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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Simple Acts of Love

During first term I went for visitation day to St. Paul’s College to visit some of our secondary students who attend boarding school there. While we were all standing around chatting, I noticed there was a boy who was lingering around our van. After a few minutes, I looked up and smiled at him. He then came over and said, “Auntie, do you remember me?”

I meet many people and his face looked a bit familiar but I couldn’t place it. I asked him how I knew him. “You carried me when I was little at St. Kizito’s.” I then remembered him clearly. His name is James.

James is on the far right.

Allan, me, and James (now in Senior One)

Throughout the years I have had the opportunity to take small groups of the Lulwanda children to a local babies home called St. Kizito. Here we spend a few hours holding the little ones and playing with the older ones. It is a double win because these babies get stimulation and special attention that they might not have, while my LCH children are able to interact with little ones and offer their service and love, instead of always being on the receiving end.

Many of the children placed at St. Kizito have lost their mother either while birthing that child or soon afterwards. This means that there is usually a father or relative who want the newborn, but are unable (or too overwhelmed) to properly care for the child. So, they are placed at St. Kizito to be taken care by the Sisters (of the Catholic church) until they are a bit older and can be returned to their relatives. 

This means that throughout the years I have seen many children come and go. It is very uncommon for me to return and the same children to be there. But certain children have no one to go to and remain throughout their childhood. James was one of these children and is now in Senior One class and friends with some of our Lulwanda Children.

I have also gotten to watch sweet Jane grow in age (but barely in size) over the years. It is a miracle she is still alive, in my opinion. She has cerebral palsy. Pray for the Lord’s perfect will and help over her life. And that Jesus would daily be her closest friend.

Jane last week (8 years old)

Jane in 2009 (about 2 years old)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Jesus is Enough

One of my recent highlights was getting to meet a sweet old "Jaja" called Mary. Not necessarily that she said so many appealing words or could offer me anymore than her welcome as hospitality. But she took a place in my heart as a giver (and confirm-er) of a nugget of wisdom- "Jesus is enough."

I met this Jaja as my team was moving around the village surrounding Lulwanda in an outreach called Buckets of Hope. We had already visited 5 homes and Jaja's was the last. Instead of coming out to greet us we had to draw near to the entrance of her house, since it was immediately obvious that she was not only really old (the average life expectancy in Uganda is around 60-65 years) but was quite feeble and supporting herself with a stick. 

Through a translator I introduced our group and said that we came in love and in the name of Jesus. She immediately began to praise the Lord for at least 2 minutes before we could continue. In the Lugisu language she boasted, "The Lord is good. He has never left my side. Thank you Jesus. You are with me." Often she would grab our hands to join her in praising the Lord.

This Jaja repeated the same words that my Granny had told me about a month back- "Without the Lord I wouldn't be here. He keeps me day by day." 

This Jaja told us that though she is alone in that house and has lost all of her relatives, she is not alone. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are there with her. 

She was grateful for the supplies we gave that met her some physical needs, but was overjoyed when we gave her a Bible in her local language (side note, I was a bit surprised, since Uganda is fairly modernized, to learn that the Old Testament translation of Lugisu has not yet been finished, so the Bibles we gave were only New Testament). She told us that she would sleep with the Bible under her pillow so that the Word of God would be near as she rested.

Jesus is enough...Without the Lord I wouldn't be here...Testimonies from the elderly who have lived their days and experienced so much. Lord, help me to live that as true, day by day, for the rest of my life.