Sunday, May 9, 2010

Jinja

So, here I am in Jinja. I arrived Thursday around noon and spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with Holly and her little guy, Israel. For those of you who don’t remember, Holly is a good friend of mine who runs a children’s home here in Jinja for children living with HIV. When I visited her back in July she was seven months pregnant and now she is the mother of a beautiful, two-month-old little boy named Israel. It was great to be able to meet (and hold!) little Israel and also to spend some time catching up with Holly, debriefing about the Congo, etc.

Holly & Israel

On Friday I spent the day at Our Own Home (Holly’s children’s home). I was thrilled to see all of Holly’s kids again and spent the day chatting with the older kids, reading stories with the younger ones and snuggling with the babies. My favourite part of the day was evening devotions with the older girls, just sitting around worshipping with them, once again in a language I understand. It was so great to be able to communicate with the kids as they all speak pretty much perfect English. While I know that God knows what He’s doing, I couldn’t help wondering how different things would have been in the Congo if I could have communicated with the kids there as well…

Still totally in love with this little guy...

Joshua

And now this little man (new since the last time I was here) has captured my heart as well...

Moses

And I continue to spend a lot of my time with this precious, story-loving little girl...

Aligaya

Yesterday was an especially good day as I got to go and visit a ministry that I have been wanting to visit for years. Out of all the ministries that I have been made aware of over the past several years, if I had to pick one that most reflected my heart it would be Katie’s. Katie has been in Uganda for three years now and has started a ministry called Amazima. Some of the things that Katie does include a sponsorship program for approximately 400 students, a daily feeding program for over 1000 children in one of the poorest villages in Uganda, an income-generating project for widows as well as simply doing whatever needs to be done to love and care for those around her who are sick, hungry or in need. In the midst of all this Katie has also adopted 14 girls ranging from infancy to adolescence. Oh, and did I mention that she is just 21 years old? Katie is a huge inspiration to me as I strive to serve God and love others with everything I have and I strongly encourage you to take a few moments and go check out her blog (www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com). I guarantee you, just one post will leave you challenged and inspired.

Anyway, every Saturday all of the kids from Katie’s sponsorship program are invited to “worship day”, a time of worship and bible study followed by a hearty lunch. Yesterday I had the opportunity to go and visit and it was great. I got there around 10:30 and shortly after they began their time of worship. Oh how precious it was to join in singing with several hundred of these precious children! Afterwards they had bible study during which time one of Katie’s staff told them a bible story and then had the kids come and act it out. The kids were riveted and just laughed and laughed seeing their friends playing the parts of Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob & Esau – makeshift props and all. After bible study the kids played for a while until lunch was ready. And oh, what a lunch it was! It stated off with each child receiving a hardboiled egg, followed by a heaping plate of rice, beans and chicken – yes, chicken! I was surprised and delighted to hear that this is what the children are served every Saturday. After lunch, the kids play some more and then at around 4:00 when they head home each child is given a bag of rice, sugar, etc. to bring home for their families. I had a great day loving on the kids as much as I could and, after reading about Katie’s ministry for years, it was great to be able to see at least one small part of it in person.

Worship

Bible study

Eggs...




Lunch... those are some BIG pots of food!






Notice the little girl in the orange skirt and the other one in the yellow shirt...
they were my playmates / snuggle bugs for the day - they were so cute!

Well, that’s it for now. Tomorrow I plan on spending the morning with Holly and Israel and then I’ll be heading back to Kampala for my final 3 days (yikes!). Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there and a special shout out today to my mom – thanks for everything, I can’t imagine these past three months without your love and support.

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