During my last trip we had some major breakthroughs with the deep secret personal lives of our children. They have developed such confidence and trust in the love we give them that they are finally sharing those things that drive difficult emotions like fear, hate, anger, and loneliness. I am humbled and honored to have the trust of these children. The love I feel for them grows fiercely and the mama bear in me explodes with claws stretched open to maul anyone or anything that might derail our children off the path they have trusted us to journey. (believe me in this work in Uganda I have had to use those claws…I am often surprised by what I’m capable of when someone threatens our children)
Let me be clear though. This work continues to break my heart and crumple me into a heap where all I can do is cry to God for mercy and help. I see it only gets harder the deeper we venture into orphan care. Originally I fell in love with the culture and followed God into orphan care. As I now fall out of love with the culture, I do fall deeper in love with God, and that’s the point. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to first love God and then love our neighbor as our self. Our neighbor we’ve been called to love just happens to be a continent away and in that truth God has made all things possible.
The important element of this picture of me broken and distraught is that He is there, and His plan for these children in Uganda is better than mine. Though I suffer and even beg for release I find strength, comfort and peace walking the hard path with God. I am a prey animal in great need of God’s leadership and protection. I panic when I am left alone.
I wouldn’t want to be outside God’s will for any human comfort or luxury. The only true luxury I have known in my life is to be actively working inside the will of God’s plan for my life. It’s better than driving a brand new luxury sports car, or tasting the most exquisite food, or having a youthful body like a celebrity. The only thing on this earth that feels like what it is to walk with God closely is what I feel when I’m riding my horse. The funny thing though is at the barn I, the rider, get to play God’s role. In the story with God I’m the horse, supple, obedient, willing, responsive, full of energy and trusting. It’s the most incredible feeling when my horse and I work like one being. He allows me to harness all that power and he trusts me to guide its use. I want to be that for God. He can saddle me up and point me in any direction and I’ll give it my best effort…even my last effort. What we have done in our lives looks crazy but because we feel it’s what God’s asked us to do it feels normal…adopt a child late in life…open an orphanage on another continent…pick up the broken pieces and help these children heal…it is not easy but I feel safe in His leadership.
Our goal has always been to have a home where the boys and girls have separate quarters. But it’s difficult to find a property like this and it’s expensive. The time has come for us to rent a separate apartment for the girls. It’s just perfect that we were able to get an apartment next to my own for the girls! Phiona and Julie live with the girls, and Kenny and Robert live at the house with the boys. Its just morning and evening when they are separate, otherwise everyone continues with the same schedule at the home. So far they all LOVE it! The boys call it “boxer time” and the girls are free to be girly without the boy’s around to observe that mystery.
Let’s never forget these children all came to our home with the kinds of trauma to their hearts and minds that most people will never endure. I am privy to horrors that make my eyes swell with tears and my throat choke in pain. As they begin to find safety with us they are beginning to heal those wounds, monsters within them are released and we are helping them drive them away. It’s painful to learn how ugly those monsters are and to know these children have been living with them for so long. We are all fiercely committed to do our best to offer them a life where no more monsters can find a home in their hearts. There’s room only for Jesus in there and when He’s there it is a relief to know that’s all we need.
Some of our children need the kind of help and counseling that we cannot provide in our home. One of our boys is now attending a boarding school that specializes in helping children with trauma. They have counseling, good care and the company of others who have experienced similar “monsters”. I’m so thankful we were able to find him this special care.
Another one of our little boys has serious need of help and counseling and his behaviors in our home require individualized kind of care that’s not possible with the size of our family. This child needs the intense watch and care of a mom and dad who can alter his path, teach him, set up firm boundaries, love him through it all and pray over him fervently. As we sought help for him we discovered he has a father on this earth. For safety reasons he cannot remain in our home, and now we discover in principle he doesn’t qualify for our home. The father hasn’t seen him in years, he placed him in the care of his jjajja and he provides no help at all for the boy. An able bodied parent needs to take care of their children. Kirabo Seeds isn’t a better opportunity boarding house. We step in for the children who have NO ONE on this earth to help them find their way. I don’t have much respect for a father who doesn’t see his son, sends him to the care of someone who cannot provide, and yet claims undying devoted love for the child who has serious behavior problems already at a tender age. And might I just say, we are working like crazy here to raise funds, provide care, education and hands on love to these children and that guy sits around claiming words of love that are void of action? (yes…my claws have the urge to spread wide at the audacity of him)
When none of this makes sense to me and I feel like throwing myself a little tantrum of frustration I feel God place his hand on my shoulder. The energy there seeps into my bloodstream and I grow instantly calm. He knows. His love is greater than mine. It is the source of the love I have. My anger dissipates, tears roll, and I return to a useful posture to God. My idea of what’s best for a child isn’t better than God’s plan even if it doesn’t make sense to my human eyes. If God placed a boy in a family then that family needs to care for the child. Our job at Kirabo Seeds is to provide a home for children who don’t have parents who are able to or present to care for them. I won’t throw a fit about that with God. I understand those are our guiding principles even though it hurts to take a child home to a situation where I know his suffering will be great. I know if we pray for this child it is the best we can do.
Thank you all for helping us carry the heavy burden of loving these children. We, all of us who care about a child alone on this earth, are the hands and feet of Jesus. We welcome those whose hearts want to connect to these children and help them go forward into their lives. Our hopes are that these children will appreciate what has been done for them and will in turn help others behind them. I’m pretty sure as we peer into their hearts now that this indeed is their great desire. My heart melts when Angela mentions she wants to grow up and do what I do. If anyone knows what I do, it would certainly be her as she grows into her more adult awareness of life. When my heart hurts it helps to remember the good we do inspires others. I won’t lose hope. My hope remains in a good God whose love endures FOREVER.