Due to the crazy amounts of spam I get here (and how difficult it can sometimes be to update) I now have a new blog address http://aperfectinjustice.blogspot.com/
Abby and David
When Yahaya had run away from our home he had gone straight to doing drugs like he always had and he hid from us and any place he knew we might find him. The moment I saw him God flooded back into me the enormous love I had for that dirty, raggedy, high little child standing in front of me. He was amazing, and I love him. I took him out to eat and as he was eating I couldn’t help but look at him and wonder at the amazing person that God had created him and mourn over the loss he had already experienced. He had lost his parents, his home, his childhood, and his innocence. His eyes were glazed over as he told me he was staying in a movie hall (where men come to watch bad movies). He asked if he could come back and I said yes, we loved him and wanted him home. I asked him to come to the programs so that we could bring him from there but he did not. Early the next morning he walked himself all the way back home where he was greeted home with open arms.
Yahaya does not know how to be a child. He doesn’t know how to play all the games that Ugandan children play here, he doesn’t know how to play cards, play with friends, he doesn’t even know how to play soccer with the other boys. He has never been able to play before. He has never had a mother read to him or give him a hug. He is in our home but he is still alone. He stays to himself and doesn’t want anyone getting close to him. He is such a wounded kid, he is still trying to protect himself from the abuse and abandonment that he is sure must be coming soon. God has finally brought him into a home and a family, he just hasn’t realized it yet.
Praise God for bringing home this lost little sheep! PLEASE pray for Yahaya that he will feel and accept God’s as well as our love. If he doesn’t there will be nothing to hold him back from running to the streets again. I see such an exceptional heart in Yahaya. A sensitive heart that loves deeply and loyally, that is compassionate and hurts for others that are hurting. God created him so uniquely and wonderfully. The streets will turn that heart into stone if he lives there much longer and I know that it feels so scary to him to trust and love when it has only caused him pain in the past. Please pray that Yahaya will stay in our home and grow up there. We want him to stay home with us
In other news, Kateregga Derrik and Bashir Agaba, two amazing kids in our home, are going on a missions trip with our church to The Democratic Republic of Congo this December 7th. They should be receiving their passports tomorrow. They both have a love of God and His word and want to be pastors when they grow up. Please pray that they have a fruitful and safe trip sharing the Good News!
We are moving into our new home this coming Monday and so Lord willing, will be bringing home more boys off of the street then as well. Please pray that God will give us wisdom as to which boys are to come home with us as we have so many wonderful kids in our programs, only God can choose!
There is a new boy, Ibra that we are wanting to bring into our home
tomorrow. God placed him on my heart to come into our home, two weeks ago
and he never left. We have talked to Ibra about why he left his home.
Looking sadly into the dirt he told us, that he had a mom who he loved, but
she passed away. His father did not even go to the funeral (which here is a
big deal) and remarried right away after her death. His new step-mom abused
him a lot as well as his dad until one dad his dad chased him away from his
home and told him to leave...
*Psalm 10:14 (Message translation) *
* But you know all about it— *
* the contempt, the abuse.
I dare to believe that the luckless
will get lucky someday in you.
You won't let them down:
orphans won't be orphans forever.*
No child should be told to leave his home and go to the street. No child
should ever have to sleep on the streets, cold and hungry. Praise God that
we have a God that cares, that defends the cause of the widow and the orphan
and will one day wipe ever tear from our eyes.
Yahaya never came home. He has been on the streets so long but is so
precocious, special, and just plain cute that he has been into many homes.
We are the 6th home that he has run away from. I believe that God can use
his time with us to place a scripting into his heart of what a safe, good
home can look like so that one day he can think back about his time with us,
and want badly enough to take the risk of coming off of the streets that he
does the hard work necesary in his heart to stay in a home. We have a big
God, I know anything is possible!
(This is a picture of Yahaya when he was still on the street)
I have to admit, I have never seen a child enter a home like Yahaya did yesterday!
It had been a bit of a long day at the boy's home when all of the sudden one of the boys shouts, "He's here Abby! He's here!" knowing exactly who it was who had arrived, I rush to the front of the house to see Yahaya walking with his tough swagger like he always does through the front gate with Uncle Alex and Mama Joyce (our Ugandan aunt and uncle who were the ones to purchase his items and officially bring him off of the street, we wanted him to find security in the house uncle and mama). He is clean, wearing bright green soccer shoes, athletic pants, and a collared shirt. He sees me, breaks into a sprint and jumps full force into my arms for an enormous hug. After regaining my balance, I ask him how he is feeling and he grins, "Great!" he shouts. He sees Caitlyn and attacks her with a hug as well. He then jumps down looks at us as if preparing for a second round of hugs and then sprints around the corner to see the backyard of our house. As I walk slowly into the house he has already made it into the living room and is sumo wrestling forehead to forehead with little David with all of the other boys crowding around and cheering them on! Our two tiniest boys push each other around by the forehead for around 5 minutes, little David is smiling and laughing while Yahaya has a fierce look of determination on his entire face. After winning the match he rushes out the gate for a game of soccer with the boys leaving the aunts and uncles to put all his new things into his case and onto his bed, he could care less about his stuff, he just wants to play! Tough little Yahaya, the fireball who is tough as nails but cute as a button can finally let his guard down and be a child again. He can play and feel safe. We are so happy to have him home with us and for him to be a part of our family.
Praise God for providing for Yahaya to come home, thank you all for making it possible! Please pray that God will soften and heal his hurting and guarded heart and that he will be able to flourish and grow in our home.
Praise God for his goodness!
Also, little David is doing excellently, he is such a sweetheart and cuddlebug. Bringing in new boys to our home, makes me feel like I understand just a small piece of the joy that God feels when one of His children comes home, there is nothing in the world that compares to it!
Today is the day little Yehaya came home. Yehaya was one of the smallest kids on the streets. He was normally super sweet with the aunts and uncles but he didn't get along with most of the kids on the street. He is very small and the other boys would often pick on him to get a reaction. Imagine a Tasmanian Devil and that is Yehaya when he would get upset. He would just turn into a ball of rage and pick the closest stone to throw at whoever was bothering him. If the boys would leave him alone, he would be fine and never get upset but because the boys thought it was so funny when he flipped out, they would often disturb him just to get a reaction.
This is a photo of Yehaya while he was still on the streets. It was taken back in April. He is on the right.
We were waiting for Yehaya to come home all day. Uncle Alex and Mama Joyce went to get him and take him to the market to buy all of his new things. They finally returned home after 6pm. I was in the backyard walking towards the house when I heard my name and there was Yehaya looking so clean and smart in his new clothes. I yelled his name and he got the biggest smile on his face. When I got to him, he was so excited. He made instant friends with the dog and gave her a hug and told me how good she was as we walked to the front of the house. When we got there he saw David and David got the biggest smile on his face. They instantly reconnected and started playing. Soon after, Yehaya was changing into his football clothes and shorts and running off to the football field with the other boys. Definitely felt right at home...
In other news, the boys have returned from camp. They spent last week at the zoo in Entebbe. They got to live at the zoo all week and had lots of fun activities and guest speakers. When I asked the kids what their favorite thing was many of them said the food. They had special food for every meal and got sodas with every meal and tea twice a day. The boys rarely drink soda or tea, so it was a super special treat for them. They also enjoyed having the beach right there so they could swim anytime they wanted and a very nice football field and of course plenty of uncles and kids to play with.
They got to explore the zoo and even met a man that was there to train the zoo staff on proper crocodile handling. He brought out a baby crocodile for all of the boys to hold or touch. Some even had some close encounters with the monkeys at the zoo. Poor Katerrega was chased by a monkey that thought he had food and Emma being the animal lover that he is thought it would be a good idea to try and touch a monkey. He decided to feed it and got too close and the monkey bit him. Thankfully, the monkeys that move around the zoo freely aren't so big and so it didn't do any real damage other than teach him not to try and touch monkeys. I heard Aunt Moreen also had a close encounter with a baby camel. It was chasing her around the park area frantically, stampeding was the word that was actually said to me...
On Monday, another lady here opened her own home. She has been having programs for the street kids on Sundays and decided it was time to make the next step. She took 6 boys off of the streets and moved them into a house. Among the boys chosen were Nelson(he was helping build the new boys' home), and Peter and Musa(they were staying at David's house and helping him make paper beads).
This is Nelson working on the land
This is Musa making his last order of paper beads
God has been moving this week in Kampala and we are so happy and grateful to be a part of it!
In other news, the women are celebrating all August birthdays tomorrow. I am not sure what Gina has organized for them but I know it is probably something really special. One of the ladies Rose is still sick. She hasn't been feeling good for several weeks now. She complains that everything hurts her. Please be praying for her health as well as the other women's.
We have really been putting as much energy as possible into our street programs. We want to reach as many kids as possible so we have been generating ideas as to how to attract them. Tomorrow is bring a friend day. Any kid that brings a new kid to the program will receive a treat. Both kids will receive a cupcake and Abby is probably busy baking them as I type...
Today is Peter's birthday. He is turning 17. We are celebrating at the house today with a small party. We will have cake, fruit, and games. Yesterday he had the special treat of going to the movies for his birthday. He saw the last Harry Potter and chose 2 friends from the house to go with him. After the movies we went to dinner for his favorite meal, chicken and fries.
Building is also going well. As a way to help some of the older street boys, we decided it would be good for them to go to the land to work. They are getting paid a fair wage and after the building is done, they will have money saved that they can use for school fees, starting a small business, or whatever they want. One of the boys that we chose was Nelson. His real name is Patrick but all of the kids call him Nelson Mandela because he is very peaceful. He never fights, shouts, gets angry, etc. He called me this morning to say hello and he informed me they were starting plastering the walls tomorrow. The house is going to be ready in no time and the boys will be moving to the village very soon! When some of the boys were looking at pictures of the land, they got so excited and started telling me about their gardens.
Thank you for all of your prayers!
He came home to us on Tuesday night.
The uncles took him to the market Tuesday afternoon to get him his new clothes and all the things he would need to live in our home. He is a super sweet kid. He was only on the streets for a short time. He is going to be the first kid of the new home but everyone agreed by the time the new home was ready, David might be a very different child. Being so small, he is much more vulnerable on the streets and everyone agreed he needed to come home now. Everyone is so excited to have him at the home and he seems to be getting along well with the other boys. He is excited to be here and we are even more excited to have him.
He started school today.
God is working in Uganda in amazing ways. David is not the only amazing kid that was taken off the streets this week. Two other boys, Abdul and Peter found places also. Abdul was taking by a girl to a boarding school in Jinja where a pastor will mentor him. If you know Abdul, he is an amazingly sweet and hard-working kid and is always helping the uncles with cooking or serving for the program. Peter is a boy that showed up after the wedding. Abby and David's wedding was the first time he had been to Kivulu(He was staying in Kisenyi) and he decided to stay. He is 12 and was in sixth grade when he left home. He was living with an aunt but wanted to find his mom who was living in Kampala. His English is really good and he is super smart. He went to live in Ssenge on Monday with African Hearts.
That is 3 amazing children that God has provided a home for. Praise Him! :-)
Like all kids from Kisenyi, he got high from huffing aviation fuel. I took away his drugs many times over the last 4 or 5 months and fought so hard with him to not return to Kisenyi. It took a few attempts but eventually he did stay in Kivulu and eventually started using drugs less and less. There would be days where he wouldn't use them at all or only right before he slept. Every time I saw him, I would take his drugs, he would tell me how sorry he was and wouldn't do it anymore, and I would remind him how bad it was for him.
About 2 months ago, he completely broke my heart. We had a really rough day at program and he was one of the kids being the most disrespectful. He got in trouble and we cancelled programs for the rest of the week. Over the course of the week, I saw him out in the town. I called to him and he ignored me. I went up to him and he still ignored me. So I told him it was fine, I still loved him and would see him later. But I didn't.
He didn't come back to programs for a long time. When another aunt saw him, he flipped her off. I wanted to go look for him but thought he needed time to cool down. Then I got busy and never found the time to go look for him. Two Sundays ago, he showed up out of nowhere and I was so excited. He was clean, he wasn't high, and he talked to me. Over the last week, he has been coming to programs and has been as great as ever. I noticed that he hadn't been around the last 2 days and wondered why and today while I was in the middle of sharing a Bible story I saw why. I saw the greatest thing ever. There was Gabriel, standing across the church, in his school uniform.
Please be praying for Gabriel during this time of transition for him. He is an awesome kid and am so happy he was given this chance.