Mother Teresa said, ‘Not everyone can do great acts. But everyone can do small acts of great kindness.’

I would hazard a guess that, should anyone notice when I pop my clogs, they will be tempted to point at the medical centre, or the hospital in the Hills, or Kigazi Community Nursery and Primary school, or something else that J10:10 constructed and say, ‘He was a difficult bastard but he did do some good things. Look at that (complete the blank from list above).’

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And the structures that God has empowered us to erect, populate and manage are doing a whole load of good. And I am proud, grateful beyond words, and amazed at what God is doing in them and through them

Our orchards are also taking shape (ALL READERS PLEASE PRAY FOR RAIN…..DANCE IF NECESSARY!) and the signs are promising that we will FINALLY return to profit in October/November. The wages that we pay to our forty-odd employees are meeting household costs, school fees and giving dignity and purpose.

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BUT as I prepare, unwillingly (!), to leave Uganda for a few weeks, I have been reminded of what matters most, what I enjoy most, why I am here, and why I am taking a break.

For most of this year, and a good part of last year, my life here in Uganda has focussed on the business, the structures, the finances, the procedures and a constant charge to generate the money to pay for everything. Yesterday was different. Yesterday was like it used to be before the pressure of the business and the cash took centre stage. Before I allowed the world to crowd people and Jesus out. Ouch.

I went to Kigazi for what will be the last time till December. Not for a meeting. Not to collect children. Not to pay wages. Not to look at reports. But to take 6 bags of cement up the mountain so a widow could repair her house. She had scraped together the money for the cement but couldn’t afford the transport. I have a pick-up and it was no big deal…..a couple of hours out of my life and a few minutes of raised blood pressure as the pick-up got stuck on rapidly deteriorating roads.

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And word had reached me that Susan, one of the children from Kigazi that we educate in town, was sick. And that her Mum was worried because they’d been to hospital and she had been diagnosed with a heart defect.

The diagnosis and the treatment that had been given at a hospital in town made no sense at all to me and so I went to our medical centre with them both, made a decision that I wanted a third opinion and took them both to a private doctor in town. As I had suspected Susan had two separate and distinct medical problems – the one easy to treat and the other a good deal more challenging. Neither of them, unsurprisingly for a 12 year old girl who is not a chronic alcoholic (!), was stomach ulcers as previously diagnosed and medicated. Aaaaggghhh. The worms will be gone in a week or so…..the cardio-vascular defect will be a lot longer journey. But a journey that we will walk with them. In God’s strength.

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And then I took them both back to the village. Told them that it was a privilege to be their friend. And made it quite clear that they should thank Jesus and not me.

And it is this that I shall miss the most. Just doing the best that I can on an individual basis for people who don’t have the confidence, resources, or knowledge to do it themselves. And doing it in Jesus’s name, and with His gentleness, kindness, and love. Small acts of His great kindness. Please pray for Susan – for a recovery from worms that I suspect she has had for nearly 6 months and for the right treatment for her heart defect.If my people

And please pray for me to have everything set up to operate successfully in my absence, for rest/renewal/refocussing whilst I am away, for our orchards to prosper and fund the charitable stuff if that is God’s will, and that I make a bloody fortune in Europe so that when I return I can focus solely on people and what Jesus wants. Thank you.