This morning I’m attempting to finesse the details for Phase One of the Widow’s Project. Priority #1: FOOD. All of my widow’s are mamas and some of them even grandmas. They are not only trying to take care of themselves, but a whole house full of children, too. Without exception, these families are only eating one meal a day which consists almost entirely of posho (corn meal) and beans. Not only are they only eating one meal a day, but many of them are also going 2 and even 3 days a week without any food at all.
Many of these widow’s husbands have died from ulcers. And something I’ve learned? Ulcers are a result of malnutrition. I look at these mamas and see in their faces and bodies how often they don’t eat just so that their children can have a little more.
This photo was taken by Godfrey, one of the kids who became a part of my camera crew back in August. I didn’t know until going on a home-visit last month that his mother had also been selected to be a part of the widow’s project. This widow’s name is Oliver and she is the first widow out of 12 who I met with. To say that these worlds between my widows and camera crew kids overlap in some of the most beautiful and heartbreaking ways would be an understatement. And yet…this is how community is formed. These are how relationships are built. This is how love occurs.
Oliver is the same age as me and her husband died just 2 months before Carl. As we talked, our hearts broke together. We don’t even speak the same language and yet, somehow, that never seems to matter. When I finally got up to leave, many hugs were exchanged. A new friendship had been formed. We left one another feeling encouraged in a way that only God can do.
Interestingly, Godfrey took more photos of farms and gardens than any of the other kids. I love seeing the world through their eyes. This particular photo is of some of Godfrey’s siblings in the bean patch. I already know his sister, Metridah, from my first trip to Bukibokolo. I love these kids dearly and to think of them not having even their most basic needs met has now become a reality that I can’t shake. Hunger is no longer an abstract thought to me and that motivates me beyond words to learn everything that I can so that I might be able to share.
I’m grateful beyond words for the people that God has been placing in my life to help this project along, including Harriet Nakabaale, an amazing Ugandan woman and green thumb extraordinaire. She’s more than just a good gardner tho. She is letting God use her to change lives. To have someone like her alongside us in this first phase of the project? All I can say is: thank you, Abba. Thank you.