What has been seen cannot become unseen

Jade_1 Posted by Jade Irwin on Wed, 27 Jan 2016 | 10 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

It has been two weeks since I left Belfast and arrived in Uganda and I am well into the second week of teaching Gideon. I also just survived a full weekend in Kampala, traveling by mutatus (pronounced moo-ta-roos) the whole way from Kiwoko on the Friday and back again on Sunday.

I am going to take a moment to paint a picture of Kampala traffic and the mutatu experience for you – you absolutely need to get a feel for that this is like! The traffic queues are manic and it would be normal to sit for half an hour without even moving at busy times. Cars drive on out at roundabouts despite oncoming traffic and what follows can only be compared to a game of ‘chicken’ (who is going to break or move out of the way first?).

Boda bodas (motorbike taxis) fly up the inside of traffic, through traffic, around the outside and basically dodge in and out of any space they can find. It is so hot with the sun beaming down, and the fumes of so many vehicles catch the back of the throat.

Now, picture that with about 12-15 people people piled into a mutatu (taxi) made to carry 8 people. Everyone is squeezed up against each other, with bags and children often on their knees. At one point there was a man and a child on top of the lady sitting in front of me (no exaggeration).

Needless to say, the traveling alone gave me, shall we say, an authentic Ugandan experience. I was delighted to be traveling with a wonderful Ugandan lady who works in Kiwoko and she kept me safe. She went SO out of her own way and halted her own plans to look out for me – so much of Jesus in her!

As she was leading me from the taxi park to where I needed to be, it was dark and people kept grabbing me and pulling me in all directions. Becky was right with me though, making sure I was safe. During my various times visiting Uganda, I have never been as aware of the colour of my skin as I am here. People want to grab you, shop venders give you high prices assuming that you’re rich, children want to stroke your skin and hair to see if it is different to theirs… this has made me so much more aware and sensitive to anybody back home in Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland and the UK who are not white, living in areas where most people around them are white. I will be so much more aware with them how I act, speak and even think.

I was involved with linking with another organisation to throw a party for children from the slums who were attending a school provided by that organisation. It was a tremendous experience and really crucial to see the amazing work being done across Uganda by lots of people with wise heads and willing hearts. The party, coupled with a visit to the craft market (where I got some great bargains on presents for my family!) and a delightful cup of coffee in ‘1000 cups’ made the interesting travel experience very worthwhile indeed.

Gideon is getting along well. He is hilarious and lively which makes for an enjoyable teaching experience for me. I find that he is teaching me so much, especially when it comes to learning about plants in science (as he is surrounded by plants and trees living here!). He tells me where all the various fruits / beans grow, and was even able to point out aloe vera and explain to me that it is good for burns! Bear Grylls watch out, Gideon Wilson is on his way!

The classroom is a well kitted out, wonderful space to learn creatively and interactively in. It is great to be able to give so much focus to one child and it is fascinating to watch his educational development.

Being around Denise, Rory, Paul and Tania is already proving to be incredible. They are such wonderful people, full of faith, vision, hope and love. Between being invited for coffees, dinners and games of Molkky (I didn’t know it either!) they have been so caring and accommodating, with lots of good humour and wise words.

Kiwoko is a really special place, sharing the love of God and treating people well both in terms of medicine and dignity. It would be impossible for time spent here not to be formative.

The sentence ringing around my head the last few days is,

What has been seen cannot become unseen.

I have seen physical, emotional, material, social and spiritual poverty. I have seen children walk for miles to get fresh water which they carry home in really heavy containers for miles. I have seen vulnerable people be ignored and rejected. I have seen corruption. I have seen women who have been used and abused.

I have also seen people sacrifice wealth, family and comfort to commit to bringing about a better future for people who are at a disadvantage. I have seen generosity. I have seen helpfulness and hospitality. I have seen wisdom. I have seen love at its best. I have seen sharing and selflessness. I have seen the heart of God manifested through the kindess of people.

There is a lot of need, but where there is need, people are stepping up to bring God’s provision to the hearts and lives of those who need it.

Lovely God, please create a heart like that in me, ready and willing to meet whatever needs I have the means to meet, joyful in sacrifice and faithful in service, valuing every human being as you do.



Libby Beech said Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:13PM
Hi Jade I have really enjoyed reading your blog - it feels as though I have been transported back in time! Kiwoko is indeed a very special place and you have and are witnessing God's presence - in extreme poverty there is a lot of genuine love and care for one another. I will continue to pray for you as you support Rory and Denise and Paul and Tania in their work,. Look after yourself, enjoy every experience and gain strength from every challenge you face. Love to you and all of our friends in Kiwoko xx
Lynn Dickson said Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:32PM
Hi Jade you are doing an amazing job, I really enjoyed reading your blog!!! Keep up the great work your doing, you're an inspiration to all xxx
Amanda rigby said Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:33PM
It's great to read your blog, your doing what I'd love to do, hopefully in the future I will get with my church to Rwanda, keep up the good work, take care and God Bless you and all you meet xx
sandra johnston said Wed, 27 Jan 2016 01:56PM
Oh Jade i just luv ur blogs especially this one . You know wot i think of u anyway, but im goin to say it again . You are an amazing Woman of God, such a witness and such a giving loving heart . Your also a bit wacky but everyone luvs that ;) Im praying that God continues to bless all ur doing in Kiwoko and that u r blessed as u bless others. Give my luv to all at Kiwoko, for the people and the place will forever have a piece of my heart.xxx ps glad Gideon is keeping u on ur toes lol x
Debbie said Wed, 27 Jan 2016 05:09PM
Wonderful jade I just enjoyed reading that so much. I could almost imagine being sat in the taxi the sights noises and smells. Keep the blogs coming they really make my day. Glad the teaching is going so well. 💖
Millie Moore said Wed, 27 Jan 2016 05:40PM
Hello Jade. I so enjoyed reading your blog and being transported to Kiwoko and Kampala. I have such wonderful memories of that place. Every blessing I your time there teaching Gideon.
Elaine Jeffrey said Wed, 27 Jan 2016 06:43PM
Hello lovely Jade , really enjoying ur blog and u bring Kiwoko and Kampala to Life so well for everyone back at home . U will be such s blessing to those u meet but as always in these places U will get back so much more in return than u ever think is possible Our God is indeed a great big God and is able to Do wonderful things even in what seems to Be the most hopeless of situations Lots of love Elaine xxxx
ann browne said Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:01PM
hi jade great blogg I really enjoyed reading it you will bring home many wonderful memories you are doing a great job take care love ann xo
Jade Irwin said Fri, 29 Jan 2016 01:40PM
You are all so encouraging and lovely! Thank you :) x
cathy said Mon, 01 Feb 2016 02:20AM
oh jade that is wonderful such a loving account of all that you are experiencing. good reading. keep safe. jacqui here yesterday raised a toast in your honour. love and more.

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