It is fairly easy for me to watch two twenties slide right off the palms of my hand. Just this morning Kevin needed one for his gym uniform and Jordan needed one to put on his lunch account. And by the end of the day there will be many more twenties passed along or traded for something we are involved with in our daily lives.
But, in Uganda forty dollars goes a long way. It can buy two weeks worth of food for one person, a month’s worth of internet, not much fuel unfortunately, but plenty of bodas or taxi rides. More importantly it can take an old widow off the hard ground at night and give her a soft place to rest her bones.
When the medical team had some free time during our mission trip in June we went out to visit the widows living close by the orphanage. On the first visit we met an old woman who didn’t have a mattress. She slept on the cement floor of this house.
Our nurse Jen was so moved in her heart after that experience. Before she left Uganda she placed forty dollars in my hand and said, “I’d like to buy that widow a mattress, God has not left me alone about what I was feeling there.” I understood. It was the same feeling I received from God the first day I met the orphanage and saw how they slept on the hard ground, and that their food storage room was empty. It is impossible to turn away from this sort of reality. So I passed the money to Adams and Elitia, and this week a new mattress was delivered to her.
Women in Uganda have a happy call they make that’s unlike any sound I’ve ever heard. I don’t know how to describe it, but it rattles the ears and can be heard from far away. It’s a high pitched sound that makes everything else pause, stop, and know someone is celebrating. That’s what she did when she saw the truck drive up with a mattress in the back. I’m sure it has changed her life. I’m certain each night she lies down on the soft mattress she thanks God for sending the medical group who saw her need and helped her. That’s worth a lot more than forty dollars. I’d say that’s priceless.