Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My little classroom

This is where all the magic happens. Ha. :) I am very grateful to have a small class in the staff room and even more grateful that the kids excitedly run to class everyday because they like what I am teaching. What a blessing!!! Here are a few pictures...

If I had dreads...this is what I would look like...

So, being here and seeing all the ladies with their hair braided, I decided that it was time to see what I would look like with my hair braided. (Plus, since last summer when MBC came and many girls got their hair done, but I did not, my Ugandan friends have been asking me when I was going to go completely “Muganda”- one of the tribes here). So, here it is. I went to the salon on Sat and sat of six hours while a lady “plaited” my hair. I will admit it was a little painful at points, and it feels kinda like small snakes coming from my head. But all in all I think it is kinda fun and I might do it again. But the bad news is that I can’t wash my hair, so my head is beginning to itch. So, enjoy the laugh of the photo.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The homes of Naster and Mercy…

This is long overdue but very worthy of praise. I had the awesome privilege of escorting 6 of the first group of kids assigned to the children’s home. We took the kids to their homes in the village from where they came from. This was truly an awesome, joyful, and eye opening experience.

First off, remember that in Uganda (or Africa in general) the concept of family is very strong and very extended. So the children had many family members who were surprised and overly excited to see the kids. Seeing as there are 45 children in the original groups assigned to LCH, this was the first time for these kids to visit their home village in 3 years.

We drove up to the mountain, Kapchorwa district. And then we kept driving, only the roads continued to get more rustic, more narrow, and more isolated. By the way, we went to visit during the dry season intentionally because during the rainy season it is impossible for our van to get to the homes of these kids.

To try to express in words the joy of each of the reunions is impossible. Hopefully the photos can slightly capture the feelings. As we arrived at the homes, there were many curious eyes looking at our van… one because there are not many cars that make their way into the areas we were in and two because most of the families do not have phones for us to notify them ahead of time that we were coming. So, we arrive and the familiar face of a child is the first thing that those in the village see. At many of the homes the mothers are still living, so as they saw their child some ran, some calmly walked with their arms opened, some had tears in their eyes. The LCH kids were able to visit with their “guardian”, their siblings, cousins, aunties, grandparents, neighbors’… basically anyone who was around came to visit. Some families gave us sodas. Many families gave us a bunch of matoke (bananas) and a hen as a gift.

A random thought from this experience… I have learned that there is a big difference between orphans and street children. When I think of orphans, like in the pictures on commercials of fat-bellied babies that are sleeping on the street and picking trash to eat, really these are called street kids. To be an orphan in Uganda means that you have lost a parent, not necessarily both. Street kids in Uganda become so integrated with life on the street that they refuse some of the programs established to take them off the streets. Overall, there is a need for ministry in all areas here and it is a joy to know that I get to be a part of making an impact on a few of these lives.

All in all it was an awesome day. The thing I will remember most about this experience when I think about it the vivid realization that God has hand selected each and every one of the children at Lulwanda Children’s Home. To see the distance from where the home is and where we traveled, and then to see how remote some of the homes of where these kids come from (and basically feeling like you are somewhat in the middle of nowhere), it is amazing to think of how these kids got to LCH. Again, I say that it can only be the hand of God. Also, I just think of how many orphaned and needy kids there are in Uganda alone and how many requests for help go unanswered. Or I thought of how many siblings the children at LCH still have back in the village and yet God selected them, specifically, to be at the Home. God has an awesome plan for each of the kids at LCH and has brought them to the home for a purpose that He is accomplishing. It puts a clearer picture of how the Lord has set this home apart and is doing a mighty work at LCH. How much more though do we need to be praying and do we need faithful prayer warriors because where God is working, Satan is not happy and is fighting with all his might to gain ground. So my prayer is that as teachers and a staff we will be aware that this battle is not against flesh and blood but a spiritual battle and that we would individually and collectively take up the armor of God to be aware and ready to fight.

Mama Naster surprised by seeing her daughter for the first time in 3 years
Naster at her home

Mercy and her sisters visiting their father’s grave-siteTaking our first bottle of soda out of the 3 we took in the spance of two hours- without having eaten any lunch
Mercy at her home

Dona and Brian were neighbors in the village and so it was a joy for the grandma and auntie to see both of the kids.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


This is a very fun picture for me.
AW, how special!!!

American parents, meet my Ugandan parents. This picture truly blesses my heart to get to see two of my worlds coming together into one.