In 2011, we decided to go on a mission trip to expand our view of the world, seeing for ourselves how other people live and manage in very difficult circumstances. Here in the UK we see a lot about the plight of people living in third world poverty from our comfy armchairs. We did our research and came up with a trip provided by Mission Direct to a small place called Kumi in eastern Uganda. Before we knew it we were on our way to Uganda with the rest of a small mission team, with plans to help with a building programme at an orphanage called Children Of Hope and Dignity.
Once we got arrived, it was everything we hoped it would be – and more! Profoundly, it was almost as if the moment we touched down on their soil, we felt like we were meant to be there, it was like coming home. We had a crazy and exhausting two weeks, and in that brief time, saw the start of some lovely friendships. The people were amazing, they had nothing but seemed to be so happy! The place was a tip but was beautiful! The trip was an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish – we laughed and cried, felt love, had our hearts broken and were totally emotionally exhausted!
Kumi is a place if extreme poverty, with an HIV crisis. There are many parentless families being headed by children under the age of 16. The country was embroiled in a civil war less than 20 years ago, and this area suffered from cattle raiders killing families as recently as 10 years ago. These worn out people respond to little seeds of hope in such a big way that makes it a joy to serve them.
When we came home, our hearts were very much still in Kumi, Uganda, and we knew we couldn’t leave it there, we had to build further on what we had started. The core of what we hope to achieve in Kumi rests on relationships and a few people’s desire to make a difference.