60 pounds X 13 bags = 780 pounds of donations.
Each member of the Uganda service vowed to take only their personal necessities in their carryon luggage. This left all the checked baggage to be filled with donations for us to take the orphanage and school.
So what does 780 pound of donations look like?
300 tubes of toothpaste
50 pairs of shoes
nearly 1000 pencils, pens, markers, and crayons
100s (not counted) bars of soap
120 pounds worth of clothes: swim suits, kids clothes, kids underwear, shirts and ties for the teachers
20 sets of sheets
teaching supplies for 20 teachers
30 soccer balls
2 air pumps
One entire suitcase filled with med supplies: cough drops, bandaids, antifungal cream, neosporin, gauze, surgical tape, children's vitamins, and pain medication.
Here we are folding clothes and trying to squeeze in just one more shirt!:
Just one of the 13 suitcases - this one filled with toothbrushes and toothpaste:
Through this experience I've been thinking a lot about hands. The hands that typed the emails (Madi) or drew the signs on the collection boxes (Amelia). The hand-picked items brought to school by hundreds of JIS students. The many hands it took to carry all the items to my classroom and Shana's classroom. My own hand holding the hand-written notes with well-wishes and messages from the JIS students to the children in Uganda like the one pictured below.
And I feel so grateful to hand-deliver these items...in Africa. To shake their hands. To hold their hands. To use my hands to help with the medical clinic. To dig and weed with my hands.
And through all this - somewhere in my mind and heart I think of Christ's hands. Hands that blessed. Hands that worked. Hands that prayed. Hands that bled. And somehow, through the preparation of this Uganda experience, of holding pencils, toothbrushes, and a pair of socks, His sacrifice seems more understandable. I am a witness the service, work, and charity of others. Somehow I feel closer to my Savior to be even the smallest part of this service.
Here are a couple of the incredible people I'm traveling with: Jeska and Shana.