Please never again say that I am brave for going to Africa.
Today we spent the day with the team from Fields of Growth. They are using lacrosse as a means to help develop Uganda. They have created the Ugandan Lacrosse League, and have five teams who play. They also have a dream... "Dream 2014". They are taking the first ever African lacrosse team to play in the world lacrosse championships. So cool.
We started our day at the Ugandan Martyr's shrine. It is a shrine to Christian martyrs who were burned to death at this site in the 1880s. Their crime was refusing to denounce their Christianity, and the crimes against Christians in Uganda at that time were horrific. They were truly brave.
Then we spent the afternoon with a group of men who are on the lacrosse teams here. All of the men we met had escaped from the Gulu region of Uganda, and were survivors of Kony's LRA. One had even been in the LRA and escaped. Their stories were so unique and yet so similar. One had gone back to visit his family, and the night he was there, his village was attacked by the LRA, and his father was lost. Many of them had come here to Kampala and recreated a family here among the refugees. Then, the slum that had been created in order for them to all find a home was demolished by the government, leaving many of their families still homeless. Once one began to play lacrosse (he saw some people playing), he talked the "brothers" into joining. They shared their stories with us today and all agreed that lacrosse gives them something to enjoy and be happy about -- "a way to forget our sad stories for awhile," one said. These people are brave, and a couple have the physical scars to prove it.
We enjoyed their company immensely and have promised to be their biggest fans in Denver next July. They played lacrosse with Robert, and most importantly, we built some new relationships, and saw evidence of what hope can do for people.
We are waiting now for our ride to Jinja tonight. It will be late when we arrive, and we're hoping to sleep quickly so we can be ready to hug Agnes' kiddos in the morning!
Thank you for your continued prayers!