Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.— Proverbs 14.31
So here I sit at the Troos Hotel in Kampala, Uganda in modest comfort, after 10 days in rural Uganda with the poorest of the poor located in the district of Mityana.
In comparison to the people of rural Uganda I currently sit in the lap of luxury.
The Poorest of the Poor
The folk we work with live without electricity, running water, heating, air conditioning, or transportation (although a few posses motorcycles known as “boda bodas” seating up to 4 people on one boda). Their clothes are excessively tattered and a full third have no shoes at all. And they live in homes with dirt floors and often even lack latrines and so are forced to defecate in the bush. These are the poorest of the poor.
In fact when we take photos it is the first time in their life they have witnessed an image of themselves.
Access to Clean and Safe Water
However the most important item they lack is access to clean water. (The photo above is an image of the water they drink, water we wouldn’t even put our hands in. Providing access to clean water is our mission at Wells of Life. By year-end we will have provided in excess of 500 water wells serving up to 500,000 people daily.
Our mission of providing water to the poorest of the poor is probably the most important thing in which I have participated in my entire life. Two of every five children under five years old will die of water borne diseases before they live to the age of five. Diarrhea is common to all people. And of those who suffer from diarrhea 47% contract the disease because of failure to wash hands.
Thusly we teach sanitation and hygiene to those who have no knowledge of the importance.
The Shocking Happiness of the Poor
However, the one thing that utterly shocks all visitors is the happiness of the poor. A gift of a soccer ball is like receiving a Mercedes Benz to these amazing people. Although exceedingly poor, joy is found by the simplest of pleasures. It forces visitors to reconsider your personal wealth—no matter your financial status.
Truthfully, Wells of Life brings water because we attempt to faithfully follow the actions of Jesus, by giving of time, treasure and talents to those lacking the basics of life. And I promise, NOTHING IS MORE REWARDING.
It is Better to Give than to Receive
So I encourage you to assume the role of a giver. St Paul quotes Jesus saying that “it is better to give than to receive.” You know what I am talking about because each of us has experiencing the joy of giving.
You may consider helping Wells of Life which serves the poorest of the poor with very limited resources. But we continue because by grace, love, and the generosity of people like you. If not Wells of Life then I encourage you to give to the charity that is tugging at your hear.
You will never be the same. I promise!
2 thoughts on “Beautiful But Not Pretty”
Charlie, what a beautiful encapsulation of what we experienced during the past 10 days . Thank you for putting these words in such a straightforward and practical way. your leader ship is at the heart of the Wells Of Life mission to do more, be more and more tired to sleep for a world filled with water compassion and mutual respect for one another .
Thank you Nick. It is a privilege to serve Wells of Life and the needs of the poorest of the poor.