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Center for Global Justice Intern – Heather Pate

Last week was slightly frustrating and a little slow. Unfortunately, my Ugandan coworker was sick and we were not able to do much, but God totally changed my week through one meeting. I went with a team of psychologist into a village about 2 hours outside of the Kampala. We passed through so many rural areas, areas that don’t even have roads, apart from a bike path. This team has been counseling one of the most recent victims of child sacrifice.

Yesterday, we went to talk with the whole village and to encourage them to talk about their experience and their fears. Because the meeting was held in the village so far out of the city, the people do not understand English, but luckily our wonderful driver translated for me. Like many meetings in rural Uganda, we sat outside under the mango tree! I was informed about this case just a few weeks ago from a man who investigated the case. The pictures were very graphic and heartbreaking. I was delightfully surprised to find that the child we were going to see was the survivor in the case I just learned about. He is so sweet and so young. Praise God, he survived the brutal attack with only a cut on the back of his neck, but unfortunately sister didn’t survive.

 I’m so thankful for the volunteer psychologists, because psychology is a new field in Uganda and not many people want to talk about their traumatic experiences. Most people just want to forget, and many people believe that when something bad happens to you it is because you have done something bad and somehow deserve it.

Also, I moved into the Jesus House this week, which is at the organization’s office conveniently. It was a bitter-sweet move. I am leaving amazing friends at the University, but I know this experience will also open amazing doors and God will open new doors. We are now starting to gather information about open cases to try to establish some finality or progress within the courts for a case that is now 5 years old. 

Heather Pate, 3L