Our team was teaching the children English words for colors. They insisted my eyes are brown. But they are blue! So I pointed to Musa’s leg and said what color is this? He said, “black!” No it’s brown. Oh it was funny. These children got the whole day off school yesterday to be with our team and have lunch with Auntie Julie. The objective for the day was to teach the armor of God from Ephesians six to the children. These seeds will forever grow in their hearts. The most important thing we can bring to the children here is a good understanding of God’s word so they hide the truth in their heart and then spend their days seeing God prove it true.
Personally I was spinning a little bit while trying to wear so many hats at once. I have some of my children here, I am team leader, and I’m also the President of Kirabo Seeds. At some point during the day I began to giggle uncontrollably. I looked at George and I said, “my life here is unbelievable. I have this really simple life at home in Texas and here there’s so much drama and pressure. Sometimes the clash of my two worlds makes me feel like I have a split personality. Good thing both of the “me’s” like each other.
I received many encouraging messages yesterday from so many supporters who have followed the stories of our involvement with the children at James’ church since we first met them. We all share the same shock and grief that is had to end in such a way. I’ve been advised to leave them since we discovered all the problems back in October. And while dealing with the adults there led me to agree and want to leave, I couldn’t do it. I had to persevere and exhaust every option, idea, and offer. I had to fight my best fight for the best of the children there. I couldn’t live with myself if they were victims of the adult’s selfish ambitions. And did I ever fight!
But for this final occasion I could see for sure God was taking me out of that picture. So I had to ask myself, “is it I who save these children?” Absolutely not. “Will God keep his promises to them when I am gone?” Absolutely. Who loves them more, me or God? Duh. God.
I asked the team to consider these questions. When we experience an emotional trauma it is easy to lose sight of the simple truths. What do we believe? Why? And how does that apply to the problem at hand? Where are we going to put our faith? Do we trust In our feelings or our knowledge of the bible and our faith in the truth found there?
I received more confirmation from God that he has it all worked out for the best of the children. As only God would do George, Phiona and I were driving along a road on our way to meet the head mistress at the school where our Kirabo Seeds children attend, and we passed the head master of the school where James’ children go. He stopped George and asked him, “Is Mama Tonya in the car with you? I would like to speak with her.”
Uh oh. Phiona and I wondered what he knew about the announcement I made the day before. It would mean his school loses a lot of students. As we parked on the side of the road and we walked to his car where I sat beside him for a short meeting we agreed not to give more information than he knows. He hadn’t heard yet. But we were able to discuss a feeding program for the students at that school where they could get two full meals a day every day of the week. They just have to walk to the school and it will be prepared for them. He said it will be thirty dollars per student per term. I thought that was a good bargain. Even though that comes out to a thousand dollars, I will trust God for the funds.
And so God showed me that he won’t let them miss a single meal.
Another curious thing happened during that day. We were in town making preparations for the team of seven college students who are arriving from California today. They plan to serve with Kirabo Seeds for a week. And while we were having a meeting about how to engage them here the landlord to the house we rent for the children called and wanted to meet with “Mama Tonya”. Great! I’ve been wanting to talk to this elusive guy.
So when he arrived, without discussing it with Phiona and George, I pulled out my brains and brawn and leaned hard on him. I told him, “The house we are renting is unsatisfactory. I paid eight months in advance to have it finished and acceptable, and here we are two months in and nothing has been improved.” Of course he promised it to be finished this week. I looked at Phiona, “how many times have you heard that?” Then I looked at him and said, “it should have been finished before I arrived.” Then I told him I have compared prices of housing in the area and am certain I have been over charged, at least by double. I told him since I have paid top dollar and received unsatisfactory service and goods I want to move out. I asked him to repay four months rent and we will leave in August.
He circled around all the ways he will make it satisfactory, explained people ran off with his money, told me he doesn’t have four million shillings in the bank, and assured me I will be happy with it because he is going to get right on it.
No. “Who owns this house?” My brother. “Then please call him and ask him to return the money to us and then you can get busy finding another tenant to recover your loss. If you keep me as a tenant you will have nothing but problems.” I did have to lean and lean some more until he said, he will call his brother, and we will arrange to meet for the refund.
I know why this whole situation popped out spontaneously. Auntie Julie has been praying and praying to leave that house. There is a swamp with much standing water behind the house and every week one of the kids has malaria. The swarms of mosquitoes at night are ridiculous. There’s no yard for the kids to play and the closets are unfinished messes. And Julie cooks in what feels like a closet. So we’ll see what happens. The prayers of a righteous woman…
At the end of the day I fell asleep on my computer and Donny leaned over me and said, “I’m here mom!”
YAY!!! Donny is here. I really need another man around here, and he is so tender towards me.
Friends are emailing encouraging scripture to me and I especially loved Psalm 70, it is my daily prayer:
Hasten O God to save me; o Lord, come quickly to help me. May those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” turn back because of their shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “Let God be exalted.” Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me O God. You are my help and my deliverer; o Lord, do not delay.”