Long ago I bought a colorful expensive hammock for the kids at Kirabo Seeds. We never had a place to hang it so it remained packed in a box in some corner. When we moved into our new home I began to see photos of the children playing in this brand new hammock. I was charmed to see what fun it was for them all. It’s always a blessing to the giver of a gift to see the recipients enjoy it.
It wasn’t two months before I began to see photos of this bright new hammock as a mess of shredded threads. I knew that would happen. I was just surprised to see how short a time it took to destroy it. The destruction is never intentional. It’s just that seventeen children will destroy something seventeen times faster than one child. And considering there are few toys and no play apparatus, the one we have is even more at risk for destruction.
I knew Darren is a hands on creative guy. He can build things and fix things and for him it’s fun. So when I saw the photos of our shredded wheat hammock I asked if he thought he could make a tire swing. He loved the idea. I love taking something used up and old and making something new, sturdy and fun.
The children also had the opportunity to see creative use of something familiar. This inspires young minds to consider what else they could use in a new way. I hope they come up with some cool ideas. I’m guessing Desire is already on the path towards imagining new toys he could make from old thrown out trash.
Sometimes in America people ask me if I take donations of toys and clothes. I do but the principles at work with the hammock are always a concern. Our used up things might not be sturdy enough to make it another round with these kids who are hard on their things. Washing clothes by hand is damaging. A pair of shoes here are either out grown or retired from going out of style. But there they are repaired, polished, and maintained far longer than we would ever consider keeping a pair of shoes. This means the shoes we bring need to be the kind that last because it might be the only pair of shoes someone gets for a few years.
And then, there’s the old tire. I’ve actually seen sandals made from tires on the feet of Ugandans and I’m sure they last and last. I wonder what else can be done with tires. I’ve asked Darren to put new tools into the budget so he can begin to teach the kids how to build and construct things. I can’t wait to share what they will make. It’s such a great joy to see the way the Lord has blessed the children at Kirabo Seeds with the passions, interests, and compassion that Mary Beth and Darren bring. I’m just simmering in the gratitude and joy of God’s provision.