This morning we got to experience a service at a local church! The church was the Nateete Praise Church in the Nateete area of Kampala. We think we can speak for everyone when we say that at first, we were totally out of our comfort zone. The dancing and singing were unlike anything we had ever participated in. They were super welcoming and very willing to teach us some of their dance moves, so if you see students breaking out some killer moves…it’s probably us. Connor, Carly, and I (Anna) got a chance to share our testimonies and some words from scripture. It was so powerful being able to witness these two very different groups worshiping the same God through the universal language of dance. After church we came back to the hotel for lunch and got to try some traditional Ugandan food!
After lunch we went back to the church and split into a group to do the water filter demonstration and to get a tour of their school. They called the school the “Catch-Up School” because kids from ages 3-12 would come to learn the basics. Some of the older kids had never gone to school before due to the lack of finances in their family, so they had to catch-up on what they had missed out on. Becky was the woman who gave us our tour and was one of the volunteer teachers at the school. She was so passionate about sharing education with the kids and instilling the love of God within them. Although they are currently located in a temporary shack with little school equipment, they are making the best out of their situation and even start exams tomorrow!
The first water filter demonstration went smoothly. Kirk talked through a demonstration with a crowd in the church, while Chris, Terrell, Hailey, Connor, and I (Ashleigh) drilled holes in buckets to help get the people get started on building their own filtration system. The water filter consists of any large bucket, and then a small filter provided by Sawyer is attached to the drilled hole. We filled a bucket with water gathered from a local source and added some dirt to it for dramatic effect. Seeing the excitement on everyone’s face when Kirk drank the newly filtered and clear water was humbling.
After this, we came back together to go on some home visits. We met three inspiring, single mothers making many sacrifices to give their children meals, a home, and an education. One of the mothers had just given birth to twins, a boy and a girl (named Joshua and Ruth), and she let all of us take turns holding the babies. She shared her inspiring story of her difficult time giving birth and how she overcame it to bring both of her babies home healthy. We were all touched by all of the mothers’ vulnerability and strength, and thankful for the opportunity to be welcomed into their homes.
We think every one of us got to hold our fair share of children’s hands today. It was a day filled with smiles and love. We miss you Mom!
Anna and Ashleigh