We have been praying for the Lord to show us how we can get involved with our local community here in Uganda on a practical missions level each week. This week we had some amazing doors open! We have been working with the Child Protection and Probation Office in order to get approval to open a children’s home. Obviously we already have a home but we still need approval. We are unfortunately unable to take in Ugandan orphans only because we could get recalled back to South Sudan at any time as part of our agreement with the South Sudan government for releasing their children into our care here in Uganda during the crisis.
So we offered to the Child Protection Office to help by taking in emergency cases of abandoned children for a very short time until they found placement for them or to help in any other way we could. We got our first call for help and it was to help with a teenage sexual abuse case and we were directed to a Women and Children’s Shelter that is under the police department. I cannot discuss the case but we were able to minister to this girl who was in tears the entire time. She received the love of Jesus and His Lordship over her life and we brought her a Bible. We then learned that some of the women workers were giving money from their own pockets to subsidize food for the children at the shelter as there just isn’t enough in the budget for much. So now we are going to visit and minister weekly and we are also subsidizing food each month for these children and women. We are so excited for this opportunity to love these who have been robbed of love.
Tomorrow we are heading to town to look for a bus. Our only transportation is a small mini van that seats six people comfortably. Therefore we cannot take our children anywhere en-mass and always have to hire these flatbed trucks, which makes them feel like orphans, which they are NOT. A local family can call a motorcycle taxi or jump on a public minibus to go to town. We do live out in the boondocks so anywhere is far. We realistically cannot move to Arua for at least another year and some months so a bus is becoming vital for us. We have actually been praying for a bus for over two years now as even in Yei our high school children walked 4 ½ miles from school every day, rain or shine. So, we have put our land purchase in Arua on hold and any construction and have prayed about and decided to buy the bus instead. God always provides all that we need when we need it. We have what we need. He is so good ALL the time and I ALWAYS mean that.
I end this amazing update on a note that is so near to my heart. After having gone through everything we did in South Sudan, we were constantly up against people and circumstances that were not very nice to us, even life-threatening, yet we chose to love. Our kids were called refugees and made fun of in their own country, they were not allowed to be regular participants in the classroom because of their status, yet they CHOSE to love. We will not have to look back and regret that we tried to compare ourselves with others because we don’t. We just do what we do and act the way we act because it is who we are and not that we have anything to gain or lose or are any better or worse than anyone else.
When we came here our people didn’t seem to have a very good reputation because we are known to fight a lot and argue. It’s sort of why our country is in such a crisis right now, all the fighting and arguing. So I always tell our children that we have to change the way people think about us by making our actions and even words speak something different. I was talking to a government official in our town and he even told me that the townspeople have been telling him that we are different. We are so nice and mild mannered and humble, not complaining about our trouble. The people in this community are seeing that we are love. They even asked if the missionaries lived in Kampala and just came here to “manage” the children. He laughed and told them that we actually live with our kids and staff and that there is no separation. They were amazed (his words).
I just want to say that if we spent more time LOVING those who are mean and those who do or say mean things or even think we are mean, I think there would be a whole lot less mean people doing mean things in this world. If WE (especially Christians) quit complaining about mean people, and those who do or say mean things or even think we are mean, and actually DO something about it, we could change the way they think or even act?
Believe me I have had to repent enough times for this comparison attitude or talking negatively about people who have wronged me/us. I just take every opportunity that I can now to remind myself and those who love me and know me that we are called to, “Go therefore and LOVE”. Let us keep remembering to not shoot those in our path who “don’t match up to us or think much of us” and LOVE them instead. An eye for an eye never solved anything. Love for an eye does. Not an ACT of love but LOVE. True love is not an ACT but a DO and a continuous DOING. In our country of South Sudan it is the only way to not lose your heart. We have to love in order to keep it.
God bless you this week and I pray that someone comes along and does something so amazing for you, or you do something so amazing for someone else, that you see God’s hand in it.