Today on our first day in Gulu, we started out by getting up and ready by 5:00am so we could travel to Gulu, a drive of over 5 hours. We started off in Anaka around 2:00pm, about 6 hours late due to not driving up until this morning, behind schedule. We gave out 150 beds to children that had registered previously, then we handed out 112 more mosquito nets to the new ones that came out of hiding today and registered. Some of these children started walking yesterday morning, up to 30 kilometers, to come meet us and pick up their beds. They had all been waiting patiently for us since 8:00am. We then traveled back towards Gulu to hand out 50 more beds at Koch Goma. Both of these small communities are in the In Nwoya District in Northern Uganda. Spencer Key’s Personal Blog
The following was shared by team member Cayliegh Little. ~ spencer
As we were pulling up in Anaka, the first place we were going to distribute the beds, we drove up and the people started clapping for us. They were just so very excited. The women were doing this distinct sound that I will never forget. A shrill sound. It was like they were screaming, but it was the most amazing sound I’ve ever heard. They were just showing so much joy that they had.
After we pulled in, the mothers would let their little babies come up to us and sit in our laps. We sat there and Doug McCutcheon started in with a little devotional and anytime he mentioned God, Jesus, or the Bible the people would start clapping and yelling and just praising the Lord. You might think that the language might be a barrier but it wasn’t. They were just so excited to be hearing about God.
As we started handing them the beds, it was just amazing. I was able to touch every one of them. I just couldn’t quit smiling. We were told we were supposed to be strong and not cry, but seeing their excitement was overwhelming. It was tough to just be teary-eyed and not bawl.
At the second place where we went to distribute beds, I got to talk to some 16 year old boys. They are just a year younger than me and I got to talk to them about school. They were both very excited about school, and that hit me, because when we go to school in America, we are always trying to keep ourselves awake in class and we don’t get excited at all about school, but these kids travel for hours one way just to get there.
Tonight, we got to hear the stories of our translators, who are in charge of Sweet Sleep over here, Josephine and Jennifer. They both grew up with practically nothing and their situations are like the kids we are giving mats to, without their parents. These kids came today, and we knew they came from bad situations or might be sick, but we were given some insight into these kids lives.
Tomorrow, I’ll just be able to love those kids 100,000 times more than I did today. It amazes me at how willing they are to just come up to you and talk to you, or give you a hug. They all want to see the skin color difference. There was one little girl and she just wanted to keep touching my hand. That in itself was just amazing, because they might not have seen or spent much time around a white person. Coming to them was such a huge deal. They kept telling us that it was such an honor for them to have us come, but it was actually the other way around. It was an honor for me just to be in their presence and share with them, share God’s love with them.
I really don’t have much more to say, but if you ever have an opportunity to come, take it. Seven months ago I started dreaming about this and I knew God was calling me to go, but I didn’t think I would get the opportunity. What are the chances that a 17 year old from Olney, Texas would to get to go to Uganda? It’s just amazing to get to come here and touch the people physically and spiritually. I just can’t get over their smiles. Their pearlie-whites just shine so bright and at first they are apprehensive, but you wave or smile and their faces just light up.
Going back home will definitely different. I will have a new perspective on life and I for sure will not take things for granted, like a toilet. My day was just amazing and I just give God the glory. He’s blessing me way more than I could ever think about blessing the people.