One person cannot solve each of these problems.
BUT, here is the thing; Uganda is more than its challenges.I know that this place is much more than the above statistics. That if we limit ourselves our learning of Africa to its challenging statistics we are truly missing out. is rich. Yes rich, see human’s value places and people by their monetary status. Those are outer things and God looks at our heart. If you look at the heart of Uganda you can see joy, diligence, motivation, love, and hospitality. HUMANITY! We have to stop measuring places and people by their challenges and the money they have in their pocket. Their willingness to lay down all they have to serve others and be hospitable is possibly the most incredible thing I have experienced. The faith that I am witness to in these people is humbling. They don’t lacking in many things 1st world countries lack greatly in. I beg you my friends stop measuring my home by its challenges.
Life is not about comparisons, I could explain all day in many pages of words about the differences between America and Uganda. Both nations face challenges whether different or the same neither is less painful than the other. I believe if we were too just let countries self-destruct we would be sadly disappointed. See the God I serve redeems, restores and renews His nations and people. That is His promise when we surrender to him we can do all things with him. Uganda would not self-destruct; Uganda is filled with strong, diligent, and loving people who greatly fear and serve the Lord. God is alive in Uganda working and moving.
I believe whole heartily that God has blessed me more living in Uganda than God has blessed Uganda with me living here. Uganda doesn’t need me, America doesn’t need me. They need Jesus and that’s what God is teaching me daily. Its not about me or people its about Jesus. So anonymous to answer your question, I know confidently that if all aid workers, missionaries and volunteers were to leave Uganda it would still stand because God is sovereign over all nations. I am blessed everyday that God uses me here but I know for a fact I am not a necessity to Uganda’s success.
Here is how I would try to describe Uganda in words usually I end up just smiling and jumping because words don’t do justice. Uganda is a nation filled with authentic joy, laughter and heartbreak. It is filled with the spirit of the Lord and his creation praises his name. Ugandans are diligent, hard working, hospitable people. Love for friends, family and a stranger is overflows through their pores. Time here moves in a way to include and accommodate for the people around. Uganda is filled with God-fearing citizens who pray for an end to challenges such as poverty, disease and corruption. It is also a nation filled with people who daily live in such a generous way that they think of those around them before themselves. Uganda is beautiful in every single way. It is filled with people who have hope and confidence for a better tomorrow. Uganda is home and Jesus is love.
If you have any other questions please by all means I am more than happy to answer. I hope this blog has helped maybe answer some other questions or even sparked more for others. If you at all have questions or want to discuss about my home with me, I am always happy to listen. This blog is not meant to be malicious but to rather call out the stigma Africa has and the ignorance sometimes we face as humans.