Friday, March 29, 2013

Walk in the Way of Love at Shelemiah

I’m becoming brave in finding my way to new places in Uganda. Though Musita isn’t far from Bugembe in Jinja, “stop at the trading center” is about as generic as it gets. Which trading center and how will I know I’m at the right one? I found it though, thanks to a somewhat helpful taxi conductor and a very kind petrol station guard who made sure I stayed out of the sun.

 Dennis came limping to collect me once I arrived and I cringed at the story he told about his recent boda-boda accident. Without giving all the details, I will tell you how very thankful I am that he is alive. He is the primary caretaker for about 15 children of primary and secondary school age – though during his long recovery his sister, Norah, joined him at Shelemiah Orphan’s Home. Norah is a beautiful young woman who seemed thrilled to have another woman in the house if even for a short time.

The home relocated recently. They moved away from a perfectly situated very large compound to something nice but much smaller. Landlords tend to take advantage of ministries with outside funding by increasing rents and thus the children were all moved to a new location.

This sunny Saturday, 11 students were home after school and I had the joy of spending time with this huggy bunch once again. Though our work together is simply based on love and encouragement, I so enjoy spending time doing simple lessons with this group. Alongside the Easter resurrection message – and the reason for the resurrection – I had the blessed opportunity to wash the feet of these children and teach them about walking in the way of love based on Ephesians 5:1-2. After washing their feet, each child received a pair of Sensible Shoes to help remind them each time they step into those shoes that they need to love their neighbor.

As Dennis walked me back to the stage he shared some of the struggles he’s had with unethical behavior on the part of others and the dilemma this causes for him. I’m decreasingly surprised at the stories I hear but never do I fail to be sad about the human depravity that exists so boldly in this foreign land. The message of walking in the way of love from Ephesians was not only useful in helping those who do not love others as they ought to, but also in reminding people like Dennis and me not to lose that love for even those who persecute us.