I have enjoyed hearing stories of the Easter celebrations at the orphanage. The children were organized into cooking groups and taught to help prepare all of the meal. Here it is obvious this group got the plucking job. In Uganda eating chicken is a rare treat saved for holidays alone. I personally gave up eating chicken after watching my own kids perform a slaughter and pluck. I rather enjoy the friendship of a chicken pecking around the yard to one stewing in my pot. For these kids though I hope it won’t be too long before they can always have both.
My days are now entrenched with preparing our mission team to serve these children when we travel in June. We have eighteen people on the team. We are planning games, activities, bible lessons, crafts and songs for the children, lead by our children and Dr. Anthis’ children. While the medical work is accomplished for the kids, everyone else will be entertained and educated. We are prepared to visit at least thirty widows in the community and care for any health needs they may have while delivering care packages to them. The children will be immunized as a top priority of our mission. We will also educate them about health issues that will become practice for them so they can remain healthy. This includes germs and how they are spread, nutrition, the importance of clean water, human growth and development and the necessity to use soap! I can’t recall how many times I see people in Uganda washing before eating by using only water.
I look forward to spending long days there getting to know each child and their individual personality quirks. I believe eating as a team with the children for dinner every day will be an education in itself. I think I’ll need to purchase utensils for our team to use. I suppose they will draw the line by declining to eat with their hands. I know that’s a personal limit for me. Mostly I imagine Donny borrowing a guitar at night as the sun sets so we can sing worship songs around a bonfire and thank God for the universal love of Christ that connects strangers from two countries to become a loving family. I hope the Ugandans will sing, play the drums and dance for us. We will share together the unique ways we all worship the same God. Then the symphony of prayer will be lifted high to our God in different languages but flowing from the same Spirit. The coming together in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Uganda will be the experience which will still all of our hearts and we will know for sure it is why we came. To be united in prayer and worship our God together is priceless.
Many of these children have watched their parents die, wandered the streets hungry and worried about where they might sleep the night through safely. They have known a loneliness that can cripple but rather than succumb to the ache, they persevered. They are a new family at the children’s home now, and enjoy having each other to share life together. Bringing this team to them is a way to show them they have not been overlooked or forgotten. People know who they are, and they care deeply that they eat well, resist disease, learn about God, have an education and sleep safely. My ambition is to gather as many people as I can to pray for these children. I want them to know they have not been forgotten in this world. They matter. And I want them to feel the love of God that moves in hearts young and old and causes them to make personal sacrifice to travel around the world at great expense just to hug their necks, play games and share stories. The love of God is universal without borders. To unite believers from different cultures is an eye opening experience for everyone. “A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling.”
After living in Uganda for six weeks for our adoption last Christmas the one thing my children said over and over as the most important thing they learned was that God’s love reaches so far and unites strangers so intimately. It is a love without borders and I can’t wait to see this happen to the children and adults on our team. Please pray for us as we prepare to journey to Uganda.