#LentPhotos: A Blessing
In two ways the following photo indicates blessings from today …
- That we were allowed in to hear the stories of the villagers. There has been misunderstanding, from a previous visit from an NGO (and there are scams, although we think this is more of a misunderstanding), which has led to some ill-feeling in the village, so we thought that we may have to go home without hearing any stories – as always – such inspiring stories of how PEP has transformed their lives. We were encouraged that the villagers thought that their stories were worth using as a bargaining chip – good to see empowerment.
- Ugandan babies don’t wear nappies, and apparently if they wee on you it’s considered a blessing. One blessing I’ve been fortunate to avoid this week!
So today’s extract from C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why…
and the accompanying Bible verses:
New Living Translation (NLT)
9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
seems to sum up the message of PEP that we’ve heard this week. Throughout this week we’ve heard how villagers were “happy” to while away time chatting, but when famines hit – people starved because nothing had been put by – and were then dependent upon handouts. Villagers have learnt to look at the resources that they have, including time, and see how they can put it to better use, to get themselves, and their families out of the poverty cycle.
It’s something that we can all look at as well – apparently a bit of my catchphrase this week has been that everything that Ugandans have been challenged to think about – whether taking responsibility, using time more wisely, or washing hands – are all things that many people in the UK could do with hearing. My problem with responsibility is that I tend to take it for others, and therefore lose a lot of time .. so seeking to change that … and the snooze button (and yes, a quick check online) can take over quite quickly if you’re not careful!
“Does the Way You Spend Your Time Truly Reflect Your Values?”
Amen to today’s prayer:
We thank you for allowing us to enjoy life on earth, and pray that we would learn to use our lives wisely.
So, today’s challenge is to live on a fiver, as an asylum seeker would. I remember watching Chine doing this for a week – but I think it was then a fiver for food in a week – incredibly hard to eat a decent range of foodstuffs – but the challenge is to survive on a fiver cash, including travel – I guess that will be easier for some than others… I’m sure we’ve not spent that much today, but £5 would be seen as a feast over here in Uganda – we heard tales of Jennifer today who started a business effectively on 20p, and from that grew it until she could afford a cow, which has now had calves, etc…
I’m now trying to think what I spend in an average day. Milk/cereal or toast. £1.70 park & ride. Lunch given by St Johns but what would that cost if I bought it? Evening meal tends to be simple .. quite cheap, partly because it tends to be a lazy meal and I’ve already had lunch. Very fortunate I know…
Really interesting to read the linked blogs.
Brian Draper asks us to the look for “the stillness between the two waves of the sea” (that time between being busy, lonely, etc..) and just take the time to be… very much as #notbusy has been doing all Lent. And #Do1NiceThing encourages us to buy Fairtrade when we can- apt as we’re in the middle of FairTrade Fortnight … and there are many more Fairtrade goods than there used to be – better quality, and reasonably priced.