Psalm 119:92 If your law had not been my delight I would have perished in my affliction.
Most of the children in the Kirabo Seeds home went to spend a few days for Christmas with their Aunties and Jjajjas. The three who stayed behind come from places of suffering and chose not to return. We honored their feelings and feel responsible to protect. Those jjajjas and aunties can visit our home to see the children under our supervision.
Long ago we bought chickens to raise so each child would be able to share with their families. The children arrived home with a chicken in their hands and a big smile on their faces. That chicken was destined for the Christmas dinner cooking pot! And for most people it is a rare treat to dine on meat. Giving a chicken is almost the same as if someone here said “put your finest clothes on I am taking everyone to the posh restaurant for a feast.” The children were so proud to be able to bring home a gift like this to their families. I am thankful and humbled for the support people have given us this year so we were able to do that for them. (Each chicken cost less than ten dollars)
Phiona had her own little vacation up in the north with her family who had planned a grand reunion of all her relatives. She came home early though and I think it is because she really missed the children. I know the feeling. They drove deep into the villages to retrieve all of the children and collect them one by one. Phiona was able to have a short chat with each of the jjajjas or aunties. They all reported remarkable changes in the children. I believe now that she came home so she could receive the blessing of these good reports on behavior, far more valuable than what they achieve in school.
The relatives said the children had learned so much about God and the bible and were sharing what they learned with the other children. They also demonstrated personal qualities they did not have before, such as kindness, showing love, and gentleness. All of the jjajjas were amazed at the changes in the children and especially happy to see our children teach the other children what they had learned in our home. The character development that has occurred in the children in eight months, is evidence to the people from where they come that we, Kirabo Seeds, are putting our heart and souls into these children. We have earned some respect and our reputation will grow to be known as a place of great quality for the orphaned child.
When I first received the news of the report from the jjajjas on the good behavior of our children I simply felt happy. Good news from a far away land is always a blessing. I was on my way out the door to go spend a couple hours with my horse at the barn. It is a twenty-five minute drive through the countryside of Texas to get to the stables. I find I enjoy the drive, I pray, I think and my most creative ideas occur on that journey. As I drove and I felt the impact of the news, I began to choke up with tears. I let them flow and surprised myself with a big sobbing cry.
The only words that came to my mind were, “it was all worth it.” We have struggled. We have faced heart-breaking challenges. We have been betrayed more than once. We have lost so much to fraud and greed. I have withstood personal attacks in a public courtroom. I have feared for my life. I felt that during this Autumn I might have been kicked and bruised too much and unable to arise and carry on. It was the greatest low I have experienced since I was a teenager in a clinical depression. I couldn’t understand why all of our good intentions were met with great hardship. I was bleeding and weak. I believed it was more than this woman could endure. There was one particular day when I wanted to give up. It was when Phiona was called to a meeting with all her relatives because a former friend and now foe had spread rumors that she had stolen a great amount of money from Kirabo Seeds. She didn’t and we know that because we have perfect records with signatures of all accounts. But she had to endure the public shame of people who believed rumors and she had to answer a battery of questions by her relatives who believed she took it. That was my lowest point.
I wanted to quit. The enemy had kicked me too many times. But I also believed we would not give up until God made it clear in my heart that our work was finished. God is the boss of Kirabo Seeds. It is not over until He says it is over. I felt God urge me in my heart, “trust me, carry on, keep your eyes on the light not the dark.” I felt the presence and love of God through our darkest times in the ministry. But if I lingered over the trouble we were given I felt the beatings. I had to learn to turn away from the dark and only see what God was asking me to do, and really focus with intention on the light. I believed if he called us to do this work he would make it possible to move forward.
Then there was all the anger I had towards our oppressors. That was a stumbling point for me, my own sin response. Anger was a thick heavy cloud over my heart and mind. Studying the bible was the only way I could begin to understand God has a plan for those people who get in the way of the good that is meant for orphaned children. And God says in his word that revenge is his. Once I embraced this truth I broke free from my anger. I suddenly had so much renewed energy to work for the good cause of Kirabo Seeds. I was rejuvenated. I was reassured. I was restored by the grace of God. It is true that a cloud covers the blue sky, so when all I can see is the cloud I have to look higher to find the clear skies. I am learning to reach higher.
When I consider the full impact of how these precious children who were orphaned have shown evidence of thriving in our care at Kirabo Seeds I am overcome with relief, gratitude and joy. It was all worth it. We needed this encouragement. Oh I know I did. Tears streamed down my face as I drove and I sobbed thank you God over and over.
The vision I have always had for Kirabo Seeds extends beyond these fifteen children. I am striving towards taking the good news of the bible to the villagers where these children descend. And now that the children took what they had learned from us and taught it to their relatives there is a ripple effect of God’s love deep into the villages of Uganda. There’s a crack in the doorway now so that when I knock I will be embraced. Now that the people there have seen with their own eyes the changes that are possible in the children they will welcome me to come teach the bible to them. They will want to gather their friends and relatives and come learn. This is the ministry opportunity of Kirabo Seeds.
It is true people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
This report from the jjajjas was a great encouragement for me personally. It was a feast after a fast. I am coming back up to my old self, feeling my confidence return and believing I am backed by a mighty God. My wounds have healed. My energy is restored. My mind is clear from the clouds of anger. I know I can endure anything for this cause and survive it. And now I am seeing it was all worth it. I can only imagine what great things we can do for the glory of God in the future.
If you do not stand firm in your faith you will not stand at all. Isaiah 7:9