Day two part two: it's raining it's pouring.
So when we hydroplaned and slid our way to the top, we needed to turn our bus around before we got stuck In the mud going the wrong way down a huge hill. Our bus did a 30 point turn between a side of a mountain over the muddy road and to a gradual cliff on the other side. We were all praying and grabbing each others knees as others were out in the pouring rain directing. Wow. Praise God we made it. When we got there, there looked to be 20 kids standing outside of a house no bigger than my living room. The minute we hopped out of the bus in the cold Uganda rain and swarms of bugs, at least 150-175 mothers and children poured out of that building. I have no idea how they were all in there. It was absolute downpour as we hugged these kids.
At first it didn't look like we had many show up....
And there were more walking up the muddy roads....
then once we got out, they started pouring out of that tiny house!
despite the cold rain, they were so excited!
still more came...
nothing a banana leaf can't protect!
This was probably the worst of the worst health wise I've seen. You could see their hair had turned grey from malnutrition, most kids bellies were distended what looked like in the 7th month of pregnancy on a 4 year old, ring worm that was all over the head and neck and had made thick scabs. I saw the worst umbilical hernia I have ever seen, hands deformed from burns, a girl with a torn dress exposing her bumpy spine and rib cage. Please do not let this sound like just words, these were children, no less loved by God that mine. There were bugs swarming our necks, arms and face as we passed out lollipops. Even the moms were pushing through the crowd of children wanting one. There were moms asking us to take their babies, "please take my baby" as they handed the babies to us. I cannot imagine the desperation that would take. Today was a lot to handle emotionally. My heart was bursting and shutting down at the same time. Overwhelming love, sadness and a deep desire to do for these who had nothing. Literally. Most likely AIDS infested mothers breast feeding any hungry child and possibly passing on aids to them as a choice over starvation. This is hard. I sit here right now with my praise music blasting in my ears and tears running in a flood down my face and neck. Heartbroken by the poverty and situations, yes. But also humbled by a great God who wants us to know him as father, to depend on him regardless.
We brought out feminine pads for the ladies and their eyes lit up like they just got a new wardrobe. I cannot imagine having no products, over a hole in the ground as a toilet, and washing your bloodstained clothes in the same water you draw water from for your family. Leaving there was overwhelming, it was like leaving knowing a lot of those children would not see another year of life.
In our bus, Irene (a double orphan) one of the girls that lives at return, rode with us.
She sat next to Allison up front. She was the most tender hearted 10 year old. She fell asleep in Allison's lap for about 45 min of the trip, when she woke up she looked up at Alison and said, I'm thirsty. We handed her a water then she smiled. A few minutes later she softly spoke, I'm cold, I passed her up my cardigan from my pack and she put it on, even over her head. Then re-snuggled in Allison's lap. I just got to thinking, Irene has no mommy to snuggle on, she has no one to respond to her quiet needs in the night. For that hour, she felt the love of a mommy. One that would do anything to meet her needs. The verse came to life, when Jesus said, when I was cold you clothed me, when I was thirsty you gave me water, and it was as if we did it directly to Jesus. What a beautiful thing and honor it is to live out the scripture.
We also gave gum to Joel and Irene In our car. They were so excited. Joel asked if he could have some more, and how could I resist him wearing John's polo shirt and a bright red Chick-fil-a hat. I have him the rest of the pack and he put it all in his mouth and chewed what looked like a big league chew the rest of the way with those white teeth shining against his ebony skin,
Now we started our 3 hour drive to Jinja. We got away late due to rain and slow roads and our driver was nervous about driving us in the dark. He said a bus full of white people is quite a target. This was a true statement, I don't know how truthful he was being that there was a one strip of land with forest on both sides and people would hide and run out in front of your car and mug you. So regardless if it was true or not, the blondes were instructed to duck and you better believe I did! :)
As we arrived at Canaan 70 kids escorted our bus in, banging on it and squealing with excitement. We had to literally push children to get out of the bus door. They latched on to us like leeches! We could hardly walk amongst the white eyes and teeth shining up at us in the darkness of night. What a beautiful thing.
The last little fun info I forgot to update you on yesterday was the electrifying shower experience! Apparently there's a reason our home inspectors check religiously our wiring near water. As you would turn on the water at Adonai hotel and pick up the handheld you get a jolt about 8x more than a car door shock, then if the cord to the handheld hit you in the back, back of arm, or leg while you wash, it gives you another jolt. Apparently there was low voltage running to the handsprayer constantly too because when I turned my freezing water off, my right arm was tingling for 10 minutes or so. Quite a shower experience! I'll take the cricket I had in my dark shower tonight over getting electrocuted while wet any day!
Lots to come on day 3. Ministering to street children and then returning to play with the kids here at canaans. Prayer is much appreciated. I've never been floored as much as in this place with the power and need for prayer.