A Litter-al Example
A Swiss YWAM team, currently on their Discipleship Training School (DTS) outreach in Arua, northern Uganda, have been sharing the gospel in words, as well as doing practical work to serve thecommunity.
The team arrived in Uganda at the beginning of April for a one month stay. Inconjunction with the YWAM Arua leadership one of the team leaders, Trevor Main, approached the Mayor of Arua, asking for opportunities to practically help the local community. The idea was welcomed by the Mayor and the acting health assistant. Given the go-ahead, the team chose to pick up litter in a local playground, donning bright yellow washing up gloves and stuffing trash into bags that were soon bulging.
Most people in Uganda expect missionaries simply to preach in churches, so the sight of foreigners picking up litter in the town centre surprised everyone. So much so that at one point an older lady, so moved by the sight of these ‘muzungu’ clearing up other people’s trash, spontaneously joined in. The team passed her a pair of yellow rubber gloves and she worked alongside them until the playground was clean.
The playground is often use by the public for football, and for important functions in the municipality including religious events like crusades. Once a year Arua has a ‘Beautification Week’ when school pupils and other volunteers sweep and gather rubbish, but for much of the rest of the year the town is very dirty.
The YWAM team hoped that the community wouldn’t think of religion as simply going to church, but see that faith impacts daily life. Looking after oneself and the environment demonstrates walking out Christianity both spiritually and practically.