Installment 2 – Lights
In Gulu, we were blessed to have small solar lights that we could charge during the day and use when power went off at night. The power usually went off whenever a storm came in and remained off for half an hour to overnight; occasionally it would remain off for a little longer. The lights really were sufficient for our needs and, as cooking was over coals, it never interrupted our meals.
When we arrived in Jinja, we were warned that the power would go off every second evening. However, we were blessed during our time there with far less frequent power outages. No longer having the solar lights, we had to use a kerosene lamp and a self-charging torch. Kerosene lamps are foul-smelling but, more so than their terrible smell, the fumes are toxic. It wasn’t such a concern for us using it in a home with good ventilation but imagine using one for light whilst cooking over a charcoal fire. I’ve been told it is the equivalent of smoking ten cigarettes but do not quote me on that figure.
There is a ministry called “Light the Night” if you are interested in reading more about the problem of kerosene lamps. YWAM Colorado Springs is coordinating this ministry. The recent team that we were working alongside from YWAM brought over lights in their baggage. They are sold cheaply (the money from the donated lights goes to Soldiers of Christ) to the community for what kerosene fuel would cost a family for two months. As the lights can last 2 years it is definitely a worthwhile investment for families!