We had a wonderful lunch at a Gulu hotel restraunt that included a native dish of greens and sesame. It was a dish that the IDP camp pastor had been talking to us about. We were hot, tired and thirsty from our walk through the camp and I was thrilled to find Pepsi instead of Coke. The place seemed to be filled with other Mzungu and I could only assume that most were also there on humanitarian missions. We had to eat quickly and I was sorry to rush the meal, but time was slipping away from us. On the way out, Rick caught an amazing photo of this spider in a web by the doorway.
Our next stop was at an orphanage and school where we were meeting a teacher who was taking us home to meet her mother who started the school. When we arrived, there was a sea of purple uniforms that came rushing toward us. It seems that children were excited to see us, no matter where we went. One of our fellow team members Matt was filming our journey and the kids loved the cameras. They began to sing for us in unison. It was hard to tell who was more delighted, the kids or us! We all would have liked to spend more time with them, but our schedule was tight and Madam Laturo was expecting us.
We arrived at the Laturo's as they were finishing their mid-day meal. Without leaving their seats they welcomed us warmly and we all filed in and found places to sit. Madam Laturo was quite happy to tell us her story knowing that our hearts were already breaking for the children of Uganda. She told us that she would go out to the markets and streets, collect orphans and bring them home to live with her. When they numbered more than 100 her and her husband decided to start the orphanage and school with KPC’s help. The school now houses more than 1000 children. We were blessed to have her pray with us and for us, and few of us remained unmoved, most of us crying at the intensity of her prayer.Our last stop of the day was Laroo Boarding Primary School - For War Affected Children. This was built as a joint effort between Uganda and the Kingdom of Belgium. The mission of the school is “To restore dignity, self esteem and coping mechanisms to children who have suffered war related trauma so that they successfully be reintegrated into the community and live a normal life” We were able to spend time talking with the assistant headmaster of the school, who said they have accomplished much but only made a small dent in the need.
We were allowed to wander about the grounds and visit with some of the children. There were bright blue signs with white lettering all over. Their messages were deep and simple truths! We came across a baking class having their final exams and they offered Rob a sample of their work. He broke the small bun into pieces to share with us and I felt it would have been a profound time to share communion. We told the kids we gave them a grade of "A". There were shy smiles and the joyous sound of laughter. I sensed that those who were out and about have already received much love, counsel and support. There are many others who would likely not be as social.