We are currently working with our second volunteer team (a youth group) out here in Uganda. Yesterday, we all had a really special day- most of the team was having a blast working with the children at Hope Home school in a village called Bulubandi. As for me and the youth group leader, Rebecca, we were with the sewing and tailoring group that is intended for widows in the community. We were spending the day with them hoping to give them encouragement in some form. The class began with us watching them work - all of the women gathered around and worked on creating a dress, a skirt and a blouse together. They also told us how they were the designers in their community - this statement came as a fact and with such pride, I would have done just about anything to affirm them in their work.
After their class, Rebecca and I heard their stories and and encouraged them. We learned that many of these women had lost their husbands and were struggling to raise several (around 6-8 children - one woman said 11) children. No matter what hardship a woman had to share though, she always began with praise and thankfulness - they were encouraging me! After we finished sharing, Rebecca and I gave out sugar and a bar of soap to each woman. This is a relatively small gift, but they were so grateful that they sang and danced with us for about an hour. It was such a wonderful spontaneous celebration - you couldn't help but be joyful. Their smiles will be with me forever.
Lori Acton, Fount of Mercy