I got on an airplane 7 days ago traveling to Uganda with 10 complete strangers. Sure, we did the typical pre-trip Facebook page and had fun getting to know one another with messages and liking each other’s status’, but this was not real life. We were preparing to do real life together. We probably all had similar expectations of friendship bonding and working together side by side with cheerful dispositions as a mission team and body of Christ.
Her name is Anna. This little girl captured all of our hearts on the storyteller team and Sole Hope staff. She has a beautiful smile that lights up a room. She is here because of jiggers. When she first arrived with her widowed mother, Agati, I’m sure she had no idea her life would change so drastically. Does she even understand what has transformed in her life?
Yesterday, we spent the day with children and adults at the Outreach Clinic that had their jiggers removed last Thursday and were healing both physically, emotionally, and gaining education on jiggers. Soon, they will be resettled back in their villages. I’ve been anticipating for months watching Sole Hope in action and also gaining education. “What are jiggers?” In the United States we have chiggers. A jigger is NOT a chigger.
I almost didn’t come on this trip. A month before traveling to Uganda I got really sick. I have ulcerative colitis and had a major flare up with some serious symptoms. I’ve been in remission for 6 years and honestly forgot I even had a disease. I started treatments immediately with a brand new GI doctor and told him I would do whatever it took to get better…fast! I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to meet Sole Hope and be a part of an incredible team of storytellers.
Sole Hope is an organization based out of Jinja, Uganda. Sole Hope removes jiggers, small sand flees, from the feet and hands of children and the elderly. Jiggers can cause great pain and Sole Hope seeks to remove that pain. Visit solehope.org for more info.
Yesterday, I hosted my first ever Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party and it was a wild success! I’m not crafty and was really nervous about hosting a party that included tracing patterns, cutting jean fabric, and making sure to avoid any mistakes for shoemakers in Uganda. I invited a few crafty friends that would be extra patient with me. Here’s how to host step-by-step…
“Mom, why are you going to Uganda?” Zoie asked me with a frown. I gathered her in my arms and I said, “Baby, it’s a special trip for mommy to help kids with, jiggers in their feet, feel better and loved.” “But, I want you home with me.” she said firmly.
It was a typical quiet Saturday morning before the kids woke up back in August. I was sipping coffee with my hubby and reading through a few emails. One subject line caught my eye “Uganda…… 2015?