Look at Them!

Look at Them!

In a world of selfies and Facebook posts, where the number of friends, likes and shares we can gather is the measure of our personal worth, we have seen something very, very different here in Uganda. It makes us pause and say, rather than look at me, look at them! We have been asked to visit nine wards and branches in eastern Uganda over the next few months, spending one week in each. This week we visited Busia, a wonderful tropical town which straddles the Uganda-Kenya border. We’ve been in the homes of perhaps 20 families, and we’ve shed tears of amazement. Over 15 months ago, we began this website as a study of the people of Uganda, and what makes them happy in the face of heartbreaking poverty, violence and corruption. Today we realized how little we actually understand. These faces do not belong to the stories that come from their mouths. Let me share just a few examples: David and his wife have nine children (pictured above). They live in a house made of mud and sticks. They are self-proclaimed peasants and have very little money. Their stories of poverty and struggle took our breath away. But look at his smile in the photo! Does that look like a guy whose life is so difficult? Not to us. As we sat inside this house and visited, we were amazed at the giggling kids who poked their heads in the door (on a dare) to take another look at the Muzungus (whites) inside. One of David’s daughters glided back and forth on a rope swing, using a broken board as a seat. Her face was...
What’s Next?

What’s Next?

When we were kids, we could hardly wait for Christmas. Then we yearned to go to school. Next, we put on a uniform and became a Boy Scout, then received the Aaronic Priesthood, or joined Young Women. Soon we held our ticket to freedom – a driver’s permit. Each event marked a milestone in our lives. Next came a mission, then marriage, University, and a profession. Somewhere in the midst we became parents and engaged in the greatest challenges and blessings of our lives. Fast-forward forty years to our 60th birthday. Our children have left the house; they are married, on a mission or at college. All of a sudden we notice that the clock on the wall has a tick-tick-tick, which we never noticed all those years when the kids were being raised. We have time for one another and time for a nap. The years of amassing money and all that stuff are in the past, and now we’re just taking care of it all. The house and property have suddenly outgrown us and we feel dwarfed like two marbles in an empty shoebox. At some point, we ask a question which we may have never considered in all our lives. What’s next? What shall we do with ourselves now that the demands on us have reduced? Even our calling in the Church may have become too easy, since there are so many younger members of the ward with more energy who can fill callings. Our grey hair has placed us in the category of those beloved older folks who have so much experience, yet the bishop...