Today’s lesson was taken from an article on Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life. The article stated the Rick Warren prefers calling missionary teams “peace teams”. Then goes on to say what each letter in peace means. Every now and then Tom likes to measure what Hope4Kids is doing and he will look at someone he admires and respects to see if we are in line with them. So today we took a look at Warren’s Peace.
P= Plant new churches or partner with existing ones. Here in Uganda we have partnered with True Vine Ministries who were meeting in a tumbling down wooden shack and helped them build a new church. 51 churches have been planted since then.
E= Equip leaders. Hope4Kids trains and teaches men in women not only in ministry but have equipped them to start businesses such as funding the women’s ministry to train women who are living in poverty. Tom helped a man living in poverty start a driving school. Now that man has two driving schools and is working toward buying an apartment complex. We can point to many people who had no hope and are now leaders in the community.
A=Assist the poor. We take verses from the Bible and try to live by them such as “do not mock the poor” and in James 2:15 -16 we read: “If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat. What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help?” And in James 1:27 “Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil.”
C=Care for the sick. Hope4KidsInternational is building clinics in Peru and Romania. Here in Uganda we built the clinic and tomorrow we will dedicate our new hospital. Our nursing teams have trained the Uganda nurses in practices such as using gloves when they treat patients and they are now immunizing children.
E=Educate the next generation. This also matches what we are doing. Immediately upon sponsoring an orphan that child receives a uniform so he/she can attend school. We meet their school fees in secondary school. So many have dropped out because they can’t afford the fees. True Vine and the nurses have been educating the children on AIDS, health care and teaching life skills.
After a prayer we were dismissed to serve.
Remember Cadija? She was one of the widows Jane and I visited before the team arrived. She’s between 110 and 120 years old. She crawls around looking for firewood in the bush. We found she sleeps on a pile of dirty rags. We brought her sheets and a blanket not knowing she had no mattress. Yesterday a team of us arrived with a mattress. Imagine living that long and never owning a mattress! She was so happy. She didn’t want to come back out of her hut.
Lolo brought blankets for widows so we visited a couple widows and gifted them with her blankets. The paths in the bush were not made for vehicles and our mini-bus sunk into the fresh mud. We had quite a time!
We also re-visited another widow. Last time Jane and I brought her gifts she said, “I don’t want salvation. I don’t want you coming her to tell me about salvation. And I don’t want the Mzungu to take my picture!” We obliged and told her we had just come by to check on her and to give her some gifts. Yesterday when we returned with a mattress she welcomed us warmly. At the end she said, “I will put on my goma (a dress up dress) and you can take my picture.” She also asked that we pray for her and she prayed for us.
Back at the site the team was busy welcoming new orphans and playing with the kids after school. Laura’s team was swamped with kids who wanted their faces and fingernails painted. They were told Bible stories and played with hula-hoops and the parachutes. Cooper had a little drawing class and Carol and Cheryl showed kids how to make paper airplanes.
Tomorrow will be the big celebration and the dedication of the hospital. Many of the Ugandans will work well into the night caring for all the last minute details. Chris and Wendy finished re-upholstering well-worn benches and tables in the clinic. Elizabeth and Darrin welcomed the orphans who came from a distance in trucks, vans, bikes and by foot. They partied in the church with singing, dancing and eating and were joined by Wendy and Chris when they finished their tasks. The girls will sleep at the church and the boys will be at a school house. A truck full of mattresses pulled up to give the children a more comfortable sleep. Some couldn’t wait for a mattress and fell asleep on the floor. Others won’t sleep much in anticipation of tomorrow.