Yesterday was one of my best days! I have had so many and this just adds to the many. Our mamas work and live with our children 24/7, never leaving the compound for time away. They live with us and work is always at the door as many of them have their own children here besides ours. They work without complaint and I see myself as so blessed to even call them friends. I can’t get tired because they spur me on. Every mama belongs to every child and every child belongs to every mama in Africa. It is just the way it is. It really does take a village to raise a child.
I have desired for some weeks now to take them to Kampala to a nail spa and finally yesterday it worked out for us to go. They were so beyond happy. I didn’t even realize how happy until church this morning when it was time for testimonies. Four of them came to the front and testified. One mama said she wondered if this is what heaven is like, for someone to wash your feet while you sit in a chair that massages your back and eating chocolates while all of this is going on!
Another lady said she never in her life could imagine such a place existed. She lived in Khartoum and never saw such a place. She was almost in tears when she described how nice it was to have someone wash away all of the work and toil of her feet and to put beautiful polish and lotion. And they had never seen such a restaurant with such wonderful food in their lives. Again, from the words of their mouths, they imagined if this is what heaven must be like. These things are so basic to the life of those of us who have lived in first world countries and having all these things that we come to expect them. These ladies were beside themselves with awe and wonder that such places even existed. I didn’t even get my feet done because I wanted to drink in all of the joy of just giving and watching their happiness. I will never take these things for granted again. I will remember how much it impacted these simple yet beautiful women. They even said that we are no longer called mamas, but ladies. My heart just cried in thanksgiving that they could feel so beautiful and loved.
This week we went back to visit the Happy Times orphanage and we took a large bag of toddler clothes and bags of cookies for all. The children literally ran to meet us, when the last time we went they were very reserved. The last time I brought African music and we danced and sang before I shared a message. This week they saw me and immediately asked, “Music?” I laughed. We held babies for a while and talked to the staff about the children and their needs. We have committed to help them any way we can. In two weeks we are taking two of their children to a children’s special physical needs hospital on the other side of Kampala, close to Entebbe. They could never afford the transportation just to get there and the care is free to children! Imagine being able to solve your problem but not being able to get to the place because of money?
There is a ten-year old girl who hasn’t been able to go to school because her wheel chair is broken and she can’t be carried everywhere. There is a small boy who lies on the floor because he has cerebral palsy and just needs a special chair to help him sit up. He was so happy and I held him the entire time and the mamas were surprised that he took to me so well and was laughing. His name is Blessed. We will be taking both children to this hospital to get things put right so they can be free. We are discussing how we can set up a discipleship class on Saturdays for their older boys and girls to learn about the Bible because they are so hungry. We left and there was such hope and joy when we told them we would come back.
Around our neighborhood we have told the ladies to bring us their crops and we will buy from them. So we have people at our door with greens and mangoes and bread and okra. The ladies are so happy to not have to walk all the way to town with heavy loads piled on their heads. We are looking in every way to see how we can bless our community and be blessed by them. A small boy has been coming to play with our children for three days now and today he came to church. He is only three and is drawn here. He doesn’t know Ugandan from Sudanese. He just knows we seem to be a place of joy and lots of love and hugs. Little by little is what we say in Africa. We go little by little. Mama Heidi says, stop for the one. That is little by little. It makes a really big impact eventually. I pray this week that we would all go little by little to impact our world around us.
Today I preached on Ephesians 2:10 about how we are ALL God’s workmanship, ALL created IN Christ Jesus, before the foundations of the earth were set in place, to do good works, which HE prepared in ADVANCE for us to do. Our stories are already written and they are ALL wonderful. We just have to walk along the pages of our books to see what He has prepared for us. I LOVE my story. I LOVE other people’s stories. ALL of God’s books are number one best sellers! Let us go and get into our history (HIS Story) and bless His library (the while earth full of His glory) and His heart!! And then I went and bought all the children and family ice cream after church! We love you our supporters who make all of this possible for us to do, either through prayer or gifts or encouragement. We cherish each one of you. God bless you this Lord’s day and every day because every day is His day.