Dennis Wandera is the Business Manager for Beyond Uganda. He runs the second hand clothing store, Hope's Closet in Kampala and helps with all "in country" travel and any special projects. He recently was on the site of the first well being dug at the Mt. Zion Orphanage when he received word that his grandmother had passed away. The staff, Hensel Family and Interns were there to be by his side. Walking through life with people has been the greatest calling by God for Beyond Uganda and for each of us individually. Here is what Dennis had to say...thought it was worth sharing:
"Thanks for the prayers in this season. I was so humbled...really so humbed. by the solidarity shown to me by the Mzungu team here. So small the world, I never knew Lexi and Sam and the interns would ever be to my village. Today, the entire group showed up to comfort me...so humbling!!! So proud of this great family. How God blends us together from different nations. Divided by race and color, but united at Calvary."~~Dennis Wander
Meeting Medical Needs
Travis and Emi Hensel and the Beyond Uganda staff were able to spend the day in the village that surrounds the Heartland Worship Center of Uganda for a Medical Day. Now let me preface this by saying that we are not doctors and Emi does have limited knowledge of medical care but much of the preventable or small wounds are simply things we take care of everyday here in the U.S. But in a remote village, where simply medicines and creams are unattainable, people die from these same things. The medicines taken quite literally are the donated ibprofen, hydrogen peroxide, and anti-biotic cream (like neosporin) that the locals are calling miracle cream. In an area where most adults and all children don't have shoes, open wounds are common and become infected quite easily. These are often life threatening. But days like today not only treat those wounds and many other things but it gives the BU staff a chance to pray over those that come for help and even find enough time to play with the children. God has continued to teach us that building relationships is the best thing we can do. That is the doorway that opens to God being able to walk on into their lives. And afterall, that is the best gift of all.
Who Needs A Shower!
I was able to find a man nearby that had a personal well and charged me a small amount of money to deliver cans to our water tank. This made things much better, but we were still struggling with how to manage the water. Want to eat dinner? That will require water to boil plus water to wash the dishes afterward. Hands dirty? That takes water to wash. Need to clean something? Need water. Want to shower? Too bad. It was becoming clear that the city water was not coming back until the rainy season started. We have flushing toilets, but that requires water to use. You can fill the toilet tanks manually (which we do on special occasions), but that costs A LOT of water. Ever wonder how much water you use when you flush? Three quarters of a jerrycan. Life over the past few days has been a lot of figuring out what the bare minimum is as far as water goes and doing that. We wash dishes in about an inch of water in the sink. Sometimes we can wash but then have to wait to rinse. It has all been an adventure. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about my situation. I am blessed beyond belief, but we have been in the middle of learning a life lesson. It takes some getting used toThroughout the last few days, we have looked at the white clouds, then the brown dusty ground, and begged for rain. We know that once the rainy season starts, our outdoor tank and indoor pipes will fill with life giving water. This morning, the sky got darker. There was a slight breeze. Our hopes were high. Then, we saw it. A few raindrops started to fall. We had made a game plan in such an event so we quickly grabbed our laundry tub and the kids’ bathtub and sat them under runoff places from the roof. We watched water start to fall from the roof into our buckets and it was glorious.
But just as quickly as it came, the rain stopped. Giving a few inches of dusty runoff water in each bucket. But it was a start. Maybe this was the start of something more to come over the next few days. businesses of the loan women from Beyond Uganda. As the afternoon passed, dark clouds loomed. More and more dark, storm like clouds were coming over head, but nothing was happening. We were beginning to think that the storm was going to blow past us and maybe rain somewhere down the road. Thunder rolled, more and more dark clouds built. And then, a breeze started. Soon trees were bending more than normal and raindrops fell hitting the ground leaving dust plums around them. The clouds opened up and it started pouring. Like Kentucky in the spring pouring. There was thunder, lighting, wind, and hard rain. It was amazing.
We returned our rain-catching buckets to their proper location and watched as they started to fill. It was really coming down, harder than I have seen it rain in the month or so that we have been here. Then Emi had a great suggestion. Something we had just been talking about if such an occasion should arise. She said, “Go take a shower!” I raced to the bathroom, grabbed the body wash, stripped Jack down and ran outside. As I soaped up, I realized this was the coldest shower I have taken in Uganda. And we take a lot of cold showers. I mean this was really cold rain. I was quickly rubbing soap all over me when I looked down and noticed that it wasn’t just raining, it was hailing. I was showering in a hard rain, hail storm. And it was GLORIOUS. After not showering in a week, you take what you get. When life hands you thunderstorms, you take showers.
I raced back inside with Jack after taking a very fast shower. The rain kept falling and falling harder. More hail was falling too. Everyone in the house was excited.
So we sit here tonight, muddy front yard, power flickering, water tank full for the next couple of days, clean and we have been reflecting on what our first week here has taught us. We still don’t have running water in the house. Maybe we will get it back tomorrow, maybe next week. But we have learned something through all of this: there is a reason Christ called himself living water. Emi pointed out that we are sitting in this very big house, we have new furniture, internet, indoor plumbing, but without water, none of it really matters. This is exactly like our lives. We can fill it with all of the nice things of this world, but none of it really matters unless you have the Living Water running through it.