My Day With the Women of Delight Uganda
I assumed they would be different from me, from us. I walked onto their campus with an internal pride thinking I was better, that I knew a little more, had experienced a little more, or had superior privileges that they’ve never experienced. This internal pride is a dangerous way to enter a room. Although it might not have been spoken, it initially held me back from relating or embracing the women God placed in my path. These small walls and underlining assumptions change the way we speak to people and makes it challenging to embrace community and cultures different from our own.
To my surprise the campus barely looked different from one in the US. If anything it was a bit brighter, cleaner, and more active than any I had seen in a while. You could hear music playing out of the dorm rooms as you walked by, a worship choir was practicing in the student hall, and there were goats running around on the front lawn! The grass was really green, the buildings freshly painted, and the most calming breeze swept through the halls.
Delight met in a classroom, and when I first walked in I met their amazing campus advisor, Joy, who’s everything I want to be in my early 30’s. Her English was perfect, and she had the sweetest Ugandan accent. The leadership team walked in just a few minutes after and introduced themselves as well. They were so excited I was there to see them and were so proud to lead their Delight chapter!
For the next couple of minutes they explained how their chapter has been functioning and what today’s meeting was going to look like. They had received their books just a couple of weeks earlier and explained how the stories have been so relatable and encouraging - that they were opening the door for vulnerable conversation and depth in their friendships.
Just a few minutes later, young women started flooding into the room. Ten, twenty, thirty, almost forty women showed up, and you could tell they show up every single week. We put our chairs in a circle and jumped right into that week’s story. It was about belonging and how it’s often hard to feel like we fit in when we first get to college. One of the leaders thoroughly summarized the story and then asked one of the first discussion questions. Immediately the girls started sharing.
As I sat there, I quickly tuned into the reality that the women at African Renewal University in Kampla, Uganda were no different from myself. Their struggles, their friendships, their personalities, the things that made them laugh, and the moments that made them sad were just like the ones I experience. I could feel the walls start to fall down and the gap start to close.
As different as we like to think we are, as cool we have made our lives look, it’s really not any better and honestly not much different than the next. Of course we were brought up in different ways and are each uniquely made, but those things really don't make us much different at all. If anything, our stories make us more similar.
I’m so excited that God is opening the door for Delight to reach the nations, to share stories from women in different places and with different personalities, and to better understand the beauty of what it looks like to pursue Jesus “together.”
Delighting in the Lord “together” means we have to abandon our pride, look at everyone the same, create equality in our weaknesses, and love every bit of everyone around us. If we can do that, we’ve really got a head start toward Heaven!
I just wanted to celebrate all the amazing things the Lord is doing through Delight all across our nation and honor these amazing women that make it all happen!
- Kenz / Delight Co-founder / @mackenzieraebaker