I sat at my computer two hours ago to write an update about Fred, and instead I wrote an essay about life on earth versus the party in eternity. HA. I have no control over what comes out of my head. I’m thankful for the insights from contemplating losing Boniface, and I will eventually post that essay as a blog, but I first need to share some really good news. The family of Kirabo Seeds can use some good news. We all need to see the hand of God alter a hopeless situation and make it shine with his halo.
When I was in Uganda I witnessed the excruciating therapy Fred had to endure to get his legs straightened for walking. I doubted the process from day one. I hesitated to be a bossy mzungu and step in and challenge “the professionals”. But watching one of ours suffer was bitter like acid reflux.
Only a few days after I returned home to America the team found putrid sores on Fred as a result of his braces rubbing. They rushed him to the hospital where they admitted him. We realized how ill equipped our family is when it comes to helping Fred become independent, healthy and educated. We were feeling a little lost and overwhelmed with his care. When a person is admitted to a hospital in Uganda there are no nurses for patients, only nurses for doctors, so we had to find a full time helper for Fred. One of Daniel’s jjajjas daughters was able to help us with him. She lived there from January until last week caring for his every need. He had to have surgery to remove skin and apply it to his wounds so they would heal. Finally they healed a week or so ago. She had to help him with every life detail. We are so thankful to Christina and her sacrifice.
The problem though is his legs shrunk up and the therapists and doctors worked hard to convince us his condition is too far gone for him to hope to have straight functional legs. They don’t believe he will walk. And this was not a shock for me. I am more interested in him becoming completely independent and educated no matter whether he is in a wheel chair, on crutches or walking. We need him to engage and help himself! But no one in our home was able to teach him how to do this, everyone was too eager to serve him which only perpetuated his helpless condition. We had a big shrug and major prayer request for God. Help us find help for Fred. PLEASE.
Right after we buried Boniface our team went visiting all the handicapped schools in Kampala. Most of them were “fake” and frightening. One of them was exemplary and opened our hope for Fred like never before. The woman in charge told our staff they didn’t have any room for him. They were full. We didn’t give up. He had to go there. Robert and Christopher returned to the school begging for consideration. The woman who said no suggested they fill out the paper work and we shall see. We got on the task and got all the doctors to fill it out and returned it right away. The woman in charge of the school was impressed. She granted an interview for Fred with no promises.
They were surprised by Fred’s voracious appetite to learn. Three years ago when we met Fred he was 15 and willing to go a mile on crutches to first grade so he could have the first opportunity in his life to learn to read.
Now he is 18 and with the help of tutoring in our home, and the books available to him, they decided he can enter third grade. The same woman who said there was no room told us, “he can begin on Monday.” He’s been there two weeks now.
This is a school where they have occupational therapy, psychotherapy, education, and they are given life skills where they can make a living. All the while they are learning and living with students who are handicapped just like everyone else. The first day Fred made friends! To say he loved it doesn’t do justice to what he felt.
He is now enrolled, happily attending school and all of us are standing with our jaws gaping wide looking up at God and giving thanks for the door that blasted open for Fred.
We will visit him once a week not only to assure him of his family with us but because we are so excited to learn what he is experiencing in his new school. I personally cannot wait to be an old blue haired granny and tell the story of what God did for Fred. I’m sure it will be an inspirational story worthy of any bestsellers list.
Meanwhile…I have yet to receive the report of what this amazing new school will cost Kirabo Seeds. I don’t need to know in order to believe it is where he needs to be. God has always provided and will continue to provide for the needs of these children. My faith is secure in the way HE provides for the fatherless.