Monday, November 8, 2010

A mother like me.

She was a mother, one of millions on this planet. She was not the mother of a president, the wife of a movie star, or the voice of a nation. She was a mother and wife. Like me. Maybe like you. She was faithful to her family; cooking and cleaning for them, loving and laughing with them. Living.

Although she lived in Mokono, Uganda, she became intertwined with my life; me, another mother who lives on the other side of this planet from her. And while I only talked with her once, she was in my prayers and thoughts, for she was my daughter’s Ugandan Momma during her home stay experience in Uganda. Her momma shared her life with Megan. She taught her how to cook Ugandan style, how to wash her clothes Ugandan style, and even shop in the market. Megan didn’t just live with this family; she loved them and grew in Christ because of them.

She was a teacher and a pastor’s wife, but more importantly, she was mother to Isaac, 9 years old and Deborah, 8.

And little Dorcus, just 2 years old. Baby Gloria,born after Megan left, is just 2 months old.

Sadly, Megan’s Ugandan Momma died in a tragic car accident on October 30th. She leaves behind a husband and children who loved her deeply and depended on her incredibly.

Because we live in America, we will never understand the struggle of raising a family in a small village in Africa. But, we as mothers can understand the love we have for our family, and how deeply she will be missed by them.

Jennifer leaves a hole in this family’s life that will never be filled,and Joseph, the father, is now faced with the struggle of taking care of the children alone. Money is never completely the answer to every problem, but it is something that can help this little family. Which is why I ask you, will you help? I have posted below the address of Mark Bartels, the Director of the Uganda Studies Program. He works with placing families with students who attend Uganda Christian University and are in the Home Stay program which Megan participated. His address is in the states because sending money directly to Uganda would probably not get to the family. However, Mark will make sure that the family gets it. Please, consider helping out a family who has helped so many others and who now need our help.

-Kelly Hall

Below is the email I received from Mr. Bartels.

I am writing you all with some sad news about your Mukono host family. Several of you already know that last weekend the family was involved in a car accident and the mother, Jeniffer, died. Rev. John Joseph has a broken jaw, but is on his way to a full recovery. The children are all ok. (John Isaac-9 years; Miriam Deborah-8 years; Miriam Dorcus-2 years; Gloria Jeniffer-2 months;). They were traveling for the baptism of the youngest two children. The youngest, Gloria, has been taken in by another pastor and his wife, at least for the time being.

There are only 4 of you who were hosted by the Bumanye family (Bethany, spring 2005; CarylMay, fall 2005; Abigail, fall 2009; Megan spring 2010) because they spent 2006-2009 in Lugazi, a town about 45 minutes towards Jinja. They also have a USP student with them this semester who is staying with them for the entire semester. She spent the last week on campus but is returning this week to the family.

I am writing primarily just to let you all know about this incident. I realize some of you may have maintained closer contact with the family than others.

A couple of you who already heard of this have asked what you can do. If you are interested (and only if you are interested; don't feel any pressure) there are a couple things that would be appropriate.

First, write them a letter or card. You can send it to us and we will deliver it. Just knowing that you are thinking of them and praying for them will be an encouragement.

Mark Bartels
Uganda Christian University
PO Box 4, Mukono

Alternatively, you could email me a message and I will either print it for them or rewrite it.

Second, if you are able and willing, you could make a donation. As you know, when something like this happens in Uganda, many people make small contributions to help the family through the time of need. The USP has already made a donation, including buying baby formula for a few months. If you want to send anything, you can send a check to me in the US, and I will give them shillings here. Unfortunately, we don't have a method that is tax deductible, but I am assuming any amount sent will be small, so that probably isn't an issue. If you want to donate something, but don't have much money, even $10 is more than sufficient in communicating your care. You can make the check out to me and mail it to:

(Please leave a comment on my blog if you would like the address.-Kelly)

Again, please don't feel any obligation to do this.

If you all have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me. I don't think all 4 of these addresses are current, so I am sending the same message out via Facebook.

Obviously, this is a tragic loss for the Bumanye family and for those connected with them. Rev. Bumanye has demonstrated faith in many ways throughout this incident, including his gracious response to the young man who was driving the vehicle.


Mark Bartels
Director, Uganda Studies Program
Uganda Christian University

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