Got to spend most of yesterday driving on dirt "roads" outside Gulu. We even got to breakdown in the middle of nowhere and contemplate a night in the bush, fortunately enough water drained out of the car for it to start and, mostly, run again. Cool adventure right? Well...
On our way back we saw a lady pushing a bike with about 80lbs of sweet-potatoes on the seat and a baby strapped to her back. This wasn't all that unusual a sight, but the pastor who was driving saw something in her eyes and thought something was off. She wasn't asking for help, but she wasn't saying no to it either. After figuring out how to get her, her bike, and her bag into what was left of the truck we started driving. An hour and about 25 miles later we dropped her off in her town... the one she was pushing her bike to at 3:30 in the afternoon. Think about that for a second.
After talking to her we found out that her husband had left her for a younger wife (not uncommon out here), the kid that was strapped to her back was still nursing and struggling with malaria (a.k.a. some kind of fever sickness), and the place where she could do some farming (for food and cash) was 30+ miles from where her, her kids, and her mom lived.
What she needed as much as a ride was a sling to keep her balls from dragging in the dirt. Thanks to her, I am shamefully aware that I have never done anything tough in the entirety of my life.
Later that night, after getting back to my comfy guest house, I started to question the necessity of the trip we had taken. I mean it took almost the whole day, almost broke the car, exhausted everyone involved, and cost about $70 in gas (yup it's that expensive out here). The thing is, I also remembered the lady, who is tougher than I will ever be, and how we were able to save her and her baby 25 miles of nastiness and at least one night in the bush. Thinking of her made me think that this whole trip up to Gulu will is more than worth it, even if the only thing that comes out of it is some dust in my lungs and knowing that for a few moments we were able to give a tired woman a rest from the normalcy of her life.
I'm not sharing this to say "Hey look at me, I helped someone." The truth is I'm kinda embarrassed that I didn't do more and that we almost drove past her, just like we drove past everyone else. I refuse to think too long about that one; I'd be a mess if I ever did.
On another note: I preached a couple of times this morning about worship and how the story of the prostitute anointing Jesus in Luke 7 is so amazing. I found out later that the church is full of ex-prostitutes who followed the solders over from Congo. I get the feeling that that story is a lot bigger than me. I might get around to thinking about that one.