A two hour drive found us in Kaleere today, thankfully the road had dried out and was passable, if a little rough.
The songs and dancing by the elderly, dressed in their Sunday best, as the service started were a delight.
Ian preached, and Canon Eriab translated, to a full church on Ephesians 1 v15:23, as usual an excellent sermon which appeared to be well received by the congregation.
As is normal in Uganda the offering consisted largely of vegetables, eggs and coffee beans. Once the service ended everyone remained in church and the produce was auctioned off, a strange experience but it provided food at an affordable cost for the community and funds for the church.
We had been presented with a large number of gifts of fruit when we visited the homes yesterday and this was added to the pile. The bananas were not terribly popular but were bought by various members of the congregation to be given to the children. We followed them outside but it soon became clear that we would not have nearly enough for everyone. We had something of a Loaves & Fishes experience as we broke each banana into three and each piece was given one between two, barely a bite each but they all received something.
Then it was time for some CHI (Causing Havoc Intentionally) as we ‘stole’ a banana leaf football and played soccer with the children, after Carmen tried to kill a couple of younger ones with badly aimed kicks a game of catch seemed a better idea. Much high fiving and a game of scary muzungu (white person) and it was time to go back into church and meet with the elderly who are supported by our Parish Project.
We learned of their successes, failures and challenges, then spent some time meeting with them outside the church. We didn’t need words to understand their gratitude for all that has been done in this parish or their joy that we had returned to visit them. Despite warnings about not shaking hands for fear of spreading the Coronavirus, much hand shaking and hugging took place, like people the world over, these folk just want to be loved and cared for and we were not about to deny them this show of affection.
Requests for glasses and dental treatment were made by some and we ended our visit with a house call to one of the elderly ladies who was in bed sick, she needs an operation but her family do not have the means to either transport her to the hospital or pay for the treatment. She is just one of many, it is heartbreaking that we cannot offer this form of assistance to individuals. The request that the health camp be held twice a year to enable seasonal treatment to be given was made, we will consider this, along with the many other proposals once we return.
All too soon it was time to leave, but we will be back tomorrow to visit the school, homes and wells that have been supported in this community. Everyone has agreed NOT to pray for rain tonight!!!
Oh dear, it’s 8.30pm and it just started to rain.