Africa time, July 1
Today was the first full day in the villages of Uganda. The program provides four basic elements (hence HOPE4KIDS). The first is to provide HELP. Yesterday we spend a short time at True Vine, the primary Hope4Kids partner in Uganda. Started in 2000, True Vine is situated on 35 acres and consists of a church, medical clinic, pastor’s home, latrine and school, home for 350 orphans, housing for teachers and vegetable gardens. As we approached the site, dozens of young children ran toward our old bus waving and clapping. After touring the campus we came back for a good night’s sleep. The following day we left for Mumatumba, another village that partners with True Vine and Seaside Community in Huntington Beach. Since most diseases here are water born, latrines and wells are the most important asset of the village. This is the HELP we can provide.
The 2nd element is “DIGNITY”. Nearly 52% of African children under the age of 5 die from malaria, dysentery or measles and the remainder of AIDS. Most women have lost multiple children and often their husbands. They are on their own in their village. We were reminded Jesus brought dignity to the poor through love. After washing the widows feet, painting their fingernails, applying lipstick and giving them a new headscarf and container of rice, the party concluded with joyous singing and dancing. These women have probably never experienced this much pampering in their lifetime.