First Timer’s Eyes

My first visit to Uganda has been amazing…the red Earth, the trees, mountains, lakes, Nile River, and most importantly, the people…are all incredible. What stands out the most to me is how happy everyone is, despite their very difficult circumstances. Most of these people barely have enough food and water to survive, yet they are all smiles, all the time. 🙂  They praise God for everything they have been given…which is almost nothing, and back in the states, people (including myself) are complaining that we don’t have enough money to buy a 15th pair of shoes, or a new dress because we don’t want to wear one of our 10 that we already own. We are blessed beyond belief, and although I thank God for the things I have, I don’t do it enough. 

One thing that is currently heavy on my heart is how I have come to the other side of the world to help feed the hungry, when there are so many hungry people right around the corner in Dallas. Why am I not serving at the food kitchen, or helping at the homeless shelter back home? One thing is for sure…I will be starting to soon. 

Life here is very laid back and slow paced. Whenever we are told to be ready at 8am, I know I have until around 9-ish to get my stuff together. There is normal time, and there is “Africa time.” 🙂 It is much like Europe in that respect. We have also learned the term “T.I.A.” – This is Africa. Cars break down, emergency visits to the hospital with the babies, cows in the middle of the road, bathrooms are holes in the ground…the list could go on and on, but it’s funny to me how much I’ve heard T.I.A. since I’ve only been one week so far.

I feel blessed to get to see what Dacia sees everyday, and be able to help out the little bit that we can in the short time we are here. Since arriving, we have been to a baby’s hospital and seen children that are so very sick and dying, that there is probably nothing that the hospital can do for them. I saw that on my first day and wept for the baby and the family. The little girl was so malnourished, she appeared to be about 2 years old, when she was really 7. It was heart-breaking and almost unbearable to see. Later that day, we (meaning Dacia and Austin) minstered to men in a prison. They sang for us and danced – I couldn’t believe my eyes. We handed out soap and toothpaste to them, and they were very grateful. We’ve spent multiple days at the baby’s home out in Bukaleba and that has been my favorite. The children out there are absolutely precious and have a joy in their eyes that I did not expect to see. We made them s’mores one evening, which was a first for all of them. It was so cute to see how excited they were! Some are in the process of adoption, but not nearly enough. My prayer for them is to be adopted quickly, and to be able to stay healthy while they are in the orphanage. 

Yesterday, we got to take a boat ride down the Nile, as well as see the source of the Nile – it was an incredible sight. While we were in the boat, it began to rain on us, which in turn, created a double rainbow – I think it might have been one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. How lucky and blessed am I to be here, and have a friend like Dacia to show it to me. Truly, a woman of God. She blows me away with her strength and love for life, these people, and her babies here.

-Devonee Kershner

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