I marvel that from my home in America I can remain current with what activities and developments are happening in the orphanage on another continent. Modern technology is not all bad. Partnering with Adams and Elitia who operate their own NGO (non-government organization) has been a satisfying union. They are there with the kids often, and we share the common goal towards improving their lives and giving them hope for a future that doesn’t match their circumstances. I feel a strong bond with them and I am so thankful God connected our lives.
Often I will write to Elitia with an idea and she will say, how uncanny, I had just the same thought the other day. This happens so often we are beginning to wonder if we are sharing the same mind. Of course we know the Holy Spirit is the same and He is with us both, and His goals for these children are the ones we both follow. It is just so exciting to see the new wonders and movements of our mighty God unfold before our own eyes.
The best example lately is that I felt strongly burdened to have tables made for the orphanage. I am imagining these children with home work and no table to sit at. I know they eat in plastic chairs in the church with their plate on their laps. I know the ground is their table when they need a flat surface. But I don’t like it. I mentioned to Craig I’d like to offer funds to make tables, and he waved his hand and cleared the spending for it (from his own pocket, not from donations). So I wrote to Elitia that we’d like to have four tables built for the kids. She was feeling the same need at the same time. Within days Adams returned to us with quotes on three different types of wood with varying prices. Craig said choose the mahogany, the most expensive, because that wood withstands the weather better than the others. On Friday we wired the money to their account and they are now being constructed.
I hope the tables will be ready for their Easter dinner. For most of these children it will be the first time in their lives they have had a table to sit at for meals, for writing, and for socializing. It is something we do not even consider a luxury here in our lives in America. A table almost feels like an essential. I can’t wait to see pictures of them dining at their new tables. We are bringing board games and decks of cards on the mission trip, so it will be great fun to sit around and play some games with them. We are also collecting drawing materials so they can make beautiful pictures for their sponsors and enjoy the process of expressing themselves this way.
I received an update from Elitia after they spent Saturday with the children and there are some fun and challenging developments. Some of the children have chicken pox! For all of us who are parents we know this means that in two weeks all the rest of them will have it. The kids are slathered in white cream! And they are still smiling.
Adams and Elitia brought chickens for their Easter dinner. This means they had to endure about forty minutes in the car with an overwhelming barnyard stink. Chickens don’t come trimmed, boneless and wrapped in plastic. They run around the yard until it is time for the slaughter. Eating chicken for a meal is a very special treat. Our future goals are to have enough free range chickens and a rooster that they can grow their own meat and enjoy this protein regularly. (And their laying hens Jordan bought are getting close to the age when they will lay their first eggs! So exciting!)
Adams had a structure built to cover the cooking area so the weather won’t be such a bother to the cooks! I love to see the happy relationship between the women who volunteer for the kids to do the cooking, washing, laundry and child care. I have never seen one of them in a rotten mood. What is their secret? (They aren’t going to bed hungry and God has provided education for their own children as a result of our fundraising)
The children lined up and had their feet measured for school shoes. I am sure there was a lot of comparing and pride in just knowing how long their feet are. There’s so much joy in the simple things. That inspires me endlessly and motivates me to work harder to help improve their lives.
Most exciting is they have had the honor of someone coming to the home to teach them how to make the unique paper bead necklaces that Uganda is well known for. They are beginning to produce necklaces. You can imagine I will have many to bring home both as gifts for their sponsors (priceless) and merchandise for me to sell so maybe we can have more chickens roaming their property rather than stinking up Elitia’s car.