The Church Responds
In my last blog, I wrote about a family of three generations of women. They’re kind, faithful, gracious and entirely destitute. They’ve lived in a state of hunger for who knows how long. The extremity of their situation was recently brought to light by a case of malaria that brought the eight-year old to tears in the middle of church. They were rushed to the clinic to find that the grandmother also had malaria. This is not the first time that we as a mission have ached to know how to help someone and done what we can, but this time the church was called upon.
In Karamoja there are few men who qualify for church leadership. Between young believers and rampant polygamy, most men are ineligible. Therefore, our church is still seeking mature, monogamous men to be trained as elders and deacons. However, upon the suggestion of a faithful attender and dynamic believer, the church formed what we call a Mercy Committee. It collects gifts for widows at Christmas, encourages donations for villages when they’ve flooded and disperses resources given to the church. It is comprised of men and women with good standing in both the church and the community. Lucia, Takan and Nait’s case was brought to them. They decided it was time to act. Now the indigenous church of Nakaale is regularly providing food and health care to the women. Praise be to the Lord!
Area ayong Toto a Moru! I’m Carmel’s mom! I declare as I greet blind Lucia every Sunday at church. She smiles wide and vigorously shakes my hand. She can’t see that I’m also holding my right elbow, which is a cultural sign of respect. She doesn’t care either. She is brilliantly thankful for all the church has done and I’m delighted to say that it isn’t me who is helping, but the brothers and sisters sitting around her. She laughs playfully and asks for soap. I can’t help, but laugh in return saying, “karukwa”, perhaps.