Laundry Lessons in Humility – Uganda

by Breana — DTS staff
Jinja, Uganda

DTS students, Sharon and Marlo, wash laundry by hand in Uganda

There was a time I didn't know how to serve others without expecting something in return. It was only the other day when I truly understood servant leadership.

My teammate, Renae, and I just started to hand wash our laundry when two local girls stopped by our home.

“Let me help you,” the eldest of the two girls said.

I was in shock. “What? Help me with my laundry? That is very kind but you don't have to.”

“I want to,” she said.

So she and her younger sister helped us finish our laundry. When it was all hung on the line to dry in the sun, I wanted to give them something to show how much we appreciated their help. They wouldn't accept money when we offered it to them, so I  shared a couple of my favorite snacks I brought from the States.

Before the girls left, the eldest girl told me something that brought me to a much deeper level of humility.

“I learned from my grandmother that if you see someone who needs help,” she said, “you should help them, even if they do nothing in return.”

The next day, the same two girls came back and also brought a third. This time, they wanted to wash the floors in the house and the porch. Initially, my team and I were uncomfortable with them cleaning up after us. The girls insisted and did a phenomenal job. After they had finished, we asked if they would stay and visit with us.

Drinking cool drinks in the living room, we listened to the eldest girl's story of how her parents passed away and how she is going to school now. She wants to be a journalist and her two sisters want to be a doctor and a teacher. Renae gave the eldest girl a notebook and pen and told her she had to start writing down her stories if she wanted to be a journalist. The appreciation she had for that small gift more than matched the appreciation we had for them washing our clothes and floors.