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Friday, May 7, 2010

Mulalu Mazungu

As you probably already know, last week I was in Uganda with my good buddy Michael Lines of Abiyoyo Productions (shameless plug). We were there representing SixtyFeet.org, taking a lot of video and photos, and attempting to get a handle on what is going on with the children of Mukisa. You can see some of the video over at the SixtyFeet.org site (another shameless plug).

The title Mulalu Mazungu is Luganda for something like "Crazy White Folk" - I'm paraphrasing, but we ended up using and/or hearing this phrase quite a bit last week. As we wandered around busy sidewalks and street markets wielding anywhere from 1 to 6 cameras each, we got a lot of odd looks and comments. Occasionally we could even be found rolling around on the roof of the car affixing a small camera for a unique view of the world as we drove through the streets of Kampala.

The view we were looking for, however, was of children in need, and we didn't have to go far to find it. The little guy below was sitting with his mother at a street corner. When she saw Michael approaching with his camera, she yelled something to her child who immediately walked up with his hand out. She obviously had instructed him to beg for something from us.

Our primary purpose in visiting Uganda last week was to visit the Mukisa site and determine what SixtyFeet.org could do to help. We wanted to learn as much as we could about the situation these children are in so that we could bring the information back and relay it to others. It turns out to be a larger task to do this than we ever imagined. It feels sort of like trying to describe how to fly the space shuttle safely back to Earth - there are so many details and subtleties. 
Based on what we had hoped to accomplish while there, we felt like the trip was a success. We learned so much in a short amount of time. We met many people already on the ground there that are either already involved or eager to do so. Many were Ugandan nationals that care for these children and have a desire to improve their own country and were thankful that we had come to try and help and are excited to lend a hand.
Few, if any, of our fantasy ideas proved themselves out. We had a vision of ourselves riding in on the proverbial white horse and fixing everything in a week and then leaving with a sense of accomplishment. 
This is a very complex situation that requires delicate but deliberate action. Sort of like removing a splinter with a spear.

One of the things that came up over and over during our discussions with various folks was the overwhelming nature of the problem we are faced with in Uganda. It would appear that whatever we are able to accomplish is a mere drop in the ocean. With the sheer number of children in need - not only in Uganda but also here at home and all over the world - how can our efforts make any sort of difference? You can look at it that way if you want and you can choose to do nothing because the results might seem minuscule, but the alternative is to do nothing. The Owens Family cannot stand by and do nothing. You might think we are Crazy - or Mulalu - but that's OK.


James 1:27 Family said...

As I rode through Kampala and its neighboring areas, I saw horrific things. I saw dead children. I saw many, many, many coffin shops that only sold very small coffins. I saw hurting, starving, and lonely children. Little teeny ones. All alone. And I wanted to "save" them all and God clearly spoke to my heart and said to me over and over, "I only sent you here for one."

I completely agree that the problem is overwhelming. But if each one of us looks up and asks the Lord, "What do you have for me to do today?" It will get better and He alone will get the glory.

I love the Owens family to pieces. Thank you for not doing "nothing."

Love in Jesus,

Alysia said...

Hey, guys...Alysia here. The task of obeying the Lord is always overwhelming if we look at it through what "we" can do. When we were in Africa it felt that way...and there are times in Clarkston I think, "Why are we here, we can never really help all these people...there is too much suffering and needs to ever meet...and how do we meet the spiritual need for life and salvation when we don't speak any of these languages?!"But then I take the "we" out and replace it with Jesus..."Jesus brought us here to be with Him while He helps these people. He is here with us because there is too much suffering and need for us to ever help...but He is able." Our current adoption journey feels impossible...utterly impossible. But WE are not doing it...He is. There are a million reasons why we "shouldn't" do it, "can't do it", and why it's "not the time"...but most of us can say that. We all have a reason. BUT our list for why we can't/shouldn't help is no where near as long and legitimate as the list each orphan has for why they deserve to be loved and cared for. Yes, it may disrupt the lives of each person who does it...but the lives of every orphan have been disrupted traumatically, and we all have to stop saying "no, maybe, but, if, why, when, because, if only" Because each orphan today is saying, "if only, maybe, why, when?" Their cries of need are louder than our cries of apprehension...we just can't hear them because they are muffled behind the insulated walls of our comfort. I'm so glad you all went...may the Lord give you wisdom as you move ahead and follow Him on this journey.