‘I need Africa more than it needs me’

Posted on 14th May by Sarah Jeffery − Category: News, Slums, Testimonies

One of my house mates owns a t-shirt that says: ‘I need Africa more
than it needs me’. Whilst washing my clothes over the weekend I was
drawn to these words and found myself reading them through a number of
times to fully understand the theory behind the statement. Before
travelling to Uganda I had formulated the plan that from my time here
I wanted to have developed a deeper relationship with God, to live a
lifestyle that represents Jesus and to be immersed in His presence
daily. In addition to this, I would also have the opportunity to sow
into the lives of the families in the communities that we work in. In
hindsight this was fairly selfish and narrow-minded as the impact the
people and culture has had on my life far outweighed my initial plans
or expectations.

Maama Natasha of Katoogo 2, the community in which I spend most of my
time, was recently involved in an unnecessary dispute with the father
of Natasha and was consequently sent from her home. Maama Natasha and
her children, who are already a very vulnerable, were left alone to
find shelter on that stormy evening. When we visited Maama Natasha the
next day she remained joyful and kept her beautiful beaming smile.
Coming from a culture where I am used to people broadcasting their
troubles and complaining over injustice, I was very challenged by
maama’s outward joy despite the circumstances. It is through the
example of this amazing woman that I am beginning to truly grasp the
reality of His presence and what it means to have joy in every
situation.

Maama Natasha’s recent problems have reminded me to view the Katoogo 2
community with a Godly perspective and not to see the immediate
reality of the situations before me. As I remember to see the families
and the environment that they are living in through God’s eyes, the
more hope I feel for the future and the more I see the Kingdom of
Heaven truly being manifested in their lives.
It is so evident that ‘I need Africa more than it needs me’. God will
still complete His work over this nation whether I am here or not but
I don’t think I would have learnt such lessons of hope and faith from
my western culture. The families we work with may have the impression
that we are investing solely in their lives but in fact, I hope they
learn that they are reciprocating this in double measure by
challenging us to examine our character, the way in which we live and
the depth of our faith.