That is where my Operation Christmas Child boxes went!

I got the cheery email this weekend.

Merry Christmas from Samaritan’s Purse! Thank you for participating in Operation Christmas Child and for choosing to Follow Your Boxes.Your gift box(es) went to Uganda. For photos, stories, and other information about Operation Christmas Child in this country, click here.

Please remember to pray for the children who will be receiving your shoe box gifts. Thank you, and may God richly bless you.

I am really thrilled with this!!!!  Primarily because I packed my boxes based on my knowledge of Africa, and was concerned that the boxes with no mittens or warm hats would end up in Romania. In addition, some of the things I packed were had English writing on them, and English is one of the main languages in Uganda.

Uganda is also a country in need of some Holiday cheer.  There has been a lot of talk about how Uganda has emerged as a Peaceful country after decades of incredible unrest.  

On the Operation Christmas Child Facebook site, there was a note allowing members of the group to comment and list where their shoeboxes had gone.  Many people commented that they had to look up their African countries- places like Burkina Faso, Seychelles, or Chad seemed to be really unfamiliar to most of the donators.  For me, not so much.  I’ve seen first hand the life in these places and for the most part, it is so different than an average life in more developed countries.  I love the fact that the shoebox gift not only blesses a child personally, but it also seems to be giving back and providing education to many of the donators.  So many said they read about these places and tried to imagine what the child who received their box would be like.  It seems small, but looking beyond oneself, and thinking beyond just the gifts in the box, to the actual day to day lives of these children and families can only bring us all one step closer to more fully understanding each other, don’t you think?

Well.  That said. back to Uganda.

Uganda was the birth place of what is considered the most effective guerilla Army, the Lord’s Resistance Army.   In my opinion, the LRA uses God’s name in vain.   God would never ever permit or condone the type of behaviors that this group is known for.  At least not the God of the New Testament.  Jesus, the son of God taught us to Love they Neighbour and Turn the other cheek, not to bludgeon them to death and cut off the body parts of 8 year old girls.  I will be quite honest, in looking up info on the LRA, I realize that they did and probably still do operate in South Sudan, where I worked for a year with Medecins Sans Frontieres.  Learning this, safe in my home, I still got shivers down my spine.  Uganda actually seems to have done well in the recent year and LRA activity seems to be more centered in the surrounding countries.

These days….the Tourism Uganda Website sweeps all the difficulties under the rug and has produced quite an appealing website for would be travelers.

But yeah, I do not think I will be booking my trip any time soon.  Not to Uganda, or actually the DRC or even South Sudan, where I actually lived with permission of some sort of Southern Sudanese Government.

Still things do seem to be improving for the country and these gifts can only help.

This video is from a visit to Uganda where Shoeboxes were distributed….the music is actually in Swahili which is the second official language in Uganda, after English.

Forgot to make a shoebox?  There’s always time.  Samaritans Purse accepts Shoebox donations ALL YEAR LONG!  You can simply mail your box to North Carolina.  Here’s a Link to the address.  

In addition, you can Make a shoebox on line, though the price is a little steep, if you ask me!!!

And Happy Christmas to all who are celebrating.  Take a Moment during this season to focus out and spread the Joy that is Christmas.


6 thoughts on “Uganda!

  1. I didn’t know you were in southern Sudan. Holy cow, that was one of the most dangerous places to provide aid, according to a UNESCO report from four years ago. I’m glad you came out of there unscathed, though I’m sure the people you helped appreciated your work there.

    I’m wondering now what child received that little glowing ball you put in your box. I still think that was an awesome choice of a toy for a child of elementary school age or even older. Plus those kids aren’t spoiled like American kids—toys are so rare in those countries, even a small charm or an action figurine is considered a big deal. Good at’cha! as our Australian friends say.

    • Yes, Sudan was my first big long term assignment in Africa. I will admit, I worked at a place where some of the aide workers had been killed in a surprise bomb attack, but to be honest, it never seemed than dangerous….admittedly, when you are in the thick of stuff, you are just “in it” and things that would be horribly out of place at home just seem normal…like everyone walking around with semi-automatic and automatic weapons….after a while you dont see it, though I tell you if someone were to do that here in the US, I would totally freak out today!

  2. I just said goodbye to some international students heading back to Uganda.

    The LRA indeed is a terrifying and tragic outcome of the area. I have to admit I didn’t know the “L” in the name was religion derived…I thought more as in “overlord” or “warlord”.

    On to your caring acts – with the care packages – good for you – and glad you found out where they were going.

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