These women come several days a week to the women's building at the church to learn to sew and make jewelry. We sell this jewelry in The States and send the money back to them, sharing a portion with Ddembe. In this way, the women are learning a skill that will support them and their children, they are contributing to the funding of their ministry, and sharing in reaching out to help the orphans and vulnerable children. It continues to be a huge blessing for all of us!
Our team spent Saturday shopping in town for food for care packages for 50 women. 100 Kilos of rice, beans, posho flour, etc. (Thank goodness for Robert's ability to lift and carry all of it!!) We spent about 3 hours packing all of that food into ziplock bags, creating 2 packages that will feed each woman and her family for over a week. It was humbling (and messy!) work, and the results were like loaves and fishes --- 100 is a LOT of bags of food!
Sunday after church, Ms. Mary had gotten sodas and chapati for the women, and we met with them. We had worked out something special for this meeting, though, because Molly was going to teach the women how to paint! The women were overwhelmed and excited, and Molly taught them in small groups of 10-15, and then allowed them to practice painting flowers around Bible verses. Molly painted these and sold them in order to raise money for her trip to Uganda, so it was absolutely perfect to see her sharing this with the ladies. As we got to know the ladies in this group, they ranged in age from very old to very young, every woman who shared had lost at least half of their children, and the heartbreak was so heavy. One woman had just lost the second of her only two children, and she broke down sobbing while sharing. The only thing to do was to hug her and cry with her and pray for her. In the midst of this, you look around and wonder how these women are still standing. They have lost husbands and children, and are living with a disease with no cure. Many of them have lost children because they passed the disease to their children. How does one woman live under those burdens? The answer is Jesus. These ladies have found a joy that supersedes every tragedy on this earth. They know of a healer, and place where they will live healed for eternity, and they are hanging onto that. Their joy is 100% contagious, and their faith is real.
The ladies, many of whom had never held a paintbrush before, spent hours painting. They laughed with friends, sung to themselves, and lost themselves in a new and relaxing task. Ms. Mary told me she had never seen the women having so much fun. They took great pride in their work, and were excited to have the Word of God to hang in their homes. The best part? They asked Molly to please return again to Uganda to continue teaching them. Several of them were good at it, and are hoping it will be a new way they can make an income as they grow in their skill.
|This is Aisha, who recently lost her last remaining child. Please pray for her, and for all of these women.|
When it was time for them to return home, they gratefully received their care packages, with HUGE hugs for everyone on the team, dancing, singing, and hollering praises to the God who truly does care for them.