Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Update on Moses

Thank you so much everyone for praying!

David left early this morning with Moses to go to the police station by his home and to get custody of him. However, it ended up that David got to also meet with Moses' father as well.

David found Moses' father in their town working at a taxi park. When David told him who he was Moses' father began saying how Moses had no father because he rejected him as his son, and if he ever came back home he would simply buy him roasted meat, poison it, give him a soda and bury his dead body in the evening behind their house. He continued ranting and raving about his children that he hates and how he can do anything and everything that he wants. He told David that he didn't care what he did with Moses because he wanted nothing to do with him.  He said a lot more, but in all of it, he never refused David from taking the child. (Poor David, it's not easy fighting these battles when it's over a child, when David came to tell me he looked so sad, I know it was hard for him). David then went to the police station where the police there knew his father, and all that he did. They told David it was definitely in the best interest of the child that we take him far, far away.

David brought Moses back to Kampala and we officially invited him into our family. I encouraged him telling him that God wanted him to be home with us and that he now has a forever home and more importantly a forever family where he is loved and safe. He smiled and smiled happily.

The crazy thing is that through all of it, through everything that Moses has gone through and seen and experienced, he is still a sweet child, soft and kind who loves Jesus with all of his heart.

I am sooooo happy to have Moses home with us where he can be safe and loved and not controlled by such an evil man, God definitely fought our battles for us today because it was WAYYYYY easier than it should have been to bring that precious child home


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prayer needed

David and I would greatly appreciate your prayers for a boy named Moses that is a street child in our programs. We know that God wants him in our home. Today, the day before we were going to bring him in into our home a friend of ours, Heidi got a random call from his dad (who she does not know at all) saying he was coming to Kivulu to get his son. 

Moses dad is an evil, evil man. Moses ran away from his father because he was going to sacrifice him (cut off his head and other body parts in order to get "power") at one of his shrines. 

As soon as David heard his father was coming to Kivulu to "get his son" David raced to the slum where Moses was staying to find him before his father did. He located him and took him out to eat. It is generally known by the other kids why Moses is on the street but David felt he needed to talk to him before doing anything next. 

Sobbing  the entire time, Moses told David of his father, (who was in jail for two years for murdering someone) about how he uses cocaine, does witchcraft, has many shrines, beats mercilessly him and his other brothers and sisters and all of the women he brings home, and how his father would rape his sisters at night. Moses is one of the sweetest, most responsible children. In fact, when David had found him, he was cleaning the small shack where he slept with a bunch of other street kids. It breaks our heart how much he has gone through.

Because his father is an evil man with a lot of money and power (it is no coincide he was only in jail 2 years for murder) looking for his son, we have to report the case so the police and get official custody of Moses before we take him to our Forever Homes. That way we can have a case against him and immediately call the police if he ever steps foot anywhere near our village. Working with the police here is not always an easy or a straightforward thing. David reported to the police near where our streetchildren programs are but tomorrow he has to go with Moses to report to the police in Moses' home village, (where his sisters have already reported on his father for sexually abusing them, and the police also know that he went to jail for murder).

Please please pray...

1) That the police will give us quick custody of Moses
2) That God will either change his father's heart or stop him for hurting more women and children
3) For safety for Moses from his father who could try and track him down and seriously harm him for leaving him or even kill him
4) For healing of Moses' heart that has gone through so much

Thank  you so much for your prayers, we could truly not do what we do without all of you beside us!

Romans 8:31-35 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The lost get found

Providence church from North Carolina put on a VBS for around 130 street children a few weeks back. To say that it was wild would be an understatement. It was crazy! But it was a beautiful time as well. For one week 130 street children were able to sleep in a bed, eat 3 big meals a day, go swimming, play games, and hear and experience the love of Christ. They were able to be carefree kids! 

(Thank you Lauren for the pics) some of the boys about to swim

The dining hall

When working with street kids, you are not working with ordinary children. You are working with kids who's hearts are breaking on a constant basis. You are working with kids who have to do whatever they can do to simply survive.

 They are hungry, so they learn to steal. They are oppressed, so they learn to mistrust.  They are dirty, so they learn to blend in. They are beaten, so they learn to fight.  They are also hurt and sexualized and because of this, they do it to each other. It feels so overhwhelming and scary every time we bring a new boy into the home. Exciting yes, but overwhelming to. I don't want any child to come into our family who will hurt my other boys. It is only the Holy Spirit who can guide, we have to rely on God so much because every child in our street programs deserves a home! 

When going to camp, there was a boy that God had placed on David's heart named Ibra Mawanda. Ibra is 9 years old and nicknamed Engineer because he wires the different broilers and business' electricity in Wandegeya, the area that he lives. I hadn't gotten to know him very well but on our way to camp, I promised David that I would keep a close eye on him, pray for him, and if I felt he was going to be safe to the other boys in the home, that we would bring him home. 

As soon as the street kids arrived at camp, they whooped and shouted and did cartwheels and flips on the ground- running around and hugging and high-fiving everyone. They were soooo wild! We rounded all of the kids up into the main hall and tried to calm them down. They shouted, banged chairs, got into fist fights and wouldn't listen to anything. I wasn't paying attention however but was looking around for Ibra. "God" I prayed silently, "If Ibra is the one you want to bring into our family, please put him on the forefront of my heart and mind, please make is so clear to me." I opened my eyes and realized that as all the other boys were dancing/fighting/screaming around me, there was one boy directly in-front of me who was sitting quietly, facing serenely ahead watching David as David tried to calm the other boys down. Yep, of the 130 boys in the room, that one child sitting in-front of me was none other than Ibra. The uncles failed at calming the boys down so they gave them 3 minutes to shout and make as much noise as they could. The kids bursting with excitement and happiness screamed and began running around with chairs high in the air. Ibra smiled happily and swung his legs around. 

For the entire camp I watched him as carefully as I could. Ibra loved to swim. On the second day I was in his group. As the boys neared the water they all stripped off all of their clothing and raced into the water. The swim instructor, John, wanted to lay some ground-rules first so he began telling them to get out. At the first request Ibra stood straight up and marched out, plopping into the sand and beginning to build a sand castle. All of the other kids needed quite a bit more... coaxing. 

The entire week Ibra never drew any attention to himself but in his quite serenity played by himself and sought out David every chance he got. He had attached to David and although he never fought for his attention, he would silently try and hold it whenever he could. Kids know when you love them. They know deep down in their soul when you truly love them and see them as unique and lovable, even in a sea of other children. It creates a very deep bond. Ibra has that bond with David. 

I remember one night as the other kids were being rowdy, Ibra finding a spot by himself and laying out all of the leaves, rocks, bugs, and a bird-nest that he had found, as a former collector of small dead and interesting things, it reminded me so much of myself. 

Ibra swam every chance he got. On the second day his shorts were stolen, so he wore his new shirt as a skirt around his waist. Two days later, that shirt was stolen as well, so he went around with nothing but a t-shirt. Bless his heart, he never even complained. The day before camp was ended I knew that Ibra needed to come home with us. God had most definitely but him on David's heart, and now He had put him on mine as well. We sat Ibra down and asked him if he wanted to come into our forever home. Being resettled with his biological family was completely out as he was horribly physically abused there, as scars on his body show and then told to leave. Ibra's face lit up for a second at the question before fading again as he said yes, he would like that so very much. It sounded good, but like all street children, it's hard to trust it unless it actually comes true. 

The next day, the last day of camp, as the kids were in their activities, David went out to search for our beautiful Ibra as I sat with my dad, Nora, and Micah hidden behind a corner in our vehicle. It felt like a secret operation as we hid there. We didn't want the other boys to see as we knew they would feel terrible that Ibra was going home and they were not. David searched until he finally found him and walked him slowly behind the dining room to our car. Ibra got in wearing nothing but his shirt and ducked down with a serious look on his face. The moment we rounded the corner and he could sit up he began beaming, a smile spread ear to ear across his face. I told him again about his new home, family, pet dog, that he would have his own bed and go to school. He sat in a daze smiling out the window. My heart felt so happy that it hurt in my chest. 

 When Ibra showed up with Mama Joyce (who met us in town and took him to get all his clothing and everything he needed) at the forever home, the other boys raced out of the living room shouting, "Our brother is here! Our brother is here!!!" They cheered and ran up and gave him a hug, carrying his things inside for him and showing him his room and how to do things. That night we had cake and soda and speeches about how happy we were to have Ibra home with us. 

When I asked Ibra the next morning what he thought of his new home he said, "This place is so good. Everyone is so happy that I am here."

And that is exactly how it should be. 

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.
Psalms 68:5-6

I know that I write a lot on the boys in the street programs and on God choosing them and bringing them home. But somehow the concept of the lost child being found, of the orphan having a home, just pulls at my heart in an unexplainable way. It is the best thing about the ministry that we do. It's as if you have been holding your breath for a very long time, and you can finally let it out again. 

The boy you love. 

He is found
 he is safe
 he is home.

Family Photo, Ibra is the one in the tan shirt and the small logon on the front with his arms up

Some of the boys

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Sorry everyone for the lack of posts lately, our last week in Kampala we had a VBS for the street kids which was total mayhem of course but a huge blessing. David and I are pretty exhausted and so we went to Tanzania with my parents for almost two weeks for some R&R and to see some other ministries here. It has been sooo nice being able to sleep, read, talk with David and just relax. God has spoken to us so much and given us a lot of direction. Sometimes it feels really overwhelming with all of the ideas we have for our ministry and kids! But we are really feeling renewed and excited to go back to Uganda with energy and new focus on the ministry God has blessed us to do. I will write again once we get back in a week and update on some of the things that have happened in the last few weeks (there has been so much!)