Last night I appeared at the Alpha bible study where the teens who gave the car wash gather. I love to see teens having fun with each other. They were pouncing on the pizzas, laughing with their whole bodies, and talking with their mouths full. Whitney and I made some cupcakes and fudge to thank them for everything they have done and all they are still doing to help the children in Uganda go to school. Their goal is to pay for ten educations. We wanted to thank them in a small way, and when it comes to teens, we know this happens most effectively through their taste buds.
This Saturday the Alpha group is having an enormous garage sale where everyone they know has given items and all the proceeds will be donated to the children in Uganda. They are working so hard for the cause of the orphan. It overwhelms me to see God touch hearts for these children in a way that sparks spontaneous action. The help we have received by others to raise money hasn’t been a result of my personal request for help. Every time I have asked for help I’ve been politely refused or answered with silence. This reminds me that I am not driving this project. God is directing and leading and I must follow where He points me. It’s been a good lesson. My job has been to share our story, and explain the needs at the orphanage, and then wait to see who God moves to join the effort. All who have helped provide for these children have volunteered their ideas, resources, time and energy. It is humbling and remarkable because I see it as the hand of God moving before my eyes. I feel like a small child who has just seen a dream come true, like a space shuttle take off, or a whale jump out of the ocean, or a purring kitten sit in a lap for a nap. The response is first amazement jumbled with joy and all that can escape on their breath is, “wow”.
One young man, his name is Juan, approached me last night and opened his wallet, shuffled through some bills and handed me two twenties. He simply said, “I really want to help the orphans in Uganda”. That’s a lot of money for a teenager. I wanted to hug him but there was a table between us. Instead, I told him that I’m going to tell the orphans at the home about you and how much your heart cares about them. The smile that spread across his face touched my heart like nothing else all week. I explained to him how far that money could reach in Uganda. It buys a dinner for the whole group; it can buy two pair of shoes or two grown chickens that can lay eggs, and pay for two months of education for one child.
I have hopes and dreams for the group of children who live at the orphanage in Uganda that they will overcome their loss and see God’s love and plan for their lives. I want to encourage them to discover their own personal dreams and work hard to see them happen. I hope they can learn how to love because God the Father shows them love through others, like Juan, who are willing to help by washing cars, tagging items for a sale, selling necklaces, or giving from their own pocket. So many people care and want to see their lives improve. Anyone is welcome on board, no invitation necessary. Come on over. And again, thank you to ALL who have jumped in and helped these children in Kyengera Uganda.
Yesterday I bought fifty journals and this summer we are going to give each child their own journal and teach them to record their hopes, dreams, feelings, thoughts, accomplishments and prayers. I want them to realize they are special, valued, loved, and important. I will encourage them to share what they record with their sponsors when they are able to write in correspondence. I hope they fill them up with thanks to God for all the ways He has proven His word true in their lives.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:5