Last week we had a special visitor at our home from Uganda. Pastor Peter had a one day stop over from his four week business trip meeting partner churches and sitting at board meetings for his African Renewal Ministries. The most fascinating aspect of this visit for he and I is that he is the one who began Kira’s baby home. Her baby home is one of the ministries in his organization. The baby home is two years old now. This was the first opportunity for him to visit a home where one of the babies was placed for adoption. I think the experience of seeing, feeling and fully comprehending the end result of adoption had an enormous impact on him. Adoption is God’s original idea, after all, and His son died for us to be able to join the family. But culturally in Uganda adoption isn’t a common practice. Since so many foreigners want to adopt, their ministries made it possible. It’s a good way to solve a small corner of the orphan problem in the country.
When I was in Uganda for Kira’s adoption I had dinner one night with Pastor Peter. He was interested in our willingness to help the building of Kira’s baby home and I was interested in his help for the adopting families who will come behind me. I asked why more Ugandans aren’t adopting babies and he said, they would like to but the cost of the legal and court fees are prohibitive for people who aren’t sure how they might cover the cost of a week’s meals. I told him we were sponsoring an Ugandan adoption as a part of our gratitude to Uganda for giving Kira to us to raise as our own child. It is the couple whose wedding I will be photographing on June 18. Perhaps more families could become a part of the fundraising to help other loving Ugandan couples to adopt a baby. Since then he has put this into practice and there has been one Ugandan adoption. The legal and court fees costs $2200 for a local Ugandan to adopt one of their babies. I like the direction this is going.
The night he was visiting with us Pastor Omar and his wife Cheryl came for a spaghetti dinner at our house so these two men of God with hearts for the orphan could meet. It was fascinating for me to sit and listen to their conversations as they got to know one another. I’m just an avid student of the way Pastor Omar works in cultural settings. I’m like a little girl who sits in the front row of first grade and hangs on every word her teacher says. He’s so gentle and humble while using a sharp and brilliant mind to connect cultures for the purposes of Christ. I am learning my way with this very same life purpose and to have such a mentor as Omar who has his fingers in so many far reaching places in this world is a gift from God. I encourage you all to read his blog www.gobeyondblog.combecause he’s also a most gifted writer.
So at the close of dinner Pastor Omar invited Pastor Peter to come to our church for a tour and to have the opportunity to meet some of the people, especially those who are involved in the adoption ministry, Tapestry. It was really mind blowing for Pastor Peter to see the facilities of our church, but also to meet so many staff members who are also adopting parents. This is a side of the adoption story he has little information about and it must be so motivating to see the children placed in such loving families.
Incidentally, he and I are both friends with the local crisis pregnancy center and Pastor Peter had an aha moment while meeting with our mission’s pastor, Omar Garcia, that perhaps the babies that don’t get aborted could be given to the baby home. Most of these new moms are young girls who have no way to support a baby. And the whole function would be operated by the church and not the state, which is exactly what God intended in the first place for the fatherless. Pastor Peter and Omar agreed to perhaps keep this sort of a partnership in the works. For me, this was a great beginning, and an honor once again to be useful to God so connections like this could occur to help the orphans in this world. (And that is my absolute passion- no child in this world should be alone, hungry, sick or in danger.)
I look forward to learning more about African Renewal Ministries, as Pastor Peter has a children’s village set up in Kampala very similar to what Craig and I hope to build for our precious children in the orphanage we support. I will visit there when I am in Uganda and I will take good notes. He also said perhaps we could buy his goats they raise there! So when the fundraising comes in, I’ll pick up the little goat these other orphaned children have raised and purchase from them! Won’t that be a fun adventure? Anyone else interested in buying a goat for the kids? Can you imagine me with a goat in my lap riding back to our Children’s home? I ought to wear denim overalls that day and not my signature ladylike skirt.