When I first heard Rebecca pray, my heart tied a solid knot with hers, and I knew that for as long as I lived I would hold her hand and look into her face and share a deep love. Her heart was the original prayer warrior to take care of not only the seven children from her womb, but all of the children who are without care and love. She prayed to God to send her needy children she could give the love that pours out of her. (whoa, she has so much)
To honor her, I invited her to have a special meal to introduce her to a good friend of ours. I was looking for a reason to take her out of the filth of the orphanage and give her a happy occasion to feel like the beautiful woman that she is. When they first entered the hotel by the pool, she gasped, and said, “this is a most wonderful day”.
James was quick to jump to her side like a small child and he welled with tears, because in all his life he had never been to such a beautiful place as that.
As we shared our past stories together James explained to me that he had never before spoken to a mzungu person, and I was the first mzungu lady he had ever met. (mzungu means white person in an extremely affectionate and respectful way). This made me giggle. I told him we both have red blood in common.
I enjoyed hearing about their life in the village before James brought the children here to pastor this church. It is a simple life, robust and healthy. I was feeling a longing for it myself as his eyes drifted away towards a place in his memory.
In traditional Ugandan style we waited for our meal to appear for two and a half hours. Phiona became so annoyed, she said, “Tonya can we go get food some where else?” Yes, we walked out. We went to another pretty place and got our food very quickly.
I will never forget the joy in their faces as they enjoyed the music, the view, and the feeling of being king and queen for an afternoon. As the ones who take these children into their home, and live among fifty children, I was blessed to finally have the opportunity to treat them as they deserve to be treated. I am so glad I stepped out of my American life for a short time to come be with my Ugandan family.