On Thursday, we set out to visit the farms that True Vine ministries has that grows coffee, plantains & corn to support the 800 children at Victor School in Mukono. It was about an hour and a half drive on mostly very hilly dirt roads. About an hour into our drive we spotted a man pushing a bike loaded with bags of charcoal. We'd never seen anything like this. The bags were secured to his bike and he was pushing his bike to town. We asked Jesca many questions. She told us that he either made the charcoal in the forest and was bring it to town to sell, or he was hired to fetch the charcoal to bring it to town. Either way, we could see it was unbelievably hard work.
After we had toured the farms, we began our journey home. Then we saw him. Again. 3 hours later, he was still pushing the same load of charcoal to town. The journey home was mostly uphill. Cathy & I sat there in disbelief. We whispered to each other wondering if we could stop and give him our water.
Just then, Pastor's cell phone rang. He began talking and asked the driver to start backing up. I asked Cathy "Do you think he heard us talking about the water?" Pastor had stopped to show us another small farm. He began telling us how when they plant a farm...they plant a church. As Pastor was talking "charcoal man" walked by. We asked Jesca "is it ok for us to give him our water?" She said "of course".
We got out of the car and Pastor spoke to the man in Lugandan and told him we wanted to give him our water. His eyes lit up and his smile was as bright as the sun. He said "Webele Ngo" (thank you) several times and "Praise God".
He guzzled down the first bottle and stuck the second one between his charcoal bags and immediately went back to work.
Cathy and I got back into the car with tears in our eyes. Pastor sat down and looked at us and said only these words "When I was thirsty".
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in