We are nearing our three year anniversary with these children. And we are amazed to see how well they are developing and growing into fine young people. Our hard work is showing great fruit. When Craig and I started Kirabo Seeds we didn’t have a model to follow for our home. We had our own ideas about how children should be raised and how a home should be run. We understand the holistic needs of a child and we designed our home to meet all of them. We felt like sojourners in the wilderness. We figured if it worked for our five kids, it would work for 17 if we had enough help. We have a full time staff of seven for our seventeen children.
As time goes on the children are realizing they can truly trust their Aunties and Uncles. We have taught the children to open up and talk about everything on their hearts. It took a long time to establish this trust and openness but finally it is securely in place. This is everything to the children. They can talk about all the dark secrets and hurts in their past, and they can share the little social squabbles that disturb them at school now. And they know they won’t be teased, ridiculed or disciplined for these feelings. They are safe with us. This arrangement causes the children to trust us when we teach them God’s way for their lives. It’s beautiful.
Since we have discovered every child has suffered some sort of emotional trauma, apart from losing its parents, we decided to employ a professional counselor. Irene is the wife of our good friend George Lwanga. She is smart, resourceful, organized and well educated. She comes once a week and gives group counseling as well as individual counseling to the few who are most traumatized. They trust her and open up to her unlike anyone else. They draw pictures for her to help her have insight into their hearts. They share deep secrets. They share what their obstacles and struggles are in their daily walk. She helps them navigate their way.
As she reports to me how the children are doing we enjoy speaking the same language of psychology and human emotion. She tells me she counsels many places where children are orphaned in the care of Aunties and Uncles. In no case has she found children who trust their Aunties like ours do. If there is no trust in them, and no real parents, imagine how utterly alone these children are. That makes me so so sad. We want our children to have the deep love they would get from parents and we provide that at Kirabo Seeds. Our children receive it and now Irene can see how fine our children are because of it. They will heal. They will be strong and they will have healthy relationships in their lives as adults.
I thank God for working through us to reach these children with his perfect love. It has taken an unbelievably vast team to influence these children. Not only do they have the staff here in Uganda, but our family in America and all the sponsors and supporters who give sacrificially so these children’s lives can be whole. I get overwhelmed with emotion as I see the growth of these children.
One practice we have in our home that stands apart from any home we know is that we gather as a group in the garden and have a devotion EVERY DAY. The staff has a schedule where they teach a bible lesson to initiate the children to talk about their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and social situations in regard to these teachings. We enjoy the best conversations with the kids during this time. Except for Ryan, he always falls asleep and when he is caught he is required to stand on his feet until he awakens. It’ funny as he wobbles himself awake. These discussions remind me of the good talks we have at our dinner table every night with our children at home. It takes an enormous effort and structuring to be ready for devotion every day at 5:30 but we make it a priority. In the same way in America it’s not easy to get everyone at the table together at 7:30 each night, but we need this time together to touch base and feel the togetherness, support and love from one another.
I am encouraged when I watch the faces of the children absorb the wisdom from the teachers. They soak it in and turn it over and over in their minds until it makes sense. They ask good questions giving examples of how the teaching is not easy to practice. And we all discuss ways to practice wisdom and problem solve to God’s satisfaction. It is marvelous. As a result of these discussions the children are found making better choices in their lives with friends at school and with one another at home.
Now here’s my favorite part. When the children all went home to their jjajja’s for holidays each of them gathered their friends and gave devotion like we have in our home. They sang praise songs, talked about a bible lesson and asked questions. Then they finished with prayer. Now that is the fruit from our ministry. Not the numbers, not the school grades, not the outward appearance, but this fact that they practice outside our home what they learn inside and they share it with other children.
Thank you God for showing us the way to run this ministry even though in the beginning we felt as if we were wandering alone in the woods. You brought us here God. All credit and praise goes to God. We are just working for him. Oh, I do love my job.