Psalm 10:17-18 “You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.
I stand at the stove stirring sausage risotto, there are big boys in the kitchen cleaning up after their own chopping mess, and daddy in his chair at the computer, while at my feet a one year old girl is happily in my cabinet extracting pots and pans. She delights in the noise she can create. She is secure in her world of play and exploration because someone is always hovering over her protecting and guiding.
I often forget that God heard her cry the moment she was abandoned and alone. She has so naturally become one with our family. I often forget her story. She has just become one of us.
But she was once one of the fatherless in this world. Kirabo, this baby girl I’ve devoted myself to know in the deepest most intimate way, she was rescued from living a lonely struggling life. I think back to the time when God got a hold of my own heart and shifted the path of my life. I was seeking to spend myself with more purpose, finding too much comfort and luxury in my daily living. I was lost spending my time doing less than what I knew I could. The answer came while I was on that first mission trip to Uganda. With an orphan on my lap God split my heart open wide and showed me that I could give myself to one of His precious children, the abandoned, the orphaned, and serve Him in it.
Without hesitating we began the process to expand our family. Through all the waiting we shifted and prepared to welcome a baby into our tight circle. God provided us for her. As I watch her play and babble on she has no idea how an almighty God has protected and delivered her to the exact place He wants her to grow. My honor is to share with her the story some day of how God put her into our family.
She will grow up knowing what her life could have been like. Every year we will be in Uganda to assist orphaned children. When we are not there, we will work to improve the lives of the children at the orphanage in Kyengera Uganda by telling their stories. Everyday we learn more and more about the difficulties they endure. Teeth are rotting, heads ache, stomachs are in constant pain, diseases are passed down, the nights are cold, the ground is hard, and the physical labor never ends. They bear the emotional wounds of watching a mother die, and knowing for the first moment through the tears that there is no one there. How does a child overcome this sort of trauma?I am encouraged to hear the stories of how these children found their way to the place where they live, how they heard there was a bowl of porridge they could get there to silence the growls in their stomachs and a place they could spend the dark night. They found friends who had similar stories. They were not alone after all. Their pain wasn’t so unique, many others shared the same experiences. Their experience felt normal in this place. I think it is innate to surround ourselves with people that help us know we are both normal and unique.
And God does more, he sends others who care. He opens eyes to see they should not have to suffer, be sick when they could be healed, and sit idle when they could be learning. He clothes them and feeds them. Through us God is working to give these children who have no one but each other a way to grow up secure, educated, healthy and confident.
This was the purpose I sought. He answered my cry with more than one orphaned child to love, but a whole orphanage to speak for. He stokes the fire in me to share their stories.
Kira will grow up knowing these children as her brothers and sisters. She will see how far God delivered her in her rescue. I hope she sees. I hope her heart is broken with gratitude. I hope she bows before God and gives Him her life in service. I will walk the journey alongside her and watch God work. It’s going to be such a fascinating sojourn to see her discover God’s hand in her life. I’m so thankful I am the one He chose to walk with her. I am so humbled he heard my cry to serve him with more purpose and she was the answer. And the children with big smiles and high hopes in Kyengera, I’ll walk alongside them for as long as I am able.