Even Uganda Sees A Difference With Trump

To The Reader’s Forum:

Being in Uganda recently made me appreciate the people I was privileged to meet. Take Chosen, for example. She’s a young woman aspiring to be a nurse. She’s well-spoken, speaks two languages fluently and exhibits all the character traits of a fine mature Christian woman.

On our team’s trip to the Gulu district, north of Kampala, we had to cross the Karuma River. The view was so magnificent we had to stop and take pictures. Soldiers at the bridge confronted us. They confiscated the camera of our driver and told him to park our vehicle across the bridge. Doing so, our driver walked back over the bridge for his camera.

Meanwhile, another soldier armed with a rifle approached our van and ordered me to hand over my phone. That’s when Chosen jumped to my defense. She apologized to the soldier for whatever we may have done wrong (though there were no signs around banning picture-taking). It didn’t matter. The gruff soldier armed with a rifle ordered me out of the van and out stepped Chosen as well. As the soldier was taking me back over the bridge, Chosen pleaded with me not to give up my phone as I felt so conflicted wanting to do the right thing, given how we are taught in our country to do as you are told by law enforcement.

Another young Ugandan woman along with us on the trip named Vivian also urged me to hold on to my phone. She explained how some soldiers will use their position of power to improperly take advantage of others, especially foreigners. About that time, our driver returned with his phone after he paid them 100,000 schillings (roughly $25) and continued to our destination. Instead of complaining as we proceeded, we used the moment for good by praying for the soldiers.

The experience just made me appreciate all the more these two women I had never met before. They demonstrated backbone and fearlessness while maintaining poise and respect. Chosen wants to come to America. She applied for a Visa four years ago. The Obama administration ironically rejected Chosen, leaving her in tears. His administration often let illegal aliens get their way at the expense of those, like Chosen, who attempted it the right way. Even so, Chosen’s attitude shines bright, saying, “God has a reason for this.” As I talked with another Ugandan about pastors applying for Visas to America, they have found the Trump administration being more open and welcoming to them. Even average Ugandans notice a difference. Just saying.

The Rev. Mel McGinnis