Lovelyn is a friend of Sixty Feet who recently visited Uganda and graciously agreed to post her thoughts and reactions here on our site.

the first time that i read about M, i wanted to close my eyes and turn away.  yet, my heart refused.  i had been affected to my very core and something had to happen.  emotion without action is irrelevant.  faith without deeds is dead.  how could i allow myself to feel such anger & such sorrow for the world, yet idly sit by?  i knew that i had to visit M on my upcoming trip to Africa.  i had to see these children for myself, try to love them the best that i could for the day & report back to everyone i know about how we could join Sixty Feet in helping them.

i think i expected to find angry young men there–mad at life, injustice, circumstances.  yet, that’s not what i found at all.

what i found was a bunch of kids, lined up nicely & so thankful for a toothbrush and toothpaste.  they played soccer with a ball of trash.  they thanked us through their winces of desperate pain as we cleansed & bandaged their deep, open wounds.  i found respectful boys scrubbing their sinks and showers that they are so grateful to now have.  i found kids gathered around a huge pot of beans boiling while they smiled at us as we approached. when the children were told that a big bag of rice had been purchased & brought, they cheered because they knew that the upcoming elections meant that they wouldn’t get many of their meals the next week.  i found boys smiling while washing out their bowls with clean water.  i saw the door where they are sometimes locked in a tiny cell.  i saw their urine soaked mattresses out in the sun to dry.  i heard their joy when they were told that new mattresses were on the way after the old ones had been used for 22 years.

i saw deep pain, yet in the same breath, i saw hope.

there is no doubt that the conditions at M have come a long way recently.  children are no longer chained up by their necks or have inches of dried feces on the floor.  though, i think the thing that struck me is that, according to our American dream, they have no reason to worship.  sure, their conditions have improved and they are grateful.  they are learning to trust and learning to hope, but the reality is that their lives are far from what anyone here would consider blessed.  very far.  yet, they worship.  the children danced & sang…crying out to God.  thankful for His forgiveness, mercy and love.

they worship God for who He is, not what He has blessed them with.

i have a lot to learn.  we have a lot to learn.