Back under the giant mango tree – this time will be the last…..at least for this season. I am amazed at the array of sounds and activities around me as we spend our last day in Mayuge. Five of our guys are on the “roof in progress” placing and nailing the perlins that will soon support the sheets of tin being stacked nearby, a ground crew tosses and catches tools, facing boards have been painted with “victory paint” that looks like Elmer’s glue, women balancing jerry cans full of water on their heads walk by on their way back from the bore hole, a large group of children are playing with a soccer ball in the road and Renee and Danielle are evaluating a severely malnourished child that came yesterday seeking help. The sound of the bright yellow battery powered DeWalt Recipricating saw seems a bit out of place in this land where scaffolding is made from stripped trees and perlins are made from rough cut boards toenailed together to make ill fitting joints. An ipod is playing worship music in the background reminding us as we work that this is all about our God.
Yesterday a skeleton crew of just the guys built and installed the trusses. When we arrived today we began building 30’ perlins by cutting angles on the ends of rough cut 2x4’s and toenailing 3 or 4 of them together. They are carried with a person holding each joint and passed up using a forked board to a waiting crew to nail them in place. We are determined to see a roof on this house that represents to us a physical way to show God’s love to this family. We watch the clock as we work diligently and pray that we will be allowed the pleasure of seeing our goal met before we go back to another world tomorrow. Finally at 4:00 the last piece of tin is in place and we bring Roberts family inside their newly roofed home. They walk around with amazement as they begin to imagine what it will be like for them to live here in a home built with love and many prayers that will provide a safe place for their son. JjaJja, always beyond bursting with enthusiasm, races to his home and comes back wearing all the dress clothes he owns; battered dress pants, covered by a long white muslim robe and an ill fitting dark suit coat. He doesn’t own a pair of shoes but he stands proudly in front of the home of his son and asks for a picture to be taken. There was not a word spoken by our team as we tried to imagine what this family who has nothing by our standards must feel as they have been given such an amazing gift from people that they do not know, nor will likely ever see again. We too have been given a similar gift by a God who we have never seen but who poured out his love to us through His Son. It is our prayer that the opportunities that we had to share with these people about the saving faith that is available through Jesus Christ will remain here along with the bricks and mortar used to build this home.
It is now Friday morning and the volunteer house here in Masese is quiet except for the sounds of Sarah and her children washing bed sheets in the back to prepare for the group of interns who will be moving in this afternoon. The team left at 4:00 this morning after a busy evening of dinner in town, finishing up errands and saying goodbye to the many people here that they have grown to love. At 11:00 Josh and Glendon were installing the giant roof rack on top of the matatu so we could fit the team and all of their luggage in one vehicle for the 3 hour trip to the airport. I am remaining here for 10 more days along with Dennis and Nick. We will be welcoming new interns today and picking up Nick’s mother and step dad tomorrow who will be teaching a Midwifery Clinic at the Bugabero Hospital on Monday and one here in Jinja on Wednesday. Charles and Silas will continue to work on the house until the walls are plastered inside and out, doors and windows are installed and the final coat of concrete is poured on the floor. The baby that we brought back from Mayuge yesterday (the 5th one that has come back with us in the past 2 weeks) is improving after receiving fluids and a blood transfusion last night. Little Reagan, the first child that we brought to Renee from Mayuge last week, will be returning home soon and the cycle will continue.
We have been blessed with the opportunity to work alongside of Serving His Children and make a difference. As we reflect on the work we have done here in the name of Jesus, we are left wondering if we are not truly the ones that have received the greatest blessing.