Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Village

I leave for Uganda in less than two weeks. And before I finish my last blog and tell you what God told me to do, I'm going to give you a little background info. on the village where we will be.

The village is outside of a larger village, that is outside of a larger city. There is a mosque near the entrance to the village, but no Christian church. There is a witch doctor, but no medical clinic. People sit in doorways and children run in the streets. Like the children, skinny dogs wander around looking for something remotely edible to fill their bellies. No clean water is found in the village.

322 people per day in Uganda die of malaria. 45 die of HIV/Aids. In Africa as a whole a child dies every three seconds from AIDS and extreme poverty, often before their fifth birthday.

More than one billion people do not have access to clean water.

Every year six million children die from malnutrition before their fifth birthday.

More than 50 percent of Africans suffer from water-related diseases such as cholera and infant diarrhea.
More than 800 million people go to bed hungry every day, 300 million are children.

Of these 300 million children, only eight percent are victims of famine or other emergency situations. More than 90 percent are suffering long-term malnourishment and micronutrient deficiency. (From Cozay)

All of this is immensely disturbing in and of itself, but what struck me the most was the blackness, evil, and oppression that these children live under. Young children are sold by their parents who can't afford to feed them. Sometimes they are sold out of their parents' ignorance, with promises by a sex trafficker that their child will go to school, receive a job, or have a better life.

Sometimes parents sell their kids because they need money to feed their other kids. Often, children are not sold at all, they are stolen right off the streets where they live as they run, play, or look for food. They are either lured or just thrown into trucks by passersby. These children are sold as slaves, into the sex-trafficking industry, or as human sacrifices. Human sacrifices. You read that correctly. It is real and it happens every day.

Perhaps one of the most impactful things on my last trip was a newspaper article. On the front page of the local paper was a picture of a headless toddler. The story went that the child's father wanted a boda-boda (a motorbike). I mean, he REALLY wanted one. The farmer he worked for told him that for the head of a child, he would give him a boda-boda. This young father severed the head of his only child, his son, and traded it to the farmer for his motorbike.

The child's head was found in a pot on the farmer's stove. When asked about the "pot", the farmer explained that he was making a "potion" to sprinkle around the perimeter of his farm to increase his land borders and make his farm more fruitful.

This is horrible, sickening, and enough to make an italian girl like me have a heck of a temper tantrum. While on this trip I also ready this quote by journalist Andrew Rice: " Some people (Ugandans) worshipped the God of Christianity, some the god of Islam, but they all retained a measure of the age-old belief in the power of nature spirits and in the rainmakers who communed with them." I think this is abundantly clear.

The newspaper article is dated September 30, 2009. This JUST HAPPENED people. How can we turn a blind eye to this? The thing is, maybe you think there are lots of Christians in Africa. Maybe you think that you can't make a difference. But for us who call ourselves the Church, we must take action! This should not be happening on our watch! How will you respond?


Arnau van Wyngaard said...

This is SO terrible. I've read of other gruesome things happening in Africa, but I can't recall anything like this.

Wendi Hammond said...

Oh my goodness Kristen. I'm so glad you are going. Could there be a better testimony to being light in darkness?