Getting to Know Uganda

We had devotions on the bus today and Josh led us as the entire team traveled in the bus. The medical team would be dropped off at the hospital and the others would continue on to Hope. Josh spoke today on the servants and the talents and told a story from last year of how he and our driver Henry had been binding lumber for tresses. Henry told him when josh asked if they would break for tea that “we finish the work before we get our reward”. That was the thought he gave us this morning: there is a reward waiting when we finish our work here on earth, the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus our mission, heaven our eternal joy.

More paint! If this gets redundant for you to read, say a prayer for those of us doing it every day. :)

Today is trim work. There is a pretty blue color that goes on a trim on the ceiling and it takes a steady hand and a small brush to accomplish well.

One special painting project we worked on today, other than the animals on the walls and the inside of the office building, was the Ugandan flag on the outside of the gate. I was responsible for painting the symbol in the middle of the flag: a crane in a white circle. It’s important for these children to take pride in their country. Regardless of its current situation, Uganda is their home and their land and they should be proud of that fact. These children are the future of their people and their nation, so we teach them to honor, respect, and love that nation.

From time to time as I was painting the symbol of the crane, our security guard would come and check on my progress, and when I was finished, he asked if we could take a photo on front of it. That was special.

I asked him what the colors of the flag stood for and he told me that the black is for black Africa, the yellow is for the sunshine, and red is for the blood shed to gain independence. In the center of the flag is the Ugandan National Bird a Ugandan Crane. The flag and the Uganda National Anthem were both created in the year of their independence: 1962, and as our motto is “In God We Trust”, theirs is “For God And My Country”.

Ugandan politics work similarly to American in many respects; they consider themselves a republic and operate as such, with their president Yoweri Museveni presiding over MP’s and district ministers. Though they call themselves a republic, Uganda is beginning to look like a monarchy: Museveni has been reelected 6 times since he first took office in 1986. Presidents serve 5 year terms with elections occurring on February 18; that means Museveni has been in office for 30 years and is just beginning his sixth term being voted in this past February.

The guard sat down and talked to me for quite a while about the differences in our cultures, governments, currency, and economy.

Coffee and cotton are the major cash crops and could be considered the national plants of Uganda. They appear on the Ugandan coat of arms along with many other symbolic items: a drum, the sun, a crane, a kobe(a gazelle-like animal), etc… By getting to know the culture of Uganda you come to consider it as your own country. You can continue to learn about Uganda by following my personal blog and the Hope Missions Page on Facebook!

–Jared Allen