Since the beginning of February, when I arrived in Uganda, it has been VERY hot. I have never experienced weather as hot as in our mission in northern Uganda. Let me share with you something of my experience over this short time. While working with the refugees in Uganda, they surprised me and are very helpful with many things. For example, the way they are trying their best to create a better life; especially the women in Uganda. They take care of every single thing in building their houses, and also in digging the land for planting. They are very strong! However, their life is not easy, and I can see many people suffering in different ways – mentally, spiritually, and economically. Often I feel their sorrow, and I offer these sorrows to God. Their history is very painful, and they have lost many things and are struggling daily. At the Easter Vigil Mass, I was personally touched by the young & middle-aged women, men, and children, who were baptized and who also received their First Holy Communion. At the Easter Vigil Mass in the settlement of Pagirinya, more than 300 people received the Sacraments! Due to war and the lack of priests etc. they had not had the opportunity before this.
They are really very strong in their faith, and even if there is a priest or not, they gather to pray. Every Sunday, they hold a prayer service, and their example of fidelity, helps me to be strong in my faith. They are not looking just to be in a comfortable place or being dependent on a priest to lead them. They ARE Church. They are strong in their faith, and take it into their hearts and lives. Most of the time, Sister Albertina and myself go visiting those who are sick, bringing Jesus in the Eucharist to them and praying together. For some of them, it is a long time since they were able to go to church because of their poor health.
One woman shared with us that for 10 years she was not able to walk. Many people have problems with their knees, because of the hard physical work they have to do. She asked if we could bring her Holy Communion! Later the same day, we brought Jesus in the Eucharist to her. She was very happy. Their joy makes me very happy. They’re happy though some are living alone, even though they have family, but the family members are digging the land in a far place. We also visit the families of students who are in our student support program. They are often living in remote places, and we encourage families, if they can, to collaborate with us for the school fees. We also give some food support to ensure that the children have what they need to study well. Sometimes, the family takes advantage of their children. Because of the family needs, when they come back from school, they have to go to the bush to get grass for the house, or firewood, or digging the land to prepare for planting. I advise them to try to balance everything.
Thanks to Sr. Tigist for sharing her experience.