Last November, 13 students and three staff members travelled to Uganda on a three week short-term mission trip. Quite simply we went to share the unconditional love of Christ to the Ugandan people. We did this practically by doing lots of painting and helping with concreting at a little rural primary and high school in Mbale and working in an orphanage just outside Kampala. We also spent a lot of time with the youth from Musaale Church in Mbale and, many, many children in the communities we visited.  There are lots of good memories with all of these young people. 

One special moment where we were able to practically and unconditionally love someone was while in the village just outside Mbale. We went to see a dear lady called Esther. Many years ago she was kidnapped as a young girl by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) which was led by the infamous, Joseph Cony. She was raped and beaten over many years till one day she tried to run away.  She was captured and beaten so badly that she was at the point of death.  After being left for dead by the rebels, one of these men took pity on her and rescued her, later making her his wife.  After many years her husband died of AIDS but not before transmitting this to Esther.

In the small community where Esther lives she is seen as a dead woman walking as she has AIDS and is given no help at all except from our good friend, Ps Peter Wamono and the people from Musaale Church.  Esther lives in a mud home with a little broken down stable and rundown kitchen just outside the home.  We asked if we could pay to have this structure torn down and a new one built for her which we did.  We also purchased new mattresses and linen for her and her son and little grandchildren who she also looks after and cares for as they were all sleeping on the ground.  She was completely blown away by all of this.  She then blessed us with some fruit and we departed but not before giving and receiving many hugs and a lovely time of prayer.

This is just one of many stories of God using us to be a blessing to the beautiful people of Uganda.  This was a fabulous, life changing and life challenging experience for all.