Saturday, 1 November 2014

Beccy's Report from her Mbale group

Frank & Jill chuckled as the "newbies" to Uganda headed off to Khamoto with Edith.  Khamoto is a typical Ugandan village on swampy land where rice is grown, malaria is a particular health issue for this community.

On arrival at the church we received a wonderful Ugandan welcome from the women.  We however were slightly distracted by the reminder from Frank that a "word" may be expected.  Having located our "words" we relaxed and let the Ugandan beat get into our feet!  Inhibitions were let go to varying degrees by members of the team, first prize to Judi who danced amongst the women.

Charles who was the Community Chair person led the meeting.  Charles was developed by ACET training from within this community and he does an incredible job as a volunteer chairing the SAG group and is about to start his training to become a pastor.

Testimonies were given, all were fascinating but two particularly stood out.  Firstly, a group of testimonies from the teenage mums.  As a teenage mum in Uganda your life is over, disgrace & shame is bought upon your family, with no future marriage prospects.  These girls all spoke about how Charles had sought them out, gone to their homes, persuaded the families that a different future could be given to their daughters.  These girls were then trained by ACET in a vocational skill, in life skills and taught about the love of God.   This is offered to all teenage girls regardless of religion.  The girls testified of how their lives had been mentally, spiritually and financially changed, and presented their beautiful children to us.   Annulan, a Muslim girl had learnt tailoring and was now an impressive business lady.  She made clothes, sold doughnuts, grew crops and had earned enough money to buy a bike to take her goods to the nearby market and part build a hut by hand.  Not only did theses girls talk of the personal benefits, they talked of the charitable work their group did, we were shown a shelter the group had built for a sick widow in the community - a true demonstration of love in action! 

The remote village we visited yesterday to learn about their social action groups and self financing groups.  Touched by the ability of those with so little to share and provide for those worse off then them.

Secondly, an elderly gentleman witnessed how the love of Christ had changed him.  He described himself as a "bad man" but through knowing the Lord, and being part of the group he was physically strong, emphasised with a little jig!  And felt joyful and younger!

We then had the privilege to watch Edith in action.  A magnetic lady with a big heart, generous hands and a smile that brings joy and peace - "an African Mother Teresa" was whispered around our group.  Edith spoke with such love, warmth and simplicity on many complex issues gently educating and empowering the men, women and the throngs of village children whom had come to see the "visitors"!