So if you want to live a comfortable life make sure you never love nobody, be selfish and never sacrifice.
— Andy Mineo
I have spent a week here in Uganda, and how am I feeling you might ask. Well my answer is simple: I'm sad. Sad because I realized as of yesterday I have less than two months left here to experience this beautiful country, sad because I only have seven weeks to make a difference, and sad because I know that these last 49 days will come all too soon.
A beautiful day out at Calo Me Lare Children's Home.
This week has been such a blessing for me. For the most part you could say this week has been more of an orientation or an introduction to the individuals and the places I get the opportunity to work with throughout the rest of my time here.
A tour of the farms that help provide food for one of many children's homes.
I have gotten the opportunity to work at many different children's homes this last week. I've worked on irrigation systems in the gardens, taught children how to throw an American football, made secret handshakes with a group of 8-year-olds, and created a garden spreadsheet of crop seasons and planting dates.
After a day of setting up drip irrigation, it was time to teach the ins and outs of the new system.
For the majority of my time I have travelled all over northern Uganda with a great group of seven other individuals meeting new missionaries, agriculture instructors, world-changers, or (more often than not) all of the above. Each person has their own story behind how God led them to be here. All of them had to take a leap of faith out of their comfort zone.
I am thankful for this group I have had the opportunity to travel with this week.
One thing I have come to love about this place is the practicality of everything they do. As this week has progressed, I have witnessed the desire of so many to become self-sustainable in agriculture. This want is one that back home we so very often take for granted. We don't realize how lucky we are to have access to any product we want at our fingertips. This realization reminded me of an album called "Uncomfortable" by a Christian rap artist named Andy Mineo. The album speaks about how we have "gotten too comfortable" in the way we live and that it is through embracing discomforts that you have the opportunity for yourself and others to grow.
It is a very different way of living here in Uganda, and there are many things I am still adjusting to. Whether that's being away from my friends and family, having only high-carb foods for every meal, or taking an almost-warm shower with water pressure more closely resembling that of the drip irrigation systems. It is those sacrifices of comforts that sometimes may challenge the desire to be here, but it is the greater purpose behind it all that solidifies your knowing that you are right where God planned.
Ryan Danker is a 2017 Field of Hope intern working out of Lira, Uganda, this summer where he helps manage irrigation systems for Field of Hope’s partners. Danker is a senior agribusiness major at Oklahoma State University. He is originally from Wellston, Oklahoma.