Our Ugandan Family

“Hallo my dear dota Morissa”

Receiving monthly emails with some sort of variation of this greeting could not be sweeter. After correcting him once, I didn’t have the heart to go at it a second time. His smile was so colossal and sincere, he could have called me Martha (not my favorite variation of Marissa) and it would have been fine by me. Anyway, people in North America often call me Melissa, so I can surely deal with an East African calling me Morissa.

God bringing me in contact with a person such as Pastor Moses Luzinda has opened my heart and mind to live selflessly. Knowing him and Mama (his wife) has furthered my ability to look outside my severely blessed life here in the West. With their children grown and pursuing their prospective careers, this couple continues to parent the orphaned children they have adopted. They pastor at their church in town and hold marriage counseling classes. Mama runs a wedding catering business out of their home, specializing in ground nut sauce, cassava, fried chicken, and chapati. In addition to countless pastoral and community duties, Pastor Moses has begun a school, Hope Infant Primary School.

Mama Luzinda, March 2012

Mama Luzinda, March 2012. Credit: Stephanie May Wilson

 Hope School is a daytime haven for hundreds of orphaned and vulnerable children in the area. Attending a public school includes paying what are hefty school fees for even the average Ugandan. Because of this, many children stay home and tend to their siblings or try to sell things in the market. This is why Hope exists. As expected, the school’s numbers are past capacity and it grows so quickly that the pupils can no longer squeeze on the classroom’s splintery benches. At mealtime, the staff scrapes the bottom of the porridge pot. The teachers have not been paid in months, for there simply are no funds. Still, they keep on showing up, keep on teaching because these children are the future of their communities, their country. The students adore their school! There, they can learn about the solar system, how to write an essay. Most of all, they come to know about Jesus. It is evident they know Him. During times of worship, they close their eyes and raise their hands as if they are reaching for God, Himself. They simply don’t have physical things to distract them or people who love them whom they can rely upon. They need Jesus. I want to need Him like that too. More than needing Him, they love Him with every fiber of their tiny bodies.


Students gathering water, fall 2014

These children also need water. During the day, students leave the classroom and miss out on instruction to go on water hunts. The results are always grim as they return with murky sludge from holes where animals drink and bathe. Unsurprisingly, these kids are sick. They have seen their friends and family members die and they understand the reason. Friends, they are praying for water. It dawns on me that just this afternoon, I gazed at a lake on the Las Vegas Strip, containing 22 million gallons of water, spewing it all over the place for pure entertainment. Oh, to be able to bottle it up and ship it to the Luweero District.

Morning school commutes

Morning school commutes. Credit: Stephanie May Wilson

I have seen a need, a need more tremendous than I have ever known. Thirst has never overtaken my body to the point of drinking contaminated water and obtaining disease. Three years ago when my friends and I stayed a month with Pastor Moses and his family, I knew this place and these people would be a part of my journey for years to come. I am still awaiting the day I will return to the African sun and hear the flawless melodies of hundreds of children’s voices rising into the heavens in unison.

They are still part of my life, in the greatest way, for they pray for me. And so, I must write this. I’ve got to ask for your help for our brothers and sisters. I would be lying if I told you I’m always hopeful this money will appear. I’m not. My spirit sways and questions, but the love of Christ urges me to hold on to hope. I know His Spirit is more powerful than my words and it is His love that compels His people, you and I. Maybe He will provide through this blog, or maybe He will have the well built in a way my human mind can’t fathom. That’s something I love about Jesus. He is FULL of surprises. As I sit here in the Las Vegas Venetian drinking a bottle of Nice! spring water and staring at rows of colorful pastries, I pray. I pray for those dear children and the plans He has for them as they grow and learn! Tonight, they are why I write. Here it is, I ask you to prayerfully consider joining by giving to this CAMPAIGN to get clean water to these precious kids in Wobulenzi, Uganda. Let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus, taking care of our dear brothers and sisters in Christ as we are commanded.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” -I John 3:17-18

World Race mission team to Wobulenzi, March 2012. L-R: Katie, Pastor Moses, Brittany, Stephanie, Natalie, Shay, myself, and Mama

World Race mission team to Wobulenzi, March 2012. L-R: Katie, Pastor Moses, Brittany, Stephanie, Natalie, Shay, myself, and Mama