Monday, April 16, 2012

Return to me: day 1

Day 1
Wow. I'm not really sure how to explain today beyond just the details of it. We got up and the ladies at the hotel had cooked us eggs and toast. We loaded up the bus and headed to return ministries (google return ministries Uganda) and walked in to 150+ kids singing and drumming. I was amazed at how they ran to us. I gave a little girl a hug and she laid her head on my shoulder and I literally just hugged her for 2 or 3 minutes. The other thing that made my heart hurt was it was like the kids did not know how to be held. They just kept their legs straight until you wrapped them around you yourself. The kids sang a song for us and did a traditional African dance. We did crafts with them.

We also got to feed all 150 kids there. We made and assembly line and cranked out the rice and beans the ladies had been cooking! The kids gobbled up huge plates of it. Samuel said that is most likely the only meal they may have for a day or two at least.

 We hole punched something for a bookmark and you should have seen them grab up the paper hole that fell on to the dirt and stuck them on their face. We jump roped, played soccer, but mostly just held kids, held hands, etc. I got to meet Hannah and James our sponsor kids. Amazing. Hannah's eyes looked at the picture and they lit up. She saw that tiny picture of herself in Reese's hands.

She is only 3 or so and so tiny. Pastor Samuel was telling me her dad is gone and she was in a very vulnerable situation. Her mom was potentially prostituting so pastor Samuel said they took both of them in and are teaching hannahs mom how to raise a child and about a relationship with God. I got to meet her mom and we just hugged and hugged. I gave her our family picture too.

Then I found James. You could tell he had no joy. I gave him a big hug and he didn't really hug back at all. He looked at the picture without much expression.

Then pastor Samuel told me his story. How his dad died and his mom just leaves for weeks at a time and doesn't do anything with him. He said James is really struggling emotionally and withdrawing. I grabbed his face and just said over and over, "James, you are a special boy, did you know that? God made you such a special boy" it was like you could see just a sliver of his heart come to life. He came and found me in a few minutes and he would noT leave my side. He was not giggly or playful, he was just close. Every now and then he'd look up at me and I'd take his cheeks in my hand and kiss his forehead. He looked at me strangely as if he didn't understand quite what that was.

I picked him up when we left and he was soaked in urine. I just kept praying god would use me in James life, to feel loved, to feel the love of his Father, and to break through to his hardened heart a little.
We held, hugged and kissed kids with ringworm, gray skin from malnutrition, burn marks all over their body from punishment, malaria, distended bellies, fevers. This is what I came for. To make children feel like they are touchable, loved, and valued by their heavenly father. The children under two had no underwear or diapers or pants on. It was enough that I would, have thought would have paralyzed e in sorrow for them, or what I thought would have kept me from engaging. But god poured out his love of these kids on me. I felt no hesitation to kiss that sweet face with a head full of ringworm marks. I felt joy as I held that baby and danced with her to the beat of the drums as she was hot with fever and in nothing but a t shirt. Ahh I cannot even convey the sense of home and fulfilled calling I felt today. I just kept thinking, I could live here.

Please be in order for our team tomorrow as we do home visits for some of these families, giving them life saving medicines, hygiene products, clothes and educating them on caring for these kids. Pray we are humble, we say what God wants us to, we are sensitive to the spirit moving and can convey the love of Christ that does not condemn but give life and restore their joy.
Thanks for your prayers ant contributions. We will be delivering about half of them tomorrow.
Amazed and floored by gods grace,
post signature


  1. It truly is amazing to see what God is working in and through you right now. What a privilege. I will be praying that God continues to use you in mighty ways!

  2. praying for you!! Can't wait to see pictures!!