This month marks the 5th anniversary of Sixty Feet.
This post was written by our friend Tiffany Talen who teaches at an international school here in Kampala. Recently she and her sister, Nikita, joined our team on one of our twice-weekly visits to M1.
Life for me has been a million miles from easy. I was born into an extremely poor family in Northern Uganda which has suffered for decades from periods of war and famine. I was just a few years old when that man with the smile dressed up so nicely came and convinced my desperate mother that he would provide for me a future that only existed in her dreams, dreams which had nearly faded completely away. I cried when we drove away.
“The world waits for a miracle. The heart longs for a little bit of hope. Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel. He is the song for the suffering. He is Messiah. “
– Lauren Daigle
During this advent season, we wait in anticipation for the God who promises to come and wipe away every tear, defeat death, mourning, crying, and pain. But, just as Israel was waiting for their King, we too are waiting for Jesus to come again. Because, one step into M1 and we know that, while He is shining and while there is hope and joy and love, His promise of restoration is not complete.
One thing that has really struck Dan and me in the time we’ve been living in Uganda: nothing here is wasted.
We Americans like to think of ourselves as environmentally-conscious recyclers. We burn energy efficient lightbulbs, we build low-flow toilets and showers in our houses, and we recycle our morning cereal boxes. But let me tell you… in this regard, us Americans have nothing on the Ugandans. They are light years ahead of us.
Literally nothing in this culture is wasted. An item is used and re-used and re-used and re-used for its original purpose far beyond the point that most Americans would consider it trash. When something really is worn out beyond usage, rather than throwing it away, its function changes. Basically, it’s recycled into something else.
Avocado pits become soccer balls. Old magazine pages become necklaces. Milk cartons become toy cars. Car and motorcycle gears become dumbells. Scrap metal becomes a roof for a family’s home. Nothing is wasted.
Recently, Dan and I had to replace the tires on our family’s car. We contacted Daniel, who works as the SixtyFeet transportation coordinator, and asked for his help. He came the next morning to pick up our car and promptly returned it that afternoon with four shiny new tires. There was only one problem: