It is finally Saturday! The weekends once offered the promise of goofing off, and letting time slip carelessly over me to drain away without account taken, but that’s no longer possible now that Kira and I fill our week together. Saturday signifies a catch up for my personal business, a handful of helpers with the house business and Daddy home to carry “chili chocolate” on his hip so I can finally unpack my personal suitcases, print the important documents from 1500 piled up emails, take a long bike ride alone, write the opening to my memoir and fix the ugly problems with my nails. Craig and I laughed together last night at the idea of the Aunties from Kira’s baby home characterizing her as a calm and peaceful baby. Ha! She had them fooled, but not her parents. She’s got willful tendencies, large opinions for one so small, a sturdy arching back when she protests, a mighty scream in a public venue when she’s ‘had it’, and a curious mind that captures my every opportunity to satisfy it. We are a good pair and being inseparable has shown me what parts of my life can wait until Saturday.
Everyone else might sleep in, but not me. I know I can catch a nap while taking my pedicure. That is only if my mind will allow me rest while it’s billowing up ideas and hopes for the children in Kyengera Uganda. I cannot, will not shake off my parenting responsibilities to these beautiful orphaned children. When my mind is grinding for my own five children, it also churns for them. I received excellent news yesterday from Adams and Elitia. The cows have been delivered! I nearly screamed and ran around my house like Lucy did when I came home after six weeks away, but I didn’t want to scare Kira. So, instead I did like the Ugandans would do, I danced around the house singing praise songs. I was too happy to feel sorry that I couldn’t be there myself to witness the faces on the children when the cows arrived. Oh, I would have enjoyed making those photographs. But I’ve seen their faces with a slice of pineapple and I have to imagine and believe it was a similar sight to behold.
Both cows are pregnant! This means next year we will have four cows. One of them is giving milk right now so Adams began having lessons with the older children about caring for the cows and milking sanitation and safety. Our children are going to have raw milk to drink. I couldn’t be happier about this. Emily and her family bought one of the cows. They have just moved onto a family farm, and Emily runs the dairy business. She’s done excellent research on the health benefits of raw milk, so I am hoping…hinting… that she will leave us a solid educational comment so we too can learn about the benefits of raw milk. For now, suffice to say, raw milk is a perfect food, and exactly what these children need to begin developing excellent health.
I think back to the early morning time I spent in prayer with God on New Year’s Eve. We had plans to visit the orphanage as a whole family for the first time. I wasn’t sure what God was going to show us to do but I knew we needed to experience their circumstances as a family so we could know what our future role may look like. It was during that time when I just knew I had to do whatever was necessary to get cows for this orphanage. It was a knowledge that was so strong I didn’t care if anyone would laugh at me and accuse me of having grandiose thoughts or delusional ideas. I only knew that having cows was a measure of wealth in that culture, a basic fact that the family would have excellent nutrition in constant supply. It’s not exactly an American’s idea of wealth, but perhaps one we should consider. Milk was what I wanted for these children, and so that was the day I put my crazy idea out there to see what would happen. It was crazy for a suburban American woman to ask if it was possible to buy cows for a group of orphans in Kyengera Uganda. It might be one of the boldest things I’ve ever suggested and being true to my personality, I didn’t care what anyone thought about me, I only cared about making a difference in the lives of these children. All the pieces were already set in place by God. Emily has expertise on selecting cows, Adams has many connections with cow farms, Pastor James has experience in raising cattle, his wife Rebecca had asked if she could run a dairy business two weeks prior, and a neighbor to the orphanage was willing to exchange a milking shed for pasture so our cows could be near the children. This was a firm lesson for me to not doubt a strong desire, even if it is crazy, because it very likely may be a big part in God’s plan. If I had doubted myself that day and called myself crazy or listened to all the sensible reasons it couldn’t work, the children would not NOW be looking forward to having milk every day.
Very soon the chicken coop will be finished and they will place 200 hundred chicks in there that will produce eggs in about four or five months. Our next big project is to find some land to purchase. Our goal is to build a small village for them. We imagine having the church central with huts circling it. A volunteer mom will have six or so children in each hut to know and be in charge of their care. We will have electricity! And the village will have its own water pump. In fact Craig had a meeting yesterday with a man here in Houston who is on the board of an international organization who drills for water. We are getting this hooked up, just watch us snap our fingers. Outside of the huts and church will be pasture for as many cows as we can purchase (I’d like to buy one a year as a Christmas gift!). There will be a hen house for eggs. There will be a rooster and free range chickens for meat. Jordan, Jack and Emily will have to teach the children how to slaughter a chicken. If my nine year old Jack can do it, so can they. Finally there will be a big garden with enough space to grow as much food as they can all eat and sell. Maybe we should also build a few huts for mission workers who want to come visit, teach, learn, and love on our extended family. Maybe we can build a school and hire the best teachers for our kids so their future dreams can come true.
Go ahead, say I’m crazy. I’ll just shrug you off and put my nose up to heaven. By now I’m not afraid to dream big because there’s a BIG God behind little ole me, and if He wants it done, it will get done, with or without me. But please, don’t leave me out, this is too much fun.