Saturday, April 9, 2011

With a heavy heart

Today was the hardest day yet in Uganda.

I was aware of the mission that was planned for today, yet had no idea how difficult it would actually be.

A woman who lives here in Uganda was getting married. She has 16 sons who were once street boys, yes they lived on the streets of Uganda with no momma to love them.

We had been invited to her wedding. If any of you can remember, we were collecting shirts, ties, and other items to fit about 200+ street boys because they too were invited to the wedding.All of the team brought many suitcases filled with donations for these lil kings.

Let me explain how these boys live. The images you have seen on tv that show the filth, the trash, the poverty......this is truly where these children live. This is the real deal, no dress pretend play, oh how I wish!

Our day began by going into the slums of Uganda. Our van pulled up and boys screamed with glee for what seemed like miles away. They knew we were coming. They had been told.

These children have I can't stress enough..........they have nothing.

They fight each other to just have an opportunity at a warm meal, which is something that looks like mushy, runny glue. Yet they are thankful, for they have nothing.

I heard many call out to me, Mommy.....Auntie.......they long for someone to just show them affection.

Many children in Uganda huff paint and other things because when they do this, it curbs the hunger pains. I sat across from a 10-12 year old boy that was higher than a kite.

I prayed that Jesus would send in a rescue boat to come whisk him away to a better, safer life.

UNFATHOMABLE!!! There are no adequate words to describe the pain of this momma's heart. My entire body and soul ache for them.

I think of my boys at home and how their biggest stress is which one will play the X-Box next or who drank the last Dr. Pepper.

How I wish this were the case in Uganda.

We fitted boys with shirts, ties, pants, underwear, and shoes. These children were wearing rags. Most did not have underwear, let alone a clean pair.

We then fitted them with corsages and sprayed them with boy's cologne. They were each given a bag with a picture and note from someone in America. We explained that the family was in America praying for them.

One boy, who was about the age of 18 came and found Kim. He had received a picture of her and her family. He said, "I found you! Are you my mother?"

Swallow that in one big gulp! Can you imagine? 18, nearly an adult yet, still longing for a mother to love him.

The smaller children would reach for us and we would hold them. We did not ask what they smelled of, what their story was, or anything else for that matter. We just simply loved. We picked them up. We cuddled them. We told them that Jesus loved them. Time stopped as I imagine what their future would hold.

Will they be here if I come back in 6 months? A year? Will they die of AIDS? Will they get beaten to death while simply trying to get a meal for their empty bellies?

The clothes had been given out, as well as the shoes, yet there were still more children. What now God?? HELP!

We had to tell the children that though they had stood in line and waited so long, in the end they would get nothing. We promised to love on them. Yet, some got nothing.

Some may say, Well, you can't change the world Bambi. Ahhhhhh, but I can change the world of one child, two children......and many more.

In America we worry about our children sharing a room. Families here fit into a room smaller than my bathroom.

Oh how my body and soul aches for these precious forgotten treasures.

Our day went on as we went to the wedding. These beautiful boys, an hour earlier dressed in rags, were now dressed as if they came out of the J.C. Penney's catalog.

Their smiles, from ear to ear. Their bodies danced as the beautiful African music played. For one moment in time, they had no worries. I longed to take their pain........for forever.

One boy stood out to me in a crowd of many. His name is Fred. He is 18 and he is beautiful. He has a smile that would melt any girls heart. His eyes
show pure joy. He is a leader. I could tell this right away. He wood take the younger boys under his wing and guide them.

He danced like I have never seen any boy dance in my life. Yet, he lives on the streets. He is alone.

Tonight I sit at a computer, while I'm sure he is laying in a mud room, possibly laddend with disease.

I begged God to etch his face in my mind. I never want to forget him. How could I? How dare I?

In the middle of the beautiful wedding ceremony, I looked around and many boys were sleeping. I asked why and was told that they are so tired from having no where to sleep. When they feel at peace somewhere, they fall asleep.

Can you imagine being a boy, living on the streets and then someone scoops you up, dresses you in fancy clothing, and invites you over for dinner? Can you imagine?????

This was the case here and excitement consumed us all.

At the reception I watched as boys were served fancy food, and a Fanta Orange soda in a glass bottle. I had to bow my head and thank Jesus as the tears stremed down my face in pure joy.

The singing, the dancing, the food, I cannot put into words how awesome and awful today was all at the same time.

When they children were done, the plates were empty. EMPTY! Nothing that they didnt like was left on the plates. They were so thankful for a simple meal.

Children called out to me....Mommy, Auntie throughout the entire day. It made my heart happy to know for one single moment in time, these princes felt loved.

I wish I could have chartered a 777 plane and brought all of the boys home to America with me. I prayed for Jesus to FIX THIS!!! FIX IT!! MAGIC ERASER BAR KINDA FIX THIS JESUS! Make it all go away! It truly was too much to bear!

I asked about Fred. I wanted to know more about his story. Two beautiful Ugandan mommas inquired for me. I told them I would love to be his American momma. They ran and told him to come here, and so he did.

I explained to him that though we would be 9,000 miles away, I would be loving him. I would be praying for him. I would come back to visit him. He agreed that he would like this.

The tears poured out of my eyes like a faucet as I was consumed by heartache. I begged for heaven and earth to move on his account. SHOW OFF GOD!! SHOW OFF BIG in this young man's life. Let him feel loved. Let him not feel alone. Let him know that my words are true. Let him know that I love him as a momma loves her boy. I love him more than words and ache for him to be consumed with Jesus.

I beg you to pray with me as this day has left me feeling heavy.
More to come,
Today is my younghest son's birthday. I long to hold him and make him feel special today, but know that God has asked me to be here. He has a purpose.

Satan is busy at work. You know when you're working for Jesus, that really ticks him off. I will not give details but can promise you that he hates us being the hands and feet of Jesus!

We have worked in 2 orphanages so far this week. The sights are amazing. Children long to be touched, loved, and held.

When you travel to foreign lands, there is no rationalizing the thoughts that go through one's mind.

Special needs, older children, deformed children.......we could handle that!
Really, many people say, but why would you CHOOSE an imperfect or scarred child? My response, no one chooses what child they will adopt. God chooses and leads us down the path that He has planned for us.

Let me tell you about yesterday's visit to an orphanage. One girl caught my attention more than the others. I stroked her almost bald head and asked her what her name was. She replied in English with a sweet Ugandan accent, "I am Annette."

I asked how old she is and she said, "I am six years old." Now, I'm not the best judge of age, but I knew that Annette looked more like my Faith, who is 9 and kinda small for her age. Perhaps Annette is a tall 6 year old I thought, but learned later,perhaps thisis not the case.

I thought, maybe she is just confused. You see, many orphans here do not know when they were born......this was the case for Judith, another girl there.When asked how old she was she replied with "I don't know!" I told her that she looked nine, so now she could tell people she is 9 when they asked. What a small piece of information that we take for granted....our birth date.

So, I went inside and asked the nanny there about Annette. I explained that she had told me she was 6, but I thought she was very tall for being 6.
The nanny told me that Annette, was in deed not 6 years old. She is 14. 14???????????????????? NO WAY! I asked her if she was teasing me. There truly was no way that this child could be 14. She may be tall for 6, but no way was she 14!!

The nanny said that Annette is 14, but she tells people she is 6. You see Annette is an orphan and she is HIV+. Her parents have both died from AIDS.

Her mother died first. After her mother passed, her father sexually molested her repeatedly. This is how Annette contracted HIV. Annette wants desperately to be adopted and have a family to call her own. She tells people she is 6, knowing that they may be more likely to adopt her if she is a younger child.

I stroked Annette's beautiful brown skin as I pictured what her future may hold. WHY GOD??? Why? How, could this happen to such an innocent life??? I do not understand. My heart physically aches. I need to throw up. Again, I ask God why.

Annette spoke to another lady on our team. She asked if she could be her mommy. She said, I would like to go to America, and then listed the names of many children that have left to travel to America with their adoptive families.

She drew a picture with a big heart that says "Jesus gives you hope."

And to think that I worry at times about how will pay the water or cable bill. Really? Wow, I need a true reality check of myself!

I knew God had purpose for us being here, but never knew what exactly we would encounter.

Uganda is poor, sad, destitute, and the most beautiful place that I have ever been to.

The people here are so kind and beautiful.I consider it a blessing that the people here, for the most part, speak both the native launguage of Uganda as well as Englsh.

When I asked God to break my heart for what breaks His, I had no idea to what extent my heart would be broken.

I held a baby boy a few days ago that was found in a latrine, a place where peple poop. Someone had thrown him there to die. Yes, it could have been a terrible, awful deed, but it could also have been that the mother could not feed this baby. Knowing this may have killed her. Maybe she thought this would be an easier and faster death, compared to starvation.

The police found this tiny one in sewage. His eyes, nose mouth, and ears full of human waste. And God asks, "How much do you trust me?"

I pray that I never forget, I never get to busy with "my" life to remember the people here.

I wonder if God will choose to give me more children. My husband and I both know thatw e are not the captains of this ship called life. Only God knows what His plan is.

Please pray as we continue on this journey in Uganda.

I love and miss you all so much, but again know that God has sent me here.