The Cure

The Cure

Back home in the U.S. and in many other places, there is a pandemic of hedonistic self-absorption. We get so wrapped up in our stuff, our properties, and our social status that it becomes easy to forget to count our blessings. Well, here’s the cure:

Being here in Uganda, we see whole families staying (few actually own any property) in a mud hut with a grass roof that measures no more than 10′ x 10′. They have no source of water other than by bucket from an unclean stream which the children are required to retrieve twice daily. They sleep on a dirt floor on shabby mats amid lice and fleas and Jiggers. They have one change of clothes and many have no shoes. Some old men in the villages have never owned a pair. Their gnarly bare feet resemble tree roots. They eat one meal of beans and posho (corn mush) a day, if they are lucky. Generally speaking they are at least 30% underweight. Their bones stick out and their muscles are tawny and strong. They toil in the sun grubbing trenches or sweeping the dirt streets with brush brooms for a few schillings a day. And yet these are among the happiest people we have ever met. Why? Because they have the gift of life and no one in their family died today.

The blessings that flow to us in America are completely inconceivable to these beautiful Ugandans. But in so many ways they are better off than we are. They haven’t got the means to slather on another layer of luxury that dulls a thankful heart. Their gratitude for the simplest blessing is deep and profound. Ah, that we could be more like them.

Please look through the following photos and read the captions. Take your time. Then go into your comfortable, air conditioned home, fall to your knees beside your king-size bed on the plush carpet, and offer a real, honest, heartfelt prayer of thanks. If that doesn’t do the trick, then come on over and serve here for awhile. It’ll cure hedonism like nothing else.

The entry to a nicer home in the village.

The entry to a nicer home in the village.

Children retrieve non-potable water twice a day from an open pipe.

Children retrieve non-potable water twice a day from an open pipe.

A city street sweeper cleans leaves and litter along a stretch of roadway for a few schillings a day.

A city street sweeper cleans leaves and litter along a stretch of roadway for a few schillings a day.

A picture is worth a thousand words. This was not staged.

A picture is worth a thousand words. This was not staged.

A dirty little princess at the water hole.

A dirty little princess at the water hole.

So how do you like your job now?

So how do you like your job now?

 

This is an African hard hat. This worker scales the scaffolding to the right up 50 feet wearing this hat.

This is an African hard hat. This worker scales the scaffolding to the right up 50 feet wearing this hat.

This is a bathroom, called a long drop, in the village.

This is a bathroom, called a long drop, in the village.

Happy kids in the village.

Happy kids in the village.

A typical mud hut in the village.

A typical mud hut in the village.

This is a store front in the village. The sacks on top are filled with plastic bottles to recycle.

This is a store front in the village. The sacks on top are filled with plastic bottles to recycle.

A biker carrying empty Jerry Cans for hauling water.

A biker carrying empty Jerry Cans for hauling water.

Transporting couch frames by bicycle.

Transporting couch frames by bicycle.

Hauling grass to his hut. I don't know its purpose.

Hauling grass to re-roof his hut.

A baby on a bare floor among barefoot women in school.

A baby on a bare floor among barefoot women in school.

3 Comments

  1. Hi to both of you, Elder and Sister Taylor. Thank you for posting these pictures and sharing some thoughts. One thing I notice in a few pictures is peoples desire to do some sort of work with limited resources. Hauling multiple odd shaped objects with a bicycle. Shovel within a trench. It is nice to ponder the size of the person doesn’t matter, but in fact the desire within the soul does. Keep strong and loyal to the “Lord’s work” as fantastic missionaries!

    Reply
  2. I finally got to see all the images. They are all too familiar. I re-read the Dive Dive Dive piece and all the comments. Thanks again for putting together these wonderful blogs. Really appreciate them.

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  3. Elder and Sister Taylor,

    What an incredible record and report of your mission. This website, blog, or whatever you call it is awesome. You could get a job as a National Geographic Magazine photographer when done with your mission. It is so humbling to see such poverty. Yet with poverty comes humility. We have dear friends who just had their farewell yesterday for their second mission to South Africa. This time they will work in the area office in Johannesburg (next to the temple) and gather stories of Church growth and conversions in Africa for the Area Presidency that will be sent on to the Church History Department at headquarters. I’m sure there will be reports from Uganda. Their names are Elder and Sister Lombardi. I’m sure you will hear of them.

    We wrapped up our short mission on Maui. We found humility in the poverty these Hawaiian people struggle with. Maui will never be the same for us. There was only one other senior couple on the island besides ourselves. We could use 20 couples there. There is need everywhere. We will return again to serve in another six months.

    Lord bless you as you serve. May you carry on the great missionary zeal of all former Texas North missionaries. We love you, honor you, and hope for your great success. Be safe.

    David Swenson

    Reply

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