Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And Then There Were ...

... 20?
May 10, 2011

It was in our hair, our ears, on our skin, under our clothes ... Matt and I were covered with sawdust and wood chips.  We had decided last night that we would work with Abdu on the remaining 25 school desk for Fountain of Hope School.

Abdu had a fever this morning.  Matt was manhandling a sander donated by some great folks from Oklahoma.  I was on the router throwing wood chips all over both of us..  After a couple of hours, of putting corners on the edges of about 20 seats, we decided to give the power tools time to cool off.  We began to drill holes in the metal desk frames for seats and assemble them.

We hadn't even put three seats on when we heard a voice from our open gates.  Two boys were asking for water.  I was attempting to get one of the seats aligned properly, and usually not one to abandon a relationship opportunity, I called them over to me as I continued to work.  They wanted water.  I asked if they had a jerrican in which to put the water.  No ... they wanted water to drink.

I finally stopped my work and looked at them.   I sensed they were street boys and wonder how they had drifted so far from downtown Jinja where most street boys find lots of prospects for begging.  I then noticed that they had plastic bottles filled with a liquid green substance.

Consuming bananas & selling soap
Sera Kasonga had just arrived minutes before these two unique visitors.  She and Matt planned to talk with each other about a new project for getting street kids into school ... even if they weren't able to come and live with Sera.  I called for Pam and Sera so Sera could abbreviate my inquiry.

We discovered that these two boys were selling soap.  I opened one of the bottles and, sure enough, it smelled like soap and had plenty of suds to accompany the smell.  Pam went for not only water, but for biscuits and bananas.  When asked if they would like a banana from the bunch, they nodded yes and took the whole bunch.  They drank the water, eat all the bananas and biscuits and answer our questions.

Blair loves Ashiruf
A lady on Main Street had hired them to sell soap for moping floors and cleaning toilets.  We made a contribution and bought a bottle as we continued to talk.  The boys, ages 13 and 11, claimed they did not sniff glue and did not drink alcohol.  Sera confirmed that is was true.  No boys doing such things would be working.  And, besides, if they had been doing such things we would smell the evidence.

It was obvious to Matt, Sera, and me that we had all been touched immediately.  Kristi remarked, "I think the Lord is in this."  Blair told us later that when she saw the boys at the gate she felt love for them and sensed the Lord had sent them.  Matt and I abandoned our tools and took showers.  I grabbed my camera and captured what I guessed would be a God moment.

The boys, along with Sera, Blair, Robyn, Matt and Kristi boarded our new van.  We wanted to verify the reports of these two boys and we wanted to track down any parents to explore the possibility of getting them back in school.  Before leaving the compound, several of us had already leaked (code word for crying) and had hugged these two guys several times.  They must have wondered what was happening to them.

Gertrude is happy with this new development
We drove first to the Jinja office of the New Vision newspaper, which claims to be Uganda's leading newspaper.  We discovered that the boy's "boss," a lady named Gertrude, had only hired them yesterday and was impressed that they had kept time, sold the soap and brought ALL the proceeds to her!  She verified all the details we had extracted to that point and was happy to see that we were going to help these particular street boys.  She had already sensed there was something different about them.

We piled back into the van and headed to Bugembe, a town east of Jinja and on the side of a sizable hill.  I don't know where I got the idea it would be a short connection to David's mother or dad.  Maybe it was his mention that his step father was a boda boda man.  At the boda stage we discovered the father had not come to work, but we should, perhaps, see if the mother was home.  Back into the van and up and up and up and then down and down we went ... deep into the village over some roads Blair wished we could have avoided.

Mother with David
We discovered a relieved mother who had no idea if her son, David, was dead or alive.  She was happy to see him.  He had been "chased" out of the home two months earlier because the step father had no use for him.  She was also happy to hear that there were some people who were interested in helping him.  My grand daughter experienced a first in her young life.  She asked the mother if they could pray for her since there was suspicion that the father may have gotten another woman, was not providing for this family, and treated them badly.  Blair led in prayer and it was an emotional moment.

Sera realized that she had two empty beds at home.  They didn't have mattresses, but she concluded if there were two beds there they must have been provided by the Lord for these two boys.  She and Matt high fived each other when she mentioned this. She is already mother to 18 former street boys!  And now there are ... TWENTY?  Yes, 20.  God has assembled a team of people to help her with this measure of grace that few have.  Today He joined Matt and Kristi to the team.

Praying for David's mother
We took the boys to Sera's Caring Place and they received a very warm welcome.  They thanked us for bringing these boys there.  Showers were taken, clean clothes were provided, and a boda sent to bring them to join us for dinner.

Jeff Kasigwa was here for the evening as well and the Lord had put a message on his heart for us.  He talked about no small thing we do for the Lord goes without making a difference.  He read to us about Dorcas who had a needle and thread and used it for the Lord.  When she died her friends mourned her and asked the man of God to do something.  He asked them to leave the room and he prayed and God raised her from the dead.

Blair mentioned that she felt like Dorcas was a picture of her life.  She felt she was dead when she reached Uganda, but the Lord has resurrected her spiritually.  She posted on her Facebook that today was among the top five days of her entire life.

     For I was hungry and you fed me.  I was thirsty and you gave me a drink.  I was a stranger and you invited me into your home.  I was naked and you gave me clothing.  I was sick and you cared for me.  I was in prison and you visited me.
     Then the righteous ones will reply, "Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you?  Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality?  Or naked and give you clothing?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?"
     And the King will say, "I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"

Matthew 25:35-40
God takes care of the details ... Krist, Matt & Sera with David & Ashiruf

1 comment:

  1. There are things happening in Uganda that are stirring the hearts of people here in the states. God can be in 2 places at once and we can all be captivated by him and his work where ever we are. I love the post about Blair and the 2 boys and praying for the mom that is so great. Her story is starting to effect people in a great way. God is healing her heart and I cant wait to hear more.

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