Walk through a Granny interview with US!
As we arrive at Granny Getulida’s small mud hut after bumping many kilometers deep in the village of Luuka district, in a cloud of orange dust from the dry mar-rum roads…we are greeted with dancing and clapping hands from the grannies and their older orphans, while gathering whatever benches or chairs they can find for US to sit on and grass mats for themselves.
Then the fearful tears erupt from the younger orphans who’ve never seen a “Mzungu” (white person) before. Several minutes of greetings begin as the Granny and her grandchildren all drop to their knees in the dirt overflowing with expressions of gratitude for our visit…in Lusoga, their local language.
Present are Arch Deacon George Impande who helps us organize and screen our Grannies under the qualifying criteria, the local pastor of the village church that the granny attends, Alfred Nabudere (TWH construction manager), Charles Kyakola (TWH Farming God’s Way manager), Russ & Marcia, as well as ever increasing numbers of inquisitive adults & children that accumulate from the village as we begin asking questions through Arch Deacon George as our interpreter.
How long have you been widowed? 15 years
How many biological children do you have? 2 how many are still living? none
How many orphaned grandchildren are you, alone, caring for now? FOURTEEN !!
What are their names and ages? Louisa 14, Robert 11, Sharon 10, Isaaka7, Rose 7, Betty 7, Memu 6, Jennifer 6, Eflance 5, Daniel 5, Apaphra 5, Charles 3, Cate 2, Sarah 2
Are any of them in school? no
What is the size of your land? 20 by 50 sticks (200 ‘ by 500’)
In the meantime Alfred gets permission, and is taking photos of the Granny, her children, the condition of her present home, and determining the degree of her need & and property and Charles is evaluating the land for placement of a “well-watered” Farming God’s Way garden. Alfred finds one small mud-brick hut with a sparsely covered grass thatch roof with a cook fire inside, and NO bathroom or latrine at all, only some bannana leaves tied up to provide a screen with a plastic basin for bathing on the ground.
Russ then thanks the Granny for taking in her grandchildren and caring for them..and reminds her what an important job God has given her. He explains that The Way Home is a ministry made up of Christians who love the Lord and because of that, “care about YOU and your family!” They desire to give sacrificially from what God gives them to make it possible for us to help build you a stable home that will keep your family together after you are gone, and teach you about farming in a way that you will SEE God’s all sufficiency, with the resources God has already given you. He explains further about the details of the spiritual and health teaching we will provide for the grannies in groups with their orphans and promises to return to begin building a new family home and latrine/bathroom for them in the next few months.
Their local pastor then closes our meeting in prayer and breaks into a familiar song all in Lusoga language…we join them in English and for a few moments worship together 🙂
Our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal HOME! ”
We have received various gifts at the conclusion of the interview: ground nuts (peanuts), beans, eggs, jack fruit…but the custom of most is to show their gratitude by giving us a chicken…however this Granny had NO chicken, or anything else to give us…so as we walk to the car to leave…she gives Russ a big hug as she quietly stuffs a 10,000 shilling note (approximately $4.00) into his hand to buy a chicken!!!To receive this fortune from this destitute Granny was excruciatingly humbling…but to not take it would’ve been the ultimate insult and cultural fop-aux.With a lump in our throats and a humbled understanding of the widow who gave the Lord her two mites, we press on to the next Granny family…