One part of the trip that really stuck out to me– the men. While listening to the stories of the women we met, my mind would go back to the men in these women’s lives. The women told story after story of abuse, rape and abandonment. The men made promises, but when life got hard or the women got pregnant they left. These men desire to have many children, but do not want to do the work to care for them. The women fight for survival, care for the children, care for the home, and try to earn money any way they can. It’s not an easy life.
|These women each shared their struggles with us. heartbreaking.|
I kept thinking something needed to done to help teach or encourage these men to step up and do their part. The interesting things is that I was not alone in my thoughts.
The day we visited Mama Florence, I walked out of her birthing center and saw our driver, Deo, talking to the men of the village under a tree. I asked one of the other ladies what he was doing. They said, “Oh, he’s preaching.” Sure enough, he had their attention and was sharing Christ with them. Awesome.
|Deo is the one standing and talking, 😉|
Afterwards he came up and said, “Mama Melissa, we really need to do something for the men.” I told him I’d been thinking the same thing. Deo said that while we were inside with Mama Florence, the men, who spend most of the day sitting outside hanging out with their friends and playing cards, yelled at him and asked why we only help the women and not them. Deo walked over to them and said, “They help the women because you don’t.” He then began to share his own testimony and how he used to mistreat his wife and children. Then he became a Christian and God changed his heart. He learned how to be a better husband, father, and employee. He got to share with these men the transforming power of God. He told them that God desires for them to care for their families. Powerful stuff.
Deo is right. We need to do something for the men. I’m not sure what all that includes. My goal with Mercy for Mamas has always been to focus on safe births for the women. But I also know that life would be much better for these women with support from the men in their lives. Pray for us as we try to figure out the best way for us to minister to the men of Uganda.