Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Women's Work

Every day the ladies from Pastor Martin’s family can be seen toiling…all day long. Add having visitors and that day just got longer. These ladies prepared the most lavish meals using food transported from more than four hours distance…because there is no food in Takora. The cost of that food tripled by the time transport is added to the mix.

Some of the ladies work as nurses at the next door hospital and when they return from that job they work more at home. I watched them either preparing meals or cleaning dishes nonstop. Literally. After a simple breakfast they began preparing for our lunchtime meal. After doing the dishes from the lunchtime meal they began preparing the dinner meal. Somehow laundry and hauling water got done as well, I think by the younger girls. Any effort I made to assist was met with a fierce rebuke.

Not being the domestic type, I very much appreciated all that they did…and they did it with little expression of appreciation because in Karamoja and most of Uganda…”that’s their work.” The sentiment is something akin to why appreciate them for something they’re supposed to do anyhow. There’s no malice or flippancy, it’s strictly a cultural mindset.

None the less my heart was filled with gratitude at how faithfully they work and how much harder they had to work because of the ministry event. I longed for a free moment with them to tell them how much God sees their faithfulness. We carved out 30 minutes after our lunchtime meal to watch NOOMA She. The film was perfect for these women, particularly given the example Rob uses of how women in Africa walk hours to haul water… They felt so respected and acknowledged because of that one line in the film.

We joined together in prayer for one another and for some very specific needs as well as in celebrating the knowledge that women are important, valuable, and essential to the voice of the family and the church. While the men were not invited to our gathering, I did take the opportunity to tell them about the film and to emphasize that if they were not already including their women in discussions about family and church matters that they were missing out on a perspective that God purposefully created in his own image.

NOTE: As our time of ministry wound down, the women said the men raved about NOOMA Rain and that they wanted to watch too. I thank God for fully charged laptop batteries.