What can you spare today to help another? Of all the wealth and plenty we enjoy, what kind of small sacrifice could you make to bring health and happiness and a full tummy to someone in need?
Being here in Uganda, it’s a mind trip to see what people post on Facebook; their new car, the latest tasty dessert, another mountain race or marathon completed, fun on a distant beach or seeing another world landmark. It is easy to see what is important to people and where they spend their time, money and efforts, and I respect that.
Back to Uganda. The poverty we see every day is staggering. Payment of school fees (about $90 U.S. per semester) is the greatest challenge most families face. If they can’t pay the fees, their kids stay at home. Many families struggle to have enough of the most basic foods like posho and beans (about $2 per day) (think of that next time you’re at the buffet). Medical care here is free, but they have to buy their own medicine, bring their own bedding to the hospital, and furnish their own food to eat while they convalesce. And that costs lots of money they don’t have, so many die simply because they can’t get the help they need. Yet, this is the happiest and humblest people on earth.
I had a dream a few months ago. I was in the home of a friend in our neighborhood at some kind of social. As I sat in the comfy chair, I saw a huge bowl of red seedless grapes sitting on the table beside me. As I looked at those grapes, I thought,
What I wouldn’t give right now to share some of these grapes with our friends in Uganda.
When I awoke, tears were streaming onto my pillow. I fear it will be very hard for us to return home in July and see the extravagance and waste, after having seen what we have seen here. I’m pretty sure I will offend some people when I turn away and shed a tear for our lovely Ugandan friends.
So, whatever you are going to post next, whatever you plan for the upcoming weekend, regardless of your next major toy purchase or new hi-tech gadget, please take a good look at your incredible blessings. Then make just one sacrifice and share something small with someone in genuine need. God will bless you for it, and more important, you will likely become more grateful for what you have. There are plenty of non-government organizations (churches and charities) to choose from. Send ’em something that hurts just a little.
There are several NGOs that do a good job of getting the donations to those in need. I’ll post two here you might consider. I’d also advise in favor of donating through the LDS Church humanitarian fund.
https://amazima.org/ is operated by Katie Davis in Jinja, Uganda. She serves hundreds of children in the area with food, medical, school fees, and hygiene education. She’s been doing it for years and has a very good reputation. This is a Christian based organization with great values. Katie is a hands-on operator who personally assists and directs her ministry for Christ.
http://www.futureuganda.org/ is owned and operated by Ayella Denis, whose parents we slaughtered in front of him and was forced to be a child soldier in the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) led by Joseph Kony. After his escape, he later started helping at-risk children. His story can be seen here: Child Soldier. He is on premises and handles all donations personally.