Show Mercy Int'l Project Trip, Uganda

The Survey Crew's debut album cover (I play a mean prism pole)

Wednesday January 29th
I helped our surveyor (Sean Williams from South Carolina) all day today out on the site. It was a very hot and sunny day, and the site is very sloped, so it was a physically exhausting day – but a very fulfilling one! We got most of the survey done (thanks to Sean – he knows what he’s doing for sure!).
A completely candid shot - I had no idea my right hand was
taking this picture (sorry - there are long periods of inactivity
during a survey so 'selfies' help pass the time).
But we also enlisted the help of a few of the local guys who work for Show Mercy. Tom and Ronald helped man the rods, and David helped me at the instrument yelling out to the others since our radios weren’t working. :) After spending half the day focusing too much on our work and not on ‘being in the moment’, I finally took the time to start asking David questions. This is what I learned.
Me with David - getting a Ugandan to actually smile for a
picture is no small feat. Most of the time, they don't even
smile in their wedding photos. I could never understand
why Ugandans hated getting married so much until I learned
about the no smile for photos  'policy' in this culture.
 He’s a young man (maybe 21?) who has been with this ministry for a number of years. As a child, he had no parents, and no home. He also had no siblings (that he knows of). As young as he can remember, he merely lived on the streets. When I asked who took care of him, he said he doesn’t know – he just existed on the streets, somehow surviving. (The thought of that was incomprehensible to me – I can’t imagine not really knowing how I grew up, who took care of me, or how I even survived. Being on the streets is hard, but not even knowing or remembering how you got there? When I sit back and think about what that would be like, it bends the mind.)

Around the age of 8, David says that God rescued him. A Ugandan family noticed him and began taking care of him a bit. They also began taking him to church, and got him a small job cleaning the church in exchange for sleeping there at night. He says he soon committed his life to God, and became very involved in the church. At some point (I’m not sure how long it was), he met some of the Show Mercy people, and soon after they took him on as one of their staff members. Now, he helps out with a number of tasks on the site, maintenance, caretaking, and other tasks.
David helping out with the survey. Volunteer Sean Williams
spent a lot of time with his 3 helpers, teaching them all about
surveying. They loved every minute of it.
David is one of 25 local staff members here on the Show Mercy site whose lives have radically changed because of this ministry being here. The pride they have in this place and ministry, the hope they have for their future, and the joy and thankfulness in their heart is all I need to see to know that this ministry is doing something good here. Something very good.
Show Mercy has a public water tap just outside their gate.
It's a huge blessing to the local villagers, who no longer have
to walk several hundred meters down and back up a hill
to fetch water from a stream - not to mention that a clean
water source is a rarity in Uganda.

Some of the nearby village kids

The Dining Hall at the Show Mercy Campus. Each flag
represents a country where they've had an intern from.

The Show Mercy site is actually in the middle of the bush, but
you'd never know it on site. Such a beautifully manicured site.
The locals love just seeing it as it gives them hope and pride
that something so nice is in their say nothing of the
various outreach ministries Show Mercy does for them. They
feed the village kids a huge lunch once a week, they have an
outreach to the elderly, the nearby prison, the babies home, etc. 

The early morning fog in the valley below. Stunning.

A first peek at the master plan taking shape!


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