As another visit comes to an end we have returned to a situation that has seemed distant and slightly unreal. Empty supermarket shelves, children unable to go to school, workplaces shut and everyone worried about how they will afford to live, or even if they will live!!!
For so many in Uganda this is an everyday reality with no end in sight. There is no welfare safety net. Supermarket prices are comparable with the UK but many are casual workers struggling to earn £1 a day, the elderly and sick cannot earn at all, families cannot afford food let alone the fees or materials for their children to go to school, many, young and old die from easily treatable illnesses as a result of poverty, rendering them unable to access medical care, the church run clinics who treat regardless of ability to pay are empty of drugs. And just in case you’re wondering, toilet rolls are an unaffordable luxury, using leaves from the garden is the norm for many.
So we are not panic buying and, if we are able, we will continue with the everyday activities of CHI.
Our hearts will continue to break for those we met and the situations we encountered. We will remember the faces of those who welcomed us into their homes, who sang, dance and smiled, despite the often tragic stories later recounted to us.
But as we remember we will also rejoice, because in communities in which there has been intervention, congregations are growing, many are being baptised, the requests for Bibles are almost as great as the requests for practical aid, and Canon Patrick assures us the work of CHI is directly responsible for this growth. This is only possible as a result of your prayerful and financial support.
We will continue to pray for the projects, for individuals and particularly for Canon Patrick whose heart for his people is so large. We have seen the pain he feels when he is unable to help, the internal struggle that renders him almost unable to face the situations he encounters, and his tireless efforts to do everything he possibly can for those in his care.
So as you pray for those affected by the current crisis, please join us in remembering in your prayers those for whom life is uncertain every day, and pray that the work of CHI will continue to bring hope into the lives of those in need.