Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sometimes you just have to brag a little...

Peter going to church
Peter carrying water

When we had first opened the home we filled it with younger boys between 8-13 years old. As most people know, it was a complete surprise, we had thought it was simply going to be a place for street children to sleep at night and through a crazy series of events, God turned it into a home. It was scary and exciting and such a joy to bring young children that I loved home, albeit pretty scary to become the mother and guardian of so many precious lives.

There were a few older boys that were regulars in our programs at the time however that although they were not in our home we still loved a lot. The slums are very dangerous at night to sleep in and so we allowed a few of these older boys to sleep in the compound of our home so that they would have a safe place to sleep. They were cold so we gave them blankets. The next night, it was kind of rainy so we let them sleep in the living room. We couldn't help ourselves and a  few days later they were sleeping in the beds and had officially been welcomed into the home.

 I had been nervous about bringing in older boys, feeling that it would be hard to manage them. However, God knew back then that we needed older boys in our home to level out the younger children and to help be good role models.  Who would have ever guessed that the tiniest boys in our home would be the biggest troublemakers! I don't know what we ever would have done without the steadiness of the older boys and their positive influence on the younger boys in our home. Peter, Sadic, Bashir, and William are some of the oldest kids in our home (they are between 16-18 years old) and the boys that have been the easiest!

Peter is the oldest boy in our home. He constantly has a deer in the headlights look. He is gentle and never, ever fights with the younger boys or bullies them around. He brings his bible to all the devotions at night and church on Sunday and loves hanging out with his friends. Peter wants to be a doctor and he studies, VERY hard in school. This last term Peter was at a new school and ranked FIRST out of his class of 75 students, =-) he has been extremely mature and we are just so proud of him. In the past Peter helped us translate for a dental team that came and to help with anything that needed, he also helped come to some of our street programs to do medical. He is now on his holiday from school and as a reward for doing so well lately we asked him if he would like to come to all of our street programs to do medical for the kids and help out with anything that we need. He has been coming to all of the street programs and has been so hard working and grown up. He comes in black slacks, a white button down shirt and tie. He looks and acts so professional,  many of the kids call him doctor.

I am so proud of Peter. I think back to when I knew him on the street and look at the young man that he is today. God is taking this kids so far.

1 Corinthians 1: 26-31
 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."

Our kids are just amazing and I cannot wait to see the men that God continues to raise them up into!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hope House... Starting, Growing, Launching

A few of the ladies...

Jeniffer, who is going to do whole sale supplying

Harriet, who is going to work in a salon

Gertrude, who is opening a boutique

Rose who is going to do tailoring

Kate, who is opening a restaurant

Beatrice, who is opening a small shop

Some of the ladies at my house

Making jewelry at the programs

When we first started the women's programs, to say that it was overwhelming would be well... a lie I suppose. It was scary and frustrating and completely different from any other ministry I had ever done before. I knew it was what God wanted me to do, I loved the women very much, but it was hard. The women were so wounded and disempowered, for them there was no light at the end of the tunnel, so it seemed pointless to try and move forward. 

Over the last two years, I have seen the women go from dying little flowers to blossoming  oak trees. Standing tall, strong, and beautiful.

The women have been saving a lot for the last year and are currently going through saving, business and financial classes 2-3 times a week. This and next week they are learning how to make lotion, notebooks, charcoal from waste materials and soap. Yesterday the women made lotion, they asked a million questions (which the teacher loved) laughed a lot and had a great time. When they were finished, they decided that instead of each of them taking home some free lotion, that they would keep it, create labels for it, and sell it in the village they were going in a group to that weekend. They had already created a business group amongst themselves, had been collecting fees, and had enough to be able to pay the price of creating and printing the labels. Today they brought in their own pictures as well as pictures of their babies to put on the label, they are going to let the graphic designer decide which picture is best. By tomorrow they have a marketable product, they have already sold some of them, and it hasn't yet been 24 hours! 

The women are continuing to sell jewelry (I will be selling it for the next jazillion years so if you want any you can let me know!) and saving for their businesses. In one and a half weeks they are going to officially decide which business that they want to go into (so the above stated businesses may change!). Then each week, they are going to do "assignments" to help them prepare for starting their business so that by the time they graduate in July, they will be ready to rock and roll! 

I am so very proud of our ladies, so proud of them. 

Pslam 103: 1-6
 Praise the Lord, my soul; 
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 
Praise the Lord, my soul, 
   and forget not all his benefits— 
 who forgives all your sins 
   and heals all your diseases, 
 who redeems your life from the pit 
   and crowns you with love and compassion, 
 who satisfies your desires with good things 
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness 
   and justice for all the oppressed.

The women are launching from the programs on July 21st. We are going to have a BIG graduation ceremony with guests and certificates, speeches and cake.

Thank you to everyone who has believed in these ladies, prayed for them, purchased or sold their jewelry, we could not do it without you!


Briggan and Howarli Prayer Requests

We were trying to take prayer requests each week by asking the kids in a group, but it wasnt working as well since they got kind of goofy so we decided each week to take out two children, talk with them, find out what they would like people to pray for them for, pray for them, and then send the requests on to you all! Here are the prayer requests for last week:

1. Briggan Mabilizi asks people to pray for him to be able to survive, grow up and be able to have a job so that he can provide for himself and so that he doesnt have to stay on the streets. He also asked if we can pray for him that he can get off of the streets and go back to school, he loves to learn and misses school a lot, he also sees it as a way to get a job when he grows up. 

2. Senyendo Howarli asks if we can pray for him about going home. He wants to go home but he is nervous and does not know how he will be received. We are going to take him back home (because that is what he wants) but his family are alchoholics and do not take care of him. He lived with an aunt who he is hoping to be resettled with. His dad passed away, he was knocked by a car and killed but he was in the army. Because Howarli's  dad was a soldier he would like for people to pray for him so that he can go back to school, study, and also become a soldier and protect people like his father did. It is never easy to resettle children home with their families because children never run away from a great family, they are always running away from something at home, and sometimes taking them back can be extremely painful for us, and for them. Please pray that the family will repent and be able to properly love and take care of their child. 

The last boy that we resettled with his family last week, was kicked back out of the home, they refused to feed him and told him to return to the streets since he was able to survive there without being a burden to his family. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pictures from Patrick's funeral

Loading the bus at Grace Fellowship Church in Kivulu, unfortunately, not everyone was able to go although around 100 people did!

Loading up one of two school buses of kids, getting ready to set off on the 3ish hour bus ride

Standing around the grave as people pray and give their respects

Digging the grave, the family refused and told us we needed to bring older kids so that they could do it. The boys would dig furiously for a short time and then switch with the next person as soon as they got tired 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

another loss

One of the ladies in our programs, Mama Cook has an 18 year old son who was brought to prison by his father. Mama Cook used to be Muslim and was one of many wives, when she became a Christian she left that marriage. When she left it meant that her husband remained with everything, including her children. Her son was going through a rebellious stage and his father took him to prison. He was just recently shot by the police there and killed. Of course, all of the women from our programs went with Mama Cook to her sons burial out in the village. I was unable to go because I was sick but Gina, one of our volunteers was able to go. When they got there, the father refused Mama Cook and her relatives from seeing the body and buried the boy without her. As soon as the body was buried the father made an announcement saying that he had paid the police officers to shoot and kill his son. Mama Cook of course fell down in grief. Not only did she lose her oldest son, but she was unable to see his body and was spitefully told at his funeral that his own father ordered his death. The women in our programs have gone through so much and continue to battle with the world that is constantly trying to pull them down. Please keep Mama Cook in your prayers. 


Some people have emailed me and encouraging me about Patrick passing away and I just wanted to let everyone know how I am doing...

When we found out Sunday morning  that Patrick had passed away I was REALY sad about it. We were in the village staying at our forever homes. But then we went to church immediately after getting the news and in church Emma gave me and David a letter saying, 

"To my true mummy and daddy, I love you so much, thank you for saving my life, thank you for loving me, you are my true parents. May God bless you, Emma" along with pictures of hearts saying Abby + David, and I love you Abby. He turned around and with his big brown eyes said, "I love you" It melted my heart and just encouraged me so much.

 I may not be able to rescue all of the children off of the streets, but God has given me quite a few. God entrusted me Emma when he was literally dying in my lap (we brought Emma off of the streets when he was literally about to die from phnemonia, the doctor said he would not have lasted much longer and we both knew it) and now the child is as healthy as a horse, getting so tall and has grown up so much in these last few years. Just last week we brought in Enoch, a good friend of Patricks who lived in the exact same area. 

I have a lot of peace. It's true that we didnt save Patricks life, God allowed him to pass away, but we still had fed him, clothed him, loved him, and shared the word of God to him. Thats why I have peace about it, it was sad, but it really hasnt gotten me down. God is good and having a sweet husband, loving kids, and playful dogs also helps! =-)

God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Patrick Bale

Hey all, 

A boy in our street children programs, Patrick Bule who is around 13 years old died last night. He was climbing a building looking for scraps of metal when something scared him and he fell off. He fell onto a piece of metal sticking up and impaled himself. He was found by police hours later when he was already dead. He died alone. 

It is always difficult for other street kids when one of their friends dies, I think because it again makes them realize how vulnerable they are and disrupts yet another attachment. We were able to contact the parents but they said that they want nothing to do with the child, they dont even want to help in digging the grave to bury him. There response was that he caused to much trouble at home and they don't want to know anything about him or what happened to him. We are getting the body out of the mortuary today and then we (us leaders and around 100 other street kids) will be burying him in his village a little over 2 hours from town. 

Please pray that God will comfort the hearts of the other street children and use this experience to draw them to him. It is devastating how much these kids go through and yet still remain the amazing kids that they are. Please pray that God will continue to rescue them and bring them off of the street and that we will have the energy, wisdom, health, love and patience to do what we can as well to help these beautiful and hurting kids. 

Love and God bless

Abby and David