With the shopping squarely out of the way yesterday and life getting back to normal to some degree for AH and the Transitional Home, we headed over to AH office for a time of devotions and a briefing on what to expect from the boys at the home and how we should act/react to the situation. I found the devotions refreshing. Abi reminded us that God is good all the time, nothing in his plan for us or His goodness to us has changed despite the turmoil associated with the death of one of the boys in their care. Others put in texts and encouraging words from those texts to remind us that Gods had a plan for us, a plan for our good. I often think that we westerners think we have something to teach these people who are new Christians or not so faithful and strong as us, but I tell you, when you are this rollercoaster ride of life and death in Uganda or any other perhaps 3rd world country, the only place you have to go is to our God. Our life in the west seems so easy compared to here, but I believe its the troubles and trials that make us grow, not the easy times. The roots of a tree go down deeper in the storms of adversity than when there is calm around us. And I personally felt challenged that these people were actually more faithful Christians than I was and I really needed to listen and learn rather than try to teach them something.
We arrived around 11.00am after buying the paint, rollers, trays (or basins, we couldn’t buy roller trays in Uganda) and some more paint brushes. We quickly got into the work as Olivia was to paint a mural on the wall for the school room. All of us got stuck in, including quite a number of the boys, young and old, from the home. The inside was painted by some while other focused on the outside. Still others painted the Army green for the doors and front outside wall of the home.
I played soccer piggy in the middle with Abi and some of the boys. It was a great way to avoid doing too much work and I was very pleased with the resultant amount of work that the others did while I was playing. I made a mental note to use this tactic again in the future when there was work to do. I did find that a 49 year old body didn’t respond as quickly to the brain commands as the earlier 29 year old body did. Note to self, find a less tiring way to avoid work in the future.
Unfortunately, during the process of, I guess, ‘blessing’ the boys, Tk’s iPhone was taken from her bag. I was confused. I couldn’t understand how kids could do this to us when we had invested so much, not only in the cost of the trip, but the equipment we had brought for them, and I guess, the love we were endeavouring to show them through the work we were doing for them. I felt angry and betrayed that they would do this, but then as I write this and try to rationalise my feelings, I guess we need to show them sacrificial love in the same way Christ loved us. Despite everything I’ve thrown at my Father and my Saviour, I believe the Triune God still loves me and forgives me, but in the same way I forgive others there trespasses. Wow, this is difficult! I feel like ranting and raving and telling them what we have done for them and how betrayed I feel, but every time my mind goes down this path, I feel convicted myself. I guess God must be laughing at my mental turmoil and efforts to rationalise my sins and minimise what I have done as I try to help Him understand how much worse they are. Yeah, it is futile. I’ll just keep my mouth shut and pray that some good may come out of it. And who knows, maybe the phone will come back. I guess we’re dealing with boys who have had to survive some pretty rough times on the streets and in the slums and some habits are hard to break. And I have no idea what that would be like and how that would scar me.
And then, with wisdom, Ainsley reminded me why we are doing this. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. And first and foremost we are doing it for Him.