Thursday, May 24, 2012

This morning David had to leave our house at 3:45 am to go take someone to the airport. David and I live in a Ugandan neighborhood and it is not safe at all to walk around between 10 pm - 6 am. I was so worried that I had nightmares the entire night about losing him, in my dream I was sobbing uncontrollably when I woke up hearing him come back home.   Relief flooded through me as soon as I heard him.

All I could think of was... what would I ever do without David in my life?

I have been asked if cross-cultural marriage is hard. To be honest, living in a culture not your own can be hard. Living in a place where you are completely ignorant of almost all of the customs, language, ways to do things, etc- is extremely hard, especially with my shy personality. But being married to a man from that country, the country that you live in that is not your own, it is not hard at all- it is beautiful.

I now have a man that protects me, who knows the culture and the customs and leads me into them. He is someone who understands street children better than I ever will, who understands communication in Uganda and how to deal with authorities, conflict, etc- He is a man who is brave, kind and protective. He always tells me, "I want to do all of the work for you, I want to take care of you so that you don't have to work so hard" and he does. He has made ministry so much easier and more effective, he has flooded into every single area of my life and enhanced it. I am amazed at how God knew we needed each other and how he would put us together.

None of the boys in our home have any script at all for what it is like to have parents that love each other, to know what a good marriage looks like. PDA is not common in Uganda, but I don't care. My motto is, if we are married and in love, I want our kids to see it! I want them to have something to look forward to, to know that waiting until marriage reaps a mountain of happiness and love! The kids, especially the street children, giggle when David comes and gives me a hug and kiss but at the same time they watch every single move that he makes and soak everything he does in.

I thank God so much

Thursday, May 10, 2012

*disclaimer, contains some graphic content*

There is a boy in our programs who is very special to me. He has big, sad, heavy eyes and has been on the street a long time. He is frail and small and eleven years old. Once, a few years ago, he had asked to be resettled home with his parents. When we got there they began yelling at him, telling him he was a burden, and bad, and it was better he just returned to the streets. He turned away from his family, tears silently streaming down his cheeks and whispered to me to take him back to the streets. We rode back to the slums with that child. He was quite as a mouse that day, ignoring the other boys when they asked him why he was back on the streets when he had gone home.

He does a lot of drugs. A lot. If we ever find him outside of the street children programs he is always as high as a kite. Eyes red, responses delayed- he is very honest when he is high. Honest with a simmering anger against all of the injustice in his small world bubbling under almost everything he says.

Last night he was violently raped by an older street boy. He had been high, and came to his sense with the boy attacking him. It was close to where we have our programs and although it was night a group of other street kids found the boy in the act, pulled him off, and began beating the big boy (the perpetrator) mercilessly. He was able to escape before the police could come and no one has seen or heard of him since.

In our programs yesterday that boy was sadder than usual and even less responsive. We made sure to counsel him as best as we could. Talking to him about how it is not his fault, that God hurts when he hurts, that he is still good, and as many other truths as we could think of that we knew he needed to hear. He was freer by the end, but still somber, still hurting, still sad.

There are so many boys in our programs that plead with me to take them into our home, to take them off of the streets. On Monday, a very sweet boy stayed at the gate to the church in Kivulu slum when I was leaving and just stared at me sadly. A tear dripped down his scarred cheek and onto the grimy, black ground. I stopped and asked him why he was crying. "I wish you could take me with you" was his reply. It broke my heart.

I always tell the  boys to pray to God to get off of the street. That our God is a powerful God that can do anything. Can you please pray this prayer with me? For our children living on the streets. Please. They don't deserve it. As  many children as God has allowed me to help, I can't help them all, I can't put them all into a home or into school, only God can do that. He is the only one that ever could.