Families have cowsRich Stigall
by Trace Thurlby from Uganda
Five days in Uganda does not an expert make. Still, I’ve loved sharing life with our partners and friends here.
Hillary, a member of The Father’s House Management Committee, and his wife, Judith. graciously invited us to his home for dinner last night. He introduced every family member, including those who lived next door. His concluded with, “If you see my children around town, you see my wife and me.” He also shared that in Uganda “my brother’s children are my children.” A statement backed up by two nieces living in his home.
Caring for other children is the norm here. One church leader we know opened his home to nine children who needed a family. They became his kids, his responsibility. This is life in Uganda. Homes here are full of children as affirmed by a tailor who told us, “Having a job is a blessing if you have 12, 13 children, or even just seven.”
Yet, the need is so great. Children spill out of overflowing homes, into the streets, right to the doorstep of the church. Yesterday the Bishop was telling the children at The Father’s House that they are not orphans.
“God is your Father,” he began. “You also have a mother, a bed with a mattress, a roof over your head, school, pigs, and goats. That is just like a family, except that you don’t have a cow…so today, I tell you the church is going to give you a cow.”
The children roared their approval! Orphans don’t have cows. They know that families have cows. They have a family.
Today, we rode with Robert, a Ugandan Agricultural teacher whose goal for the The Father’s House is food independence; i.e. grow everything they need. It’s a great vision, except he thinks the name needs to be changed from “The Father’s House” to “The Father’s Homestead.” I like it, but name change or not, they are well on their way!