It’s been a whole week since I Counted my Blessings for Mothers’ Union Family Life Programme in Uganda. In many ways that counts as a fail, but for me it actually speaks about most of the Mothers’ Union members I know!
You see, for me the reason why the organisation excites me is because so many Mothers’ Union members are very involved in the sharp end of practical ministry among families – and thus having the time to ‘blog’ or talk about it, can actually prove really hard to achieve. That’s been true for me during the week, largely being active in ministry in the parish, sadly including preparation for the funeral of one of our faithful intercessory members, but also looking forward to the interview process for a new vicar in the next two days.
So, running through the last week of ideas for counting our blessings with regard to life in Uganda, and my own trip to the Family Life Programme in 2006, what things am I reminded of:
Wed 16th March we were asked to thank God that we know what is going on in the world, and give 5p for each newspaper and magazine in the house – not much for us as we only get two in any one week; the Church Times and the Radio Times.
When we were staying in Uganda, we were near Kampala, blessed by relatively well-to-do
hosts who had TV. The news they relied on was from the BBC World Service – I don’t know if that remains available to them given the recent cuts. The other thing we noticed was how Kampala-centric their news was in their papers, and how the Premier Division of English football dominated their sports pages!
Thursday 17th March we were giving 20p for every sink and toilet… £1 in the kitty then. With it came a big reminder of one of my favourite photo’s (right) and how proud the ladies involved in the Family Life Programme were of a clean, dry, hygienic toilet!
On Friday we were giving 1p for every door handle, remembering as we did so just how much the Family Life Programme, and other Mothers’ Union projects, open doors to a better life for the people they help.
Saturday 19th meant we had to count the dairy products in our fridge – about 50p’s worth at 10p a shot. A cow in Uganda is a major investment for a family. The cow I saw at the Luwero ‘model home’ was kept in a zero grazing system. Grass was grown on the banks that divided areas of cultivation, being cut and slightly wilted (to enable flies and parasites to fall out of them) before being fed to the cattle.
In the west we are very security conscious, and on Sunday we were counting our keys at 2p a go… well over a £1s worth for us if you count the keys to the cases of our musical instruments! But where is our real security? The Mothers’ Union is of course above all a Christian organisation, and it is the faith in God of all its members, and their faithfulness in prayer that give it’s work such a strong, secure foundation.
I think for tonight I’ll leave it there. Hopefully tomorrow, around my commitments in an incredibly busy parish week, I’ll catch up with more of #myblessings.