People often ask how our time in Uganda has been so far. Even though we’ve only been here a few months I feel like we’ve experienced more than words can express. My heart has been so completely moved by the orphaned children we’ve come to know that I almost can’t imagine going back to life as we know it in the states. But I think that’s the beautiful part; we wont go back to life as we knew it. After living in another culture for six months, it is almost impossible to not be deeply changed. And although sometimes it is incredibly painful, I would never take back even a moment. So what has been the hardest part of doing The Archibald Project in Uganda? Besides the incredibly slow internet and lack of super hip coffee shops, ;) the hardest part has been trying to navigate and understand another culture’s way of life. We came here with American standards and expected everyone to value what we value. But the truth is that America didn’t invent caring for children and therefore not all children here will be cared for the way we think they should be. After coming to this realization we’ve had to choose to believe that in some cases this is okay. We are not in control of the situations of the children we meet and so we must trust that God loves those children far more than we could ever fathom. Within that truth we must speak up when we feel led but not jump to quick conclusions. One of the biggest parts of understanding a culture is waiting and listening. With a good heart and good intentions we desperately want to help fix the problems we see, but until we take ample time to observe, ask questions, and listen we end up trying to fix things we don’t understand. Sometimes those things may not even need fixing.
But how do you deal with obvious injustice? Trusting God when you see orphaned teens and children experience rape, physical and mental abuse, and malnourishment and poverty, will never make sense. That is where questions like ‘why are we here, who do You want us to help, and how do You want us to help’, are so important to ask. These are questions we find ourselves wrestling with quite often.
Since we have been here, God has introduced us to some pretty incredible people. Some are caring for orphans and vulnerable children and some are orphans themselves. Most of theses people come from pretty hard places, but their faith and endurance is something we can all learn from and be inspired. We are beyond blessed that they have been willing share their stories, and we can’t wait to continue to share their stories with you.
So to sum it up, our time in Uganda has been beautiful, challenging, strengthening, purifying, emotional and…so so good. We can’t wait to share all the beautiful souls with you over the next few months and we invite you into praying for them and caring for them! Thank you for supporting our ministry and allowing us to love on the orphans and vulnerable children in Uganda!
Whitney and Nick~