Sunday, April 22, 2007

Beans, Oil and a Bag of Salt

This past Thursday, we had our second food distribution of the year and our largest ever: 130 women came, many with babies and young children and several with their husbands, to haul home 20 kilos of beans and a 3 litre jug of cooking oil. The beans came by lorry from Kasese, a town in the west of Uganda about 4 hours away from here. The oil was bought from Kampala-based Mukwano Industries, one of the largest companies in this country that supplies all sorts of household goods. After we had registered all the women, weighed them and their babies, and tested those babies and children who had not yet been tested, one of the women approached Donato, our Ugandan colleague, and asked him "Where is the salt?" Truthfully we had not planned to give out salt, but it is locally available in large quantities - though it actually comes from Kenya - and is very inexpensive. Plus it was a very reasonable request: salt will definitely make those beans more tasty! So, Scott and Donato drove down to Nyahuka Trading Center, less than 1 kilometer away, and within minutes returned with 150 bags of salt.

As I watched the women taking home their bags of salt, along with their beans and oil, I was reminded that salt was important to Jesus too. He told his followers, "You are the salt of the earth" and so he calls us to live distinctive (flavorful) lives that bring him honor and glory.

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