Intern Report from Rahab’s Corner!
Our beloved interns, Chris and Kazden Duggan, are finding their feet in our brand-new Rahab’s Corner in Uganda. Here is an honest account of their challenges and victories since they’ve been there these short few weeks. Thank you, Chris and Kaz, for being such a blessing to these precious young ladies!
We were so excited to move to Uganda to work with Pure & Faultless at Rahab’s Corner and preparing and planning the big move took months. We had been praying and asked others to join us in prayer leading up to our move date. In our head we had painted a picture of what it would be like to live there. The day we found out we would officially be moving to Uganda, was one of the most exciting days for us. The feeling was surreal. It felt like a dream, like it wasn’t really happening but as the day came closer, it began to feel real. This is happening. Finally, we are leaving to go live in Africa. However, when we arrived things were different than we imagined they would be. Although being in Uganda was fun and exciting, working directly with the girls was difficult and challenging. Our first few times with the girls, no words were exchanged. Even though we tried to start a conversation and ask questions, we received no responses. It was awkward and uncomfortable. But we kept coming, even if it meant just sitting with them or eating with them or playing games with them without speaking one word to each other. It didn’t matter. As long as we were present with them.The beginning wasn’t about trying to “fix” them. It was just about being present with them. Doing daily life with them. During this time, we were reminded of Job and his friends. Having heard of Job’s sufferings, his friends came to comfort him and sat with him in silence for seven days. Although God rebuked them for their words when they finally spoke, He never rebuked them for being present and sitting in silence. As long as we were present with the girls, they would become to know us as someone who wants to live with them and comfort them.
Eventually, the girls began to feel comfortable with us and came to realize that we truly did care for them. They all tell us how it is their dream to come to America. But we tell them it was our dream to come live here. In one of our conversations with a few of the girls they couldn’t believe that we left our home of shiny skyscrapers, paved roads, and clean water to come live in a place where we have to fetch water from a well and wash our clothes by hand. They were so moved when we told them that they were the reason we choose to sacrifice all those things. In another conversation we told the girls we would be staying and living with them for one year and they were so excited that they made us pinky-promise to stay here for that long.
We’ve been at Rahab’s Corner new building site for 2 weeks now and its been a transition but a blessing as well! The language barrier was difficult to overcome at first. Before, the girls were too nervous to speak their broken English to us. So, if they weren’t going to speak English with us, then we decided to try to speak their native tongue of Lugandan with them. We quickly discovered that if we spoke really bad Lugandan and messed up the words and pronunciation, then they would feel more comfortable when they messed up English words. Waking up to walk a mile down a hill and gather water before you’ve had breakfast is challenging. Or spending three hours to handwash our clothes in the hot sun has been quite the experience. But the time we are able to spend with the girls and them being able to laugh at us weak “mzungus” is well worth it! Slowly we’ve been getting to know all the girls at Rahab’s Corner and slowly they’ve been opening up to us. We’ve come to love these girls. They play a game called “net ball” which is nothing more than team keep away. It can be played with a volleyball or a rolled up ball of old duct-tape. It doesn’t matter because either way they play for hours and laugh the entire time! It’s so tiring trying to keep up with these young, strong Ugandan girls! At night, after dinner, they always want us to stop by and show them how we dance. Obviously, it’s a time for them to laugh at us as we try and keep up with them dancing. Every time they laugh it brightens our day and means everything to us to see them happy and comfortable with us.
Because of what these girls have been through, they don’t warm up easily to just anyone. It was hard to not take it personally at first but we understand that it takes time to build that relationship and trust. After being in Uganda for almost 2 months, it feels so great to have the girls warming up to us and actually wanting to talk to us. We can already see that they are some of the strongest, most determined women we know. We are so glad we have a whole year with them and are already dreading the idea of having to leave them. We love it here. We’ve been called here and are certain this is where we are meant to be. It’s going to be interesting to see how God uses Uganda to challenge us and exciting to watch these young women grow in their faith and love for Jesus!