Thursday, September 19, 2013

Snake bite, with permission of Emma

Matthew 17:20 Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

This is a verse that I have gone back to many times, because when I think about my faith, how much I can doubt and fret I can certainly say it resembles more of a mustard seed than anything big or grand. However, I have seen so many times that God can take my tiny little seed of faith that I plant when I am moving out on faith, and by the time I turn back around it has turned into a mountain that God has shifted...

Meet Emma. 

Emma in the homes now
Emma is rambunctious and hilarious and lives his life with his heart on his sleeve. 

Emma loves everyone and will go into a depression if he sees you upset, pouring all of his energy into making you smile once again.

Emma is precious to me. 

I have told him several times, if in my entire life the only thing that I ever did was be able to be used by God to take him off of the street that my life would have been worth it. I would have lived a life that mattered. 

Let me go back a little bit, so you can meet Emma when I first did several years ago on the street... 

Emma on the streets

Emma was tiny, and adorable and grabbed my entire heart when he lived on the street. He had been through so much in his life, including watching as his father died. Yet as hard as his life was on the streets, he still had the ability to smile and to bring joy to others around him. At that time, I didn't have a children's home yet and so there wasn't much I could do about the fact that he was on the street other than love him and encourage him and assure him how very much God loved him (which of course is no small thing). 

One Sunday morning I came to church to find Emma deathly ill. I had spent a lot of time around street children and seen all kinds of sicknesses and injuries and the moment I was with him, I knew in my heart that he was going to die (as I later found out, he knew too). 

He was so sick he could not sit up, drink, eat or do anything. I sat there with his head in my lap and prayed and prayed for him. We took him to a hospital where he was checked and x-rayed and a doctor confirmed that he had severe pneumonia and that his lungs were shockingly full of fluid, the doctor told us another night on the streets would have killed him. 

A group of Ugandan men that we were ministering with said that Emma could stay with them as he recovered and took his medicine. I promised to Emma that he would never, ever again return to the streets. 

In the few weeks that Emma was getting better, God miraculously made a way for us to start our home. Emma got better and came home immediately into our family. 

Emma and I a few months after he came into the home
 We have had such a fun time with Emma who of course always keeps you on your toes since he loves joking and moving around, is a little accident prone and loves any creature that moves. 

Several times in his past, God has spared Emma's life. 
God has big plans for this child. 

Very recently, I was going through a hard time. Somethings were going on and it felt like we were being crushed by the bad in the world, that the more we fought injustice, the more the unjust wanted to fight us. It was in the evening at the children's home and I had been crying over it and praying with some other leaders when I walked over towards the kitchen. I was talking to the nurse when suddenly Emma ran up and collapsed at our feet. 

He was hysterical and saying that he had just been bitten by a snake on his leg and that it hurt really really bad.

We recently had had a staff training on what to do if there is a snakebite (thanks nurse Amy!) which essentially said to immediately clean and wrap above the wound away from the heart, keep the child as calm/still as possible and rush to a hospital for anti-venom. 

The moment Emma told us, Mama Dan rushed out of the kitchen and gave us her wrapper (kind of like an "African apron") to loosely tie around his calf above the bite. I shouted to David who *just so happened* to be standing with the van keys and the van nearby who ran into the van turned it on. 

Mama Dan, the nurse Jennifer, the nearest child, Bob and I picked up Emma and rushed him into the van. Now, of all children in our homes, we have three main "guardians". Steady and soft-hearted boys who always take care of everyone around them. Bob is one of these guardians.

Bob

It was dusk and we were in the village but David floored it to the closest hospital/clinic. Bob, the nurse and I held onto Emma and began praying like crazy, all of us were crying. 
I kept telling God, "God you cannot take this child away from me! You have saved his life so many times before, please I beg you to do it again! Take me instead but not Emma... not Emma!"

We had been holding Emma in a laying position (me from the seat behind and Bob and the nurse from both sides of him on the first row). Emma began panicking again because of the pain (which is bad because it increases the heart rate and flow of poison) and so the nurse scooped him up into her arms like a baby to try and calm him. Sweet-hearted Bob, immediately cuddled him from the other side to calm him down, I kept my hand on his head and continued to plead for his life. 

About 30 seconds after David had begun driving (and remember we are in the middle of a village with no electricity and a crazy dirt road) something happened to the van.  

It pretty much sounded like the van was going to explode as a screeching metal sound filled the van and the night around us. We weren't sure what it was but knew that we had no time to stop and investigate, even if the car was completely ruined. The sound however filled the night and warned people on the road to jump out of the way far before we reached them. When we reached the main road their was construction going on and so David just...went around and over it. We reached the hospital, jumped out and carried Emma inside. 

The doctor was there and immediately gave him anti-venom. 

Almost immediately Emma was feeling no pain whatsoever. 

We looked for the bite on his foot and we could find nothing. 

Nothing. 

God had miraculously (and kind of dramatically) once again saved the life of Emma!

In the van on the way back, God whispered in my heart, "See I am in control. Satan has no control over this ministry or over the lives of these boys. Just as I have fought for Emma's life I will continue to fight for you as you stand against injustice. Do not fear for I am your God..."

I thought back over everything that had happened. 

How Emma had collapsed at the feet of the nurse, as the van was next to us, that of all the kids it was Bob who had been nearby, how the metal (which ended up being just an unimportant piece of metal on the back of the van) had fallen down to clear the road for us, how the doctor had been in, and how Emma had instantly recovered)

God had been in control every single step of the way.

Our God is so much bigger than anything else that can come up against us in this world and this was a big reminder.

Maybe I should introduce him again... Meet Emma, the boy who I am sure, God has set aside to one day change the world!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Forever Homes Update!


Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear His voice, Psalm 95:6-7

Our forever family in Bombo!

Hello all!  We here at API pray that you are all doing well.  We thank-you so much for your continued support of the ministry.  It is truly such a blessing for us and we couldn't do it without you.  We just wanted to send a little update about what God has been doing in the ministry in the last few months and let you know how He has blessed us through your prayers and gifts.  He has been so good to us the last few months and the following are just some of the new changes in our ministry:



We have opened our discipleship house! We now have a 2-3 year discipleship house and program for our older boys 17-21 years of age, who are severely behind in school and unable to finish where they can learn how to handle independence, work, learn vocational job skills, take adult education classes (because they are sooooo far behind in school and we want them to be able to read and write!) be mentored, have daily devotions and save their money before they launch out on their own. The boys learned the skill of building as they were trained to build the discipleship house themselves. They did a great job and are looking for other building projects where they can be hired to build as well!
The d-house boys

We have started a bakery out on the land in Bombo.  The boys in the discipleship/vocational program have been learning how to make bread there and then they have been going into the village and town to sell it. They recently received bikes to peddle the bread on, but have received driving instructions and so they are hoping one day to have a vehicle to drive and sell the bread from. Having a bakery also means that the boys in the homes now get fresh bread with their breakfast.  Such a blessing!

It's no wonder we are selling our bread with such charismatic bakers as Sadic!
 
Monday showing off his bread
Now that we have the discipleship house, it has allowed us to bring in an older boy, Albert off of the streets. Albert had been on the streets for over 7 years. He was tough and very street smart. However, he accepted Christ into his heart and began to desire to get off of the streets and out of the "thug life". He began coming to our programs, working hard to be a good example, working odd jobs in the slum(for hardly any money) and turning his life around. Albert is 17, has never been to school before and is used to being independent. When we asked if he wanted to come to Bombo to be in our discipleship home and vocational program he rejoiced at the opportunity. Albert has no script on what it looks like to be merciful, a godly man, etc- but it has been beautiful to see his heart to please and become a godly young man!He is doing great and growing spiritually each and every day!  Older boys on the streets have a difficult time getting vocational opportunities or getting jobs (because no one trusts them) and so many of them give up and give in to the "ghetto life" that they find themselves in in the slums. Every time that I see Albert my heart fills with joy to see him off the streets and happy!


 Albert showing off his bread by the ovens
 
We have had some new boys enter into our forever homes and forever family. The newest is a sweet young man named Luke! Luke had a hard time on the streets. The other kids were constantly hurting him and picking on him, he was so shut down he could hardly speak or look at you. He would always simply shadow me around, silently sitting close. When his family rejected him to come home, we celebrated the addition of him into our family. The eight year old boy who was so shut down on the streets has come alive and is now an impish and happy young man! Who knew?! God is definitely at work in his life, every time I see him, my heart melts at the joy it is to see him safe and happy at home!

 
Luke Kafero

Luke is in gray on the left on the trampoline

We were recently able to take our boys from the homes on a safari trip to Murchison Falls. For so long we had wanted our Ugandan kids to be able to see their national wildlife and the beauty of their own country! We were able to go on a couple of wildlife excursions to see national wildlife, we took a hike along the waterfalls, and then we took a boat ride on the Nile back to our base camp. The boat ride was a huge hit among the boys! We also had elephants, wart hogs and baboons all around our campsite (and yes it was a big job keeping the kids from trying to ride/feed/befriend them).  The boys were also given disposable cameras and they were able to take their own photographs.  The boys had such a great time and it was such a blessing to be able to be able to take them.

Setting out!


A hartabeast?


Buffaloes!

Hakim is not going under!



The lake (there were loads of hippos!) and my beautiful mom (and my dad who was not in the picture)
 
It was kind of a long drive...
We now have a chicken project of close to 150 chickens that we raised as small chicks. They chickens are being tended to by Mama Joyce with the help of the younger boys, and very soon when they reach maturity the boys will be eating eggs everyday and the discipleship boys will be selling the remaining eggs at a nearby trading center. Needless to say, the boys are very excited for the chickens to start laying eggs!

 
Bwogi showing us the chickens


Solomon

We have also started homeschooling some of the boys out on the land.  We have hired some amazing teachers who are teaching the boys for us.  This program is specifically for the boys who need to catch up in school.  While they are on the streets the boys cannot go to school and they often fall far behind.  Being home schooled though, they will hopefully be able to make up about 2-3 years’ worth of school in 1 year’s time as well as learn in an enviornment where they do not feel ashamed for being so old for their class. The kids have been loving it! We have also been able to add some other needy children from the village to study with the boys which has been great! We want to be a light for all of Bombo!



Finally, it has been a long prayer of our ministry to be able to bring married couples to work in the homes out in Bombo as full-time caregivers, to love and raise the boys as well as give them a script of what a healthy marriage/family/father looks like.  Many of these boys do not have a good or accurate view of marriage or family because of their history which has often included neglect or abuse.  It is so important to us that they see how God intended families to function.  Our prayers have been answered and we have brought three married couples into each of our three homes. We now have a married couple and older "grandmother figure" at our two children's homes which has been a perfect combination of parenting for our kids, in addition to outside mentors like our music teacher, counselor, etc- 

Please continue to pray for a smooth transition for the families and the boys and that God would use these families in such a way to truly minister to these boys.  We praise God so much for the lovely people He has brought together to care for His children. We ask you to pray for us that we will continue to minister together in unity and that God will fill us up with love, peace, patience and understanding for His children.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

a little update

Thank you so very much for praying for David and I, for your support and for simply loving us and our beautiful kids! These last couple of months have been very full but God has been so very good to us! I am sorry that I haven't written more, I have been pretty overwhelmed with everything. Thank you so much to everyone who has also given financially to our ministry in the last couple of months, God has used you to allow us to be able to expand so that we can be able to raise even more forgotten children for Him. Thank you so very much from the bottom of our hearts!

I am going to try and summarize some of the bigger things that God has been doing in our ministry API in the last couple of months. He has been so good! 

We have been doing home visits with the boys in our forever homes to see their biological families (as required by the Ugandan government for children in homes). I love our boys so very much, they are our kids, in our family and are our joy and responsibility and pride for the rest of their lives! Going home to visit their families has been so... complicated. The reasons that they run away are so varied but at the heart of it is always profound neglect and almost always abuse (and often witchcraft and/or alcoholism). It breaks my heart whenever we bring a boy to see his relative and they either deny him or state how, "hopeless" he is.  I think for some of them however, getting to come back (on their own terms) with safe people that they trust beside them just for a very short visit, has helped them connect a bit to their past and have some closure that they did not have before since most of them ran away when they were really distressed, without any goodbyes to not only their relative/parent but to any of their siblings or friends either. 

One of the boys in our home changed his name from Musoke (a name connected with witchcraft) to Paul. When we brought him to see his relatives he was afraid to visit his father because of how much he used to beat him. His dad is a drunk and homeless and we found him staggering down the street in town.  The last time he came home to visit from the streets his dad greeted him by severely beating him. When we came Paul was terrified of his dad (I made sure to stand in front of Paul, I may be small but I would do anything I had to to protect one of my boys) and so Paul kept a good distance from his father while talking to him briefly. His father however was happy to hear that Paul was in our home and going to school. His dad kept staggering around shouting to everyone and pointing to me saying "Look at Musoke's mother! He is now her son and he is in school!" Paul brought a bunch of pictures of himself since he has been in our home in his school uniform, with our dog Flint, dressed up for church, etc- giving them to his old friends and siblings,  telling everyone that he wanted them to have it to remember him by. We stayed for about an hour and as we got back into the car I told Paul over again how much we loved him, how happy we were that he was our son now and that he was going to be a different man than his father. He got a big smile and said he loved us too.

We now have a street children program every Tuesday and Thursday (in addition to the normal M, W, and Fri programs) with a deeper bible study, time of prayer and bible memory verse to help street kids have a deeper knowledge of who God is and His love for them. We also have a Sunday school class with them at Grace Fellowship Church every Sunday.  We won't be with all of the street children in our programs forever, so we want to put as much in them as possible with the time that we have!
We also started homeschooling our boys that are in first through third grade who are discouraged and behind in school. We are hoping to make learning fun (the educational system here still uses corporal punishment and teaches only through lecturing to children as they copy notes, even if they dont understand what they are writing). Our goal is for our kids to be able to develop an interest in school as well as to be able to catch up a little in school since they are all years and years behind. We started a little over a week ago but the Ugandan teachers we hired are terrific and  we are really excited about how it has been going!

Last Sunday, the older boys (18 years+)  from our home had a graduation party, time of prayer and send off and officially moved out of our children's home, Stephen's House into the discipleship house and program. Thank you so much to everyone that made that dream a reality!  They were trained to actually build the home (so that they could learn the skill) and it is just beautiful. There are house parents, kind of like RA's there to watch over them and do devotions with them at night for the two years they are there. While there they will be working and learning a vocation skill, going through business and savings classes and saving up money so that when they graduate they will be able to rent a place of their own as they get a job and never have to go back to the street. Next week we are planning on starting up our own bakery and so they are now learning how to bake bread and run it! It is another job skill and experience we think will be very helpful for them!

Joseph's House is doing very well, the home that was started almost 7 weeks ago for "special needs" street children who have so much trauma and have been on the streets so long that they are unable to go into "normal" homes for former street children. Caitlyn, the house director and mama wrote a blog update about the home here. It is truly amazing to see some of the transformations going on in that home with kids that Kampala deemed, "hopeless".
I Corinthians 1:27 says "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”? "  This verse is just coming alive in that home and it is beautiful to see the kids transformation!

We have hired a Ugandan social worker named Susan to work full-time resettling street children, getting their information on file, counseling children that have been resettled and doing follow-ups on their families once they are brought back home. Since she has come on board with API, we have resettled three street children each week home with their biological families. It is not always a fairytale ending for some kids going back home, but we have had several very successful resettlements in this last month and that always makes my heart glad. For kids that are resettled to abusive families (we only resettle children that want and request to go back home)  that do not want them, I always have to tell myself that they were able to run away to the streets before when they felt their lives were threatened and they can always do it again. God is always going to be looking out for them and makes everything work together for good for those who love Him and are called together according to His purpose.

Thank you all for praying for us and again for anyone who has given financially to make all of this possible! You love us and our kids so much, we minister to these kids together!

Please pray that God will show us which children to bring into the children's homes as we now have spaces open since the older boys graduated out. Please pray that God will continue to be the center of all that we are and do and that He will pour His love and healing into all of our boys and staff. There is a lot of pain on the streets of Kampala, but God is here and He is doing amazing things! A light shines all the brighter in darkness! Also, please pray for the success of the bakery as it is a new project that we are starting and for our d-house boys as they are adjusting to their new found independence and responsibilities! I'm proud of them but worry about them too!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Street children prayer requests, Fred and HenryHenry





Fred in the programs



Fred
Fred Natovu
 Fred is a small boy. He says his age is ten but he looks to be maybe seven at the most. What he lacks in size he makes up with spiritedness. He seems to hold his own fairly well with the other boys at program although he is definitely smaller then them all. This is part of his story.



My mother's name is Coleen. I have never known my father. I came to the streets of Kampala sometime in April and I have been living on them for a month now. I ran away from home because of my mother. She used to beat me and sometimes deny me food. When I left my home in Waskiso and started traveling to Kampala I was helped by a man. He was on a boda boda and he let me ride with him to Kampala. My plan was to visit my uncle. He lives in Kampala. The problem was that when I got to his house it was locked and no one was there. The neighbours told me that my uncle was in prison but they didn't tell me why. I didn't know anyone in Kampala other than my uncle. I came to the streets because I have nowhere else to go. I do not want to go home. Life on the streets is not good. It is hard to get things to eat. I don't have clothes like I did at home. I sleep on the ground with other boys and sometimes we get chased away from where we are sleeping at night.  When this happens we have to walk in the dark to find another place to sleep.



Please pray for me. I want to go back to school. I also want to have a safe place where I can live and be happy.

Before he came to the streets Fred reached primary 3 in school. When he grows up he dreams to become a teacher. He explained that teachers teach people new things and help them become what they dream of through education. 
Henry

Kiyemba Henry



Henry says he is 12 years old. He has started coming to program in this last month. He cut his foot and heard about the clinic through a friend. Since getting treatment there he has been coming often to the street programs. He is a friendly and engaging boy with a quick smile. This is part of his story.



I have no interest in remembering my parents names. They are both living. My father is living with my step mother. My mother lives in Kampala. I was living with my father and stepmother. We used to live in an area of Kampala called Karerwe. My father decided to move from the city to the village. The village we moved to was called Kiti. When we moved there I lived with my family for three months but all this time I did not go to school. In the morning I would do my chores but then after that I would have nothing to do. I was bored so I would walk around and often go to visit my aunt who lived not too far away. When I came back home I often found I had missed meal time. My family never kept any food for me.  I would ask why they didn't leave anything for me but they would never reply to me. Instead they would tell me to get water. Sometimes I had to fetch water three times a day. often my family only ate one time a day so it was not a good situation for me. I was hungry so I would looked for jackfruit in the bushes.  My father and my stepmother sometimes threatened to send me to Kampiringisa because I was stubborn.  One day I was out with some friends. I stayed out too late and when I came back I found that my house was locked and my family was all asleep. I was afraid to wake them up since I knew they would be very upset with me. So instead I made a makeshift bed using a sack and string. I hung it in a big tree near our house. In the morning my father was very angry with me. He beat me with a stick that also had wire on it. He also hit my foot very hard. My foot was hurting me a lot and it took some time to heal. I waited some time after this at my home but things were not getting any better. I decided to come back to Kampala. My mother lives in Kampala, although I do not often see her. When I came to her house she was angry at me for coming to her and told me that I needed to go back to my father. She refused to let me stay with her. I did not want to go back to my father's house so I stayed on the streets. I found a plastic container and started fetching water to make some money. Slowly I learned more things about street life and how to survive. I met a boy named Big who brought me to Kivulu.  I did not like Kivulu though so I did not stay there. I have been on the streets of three years now.  Right now I sleep in Wandegerya in front of a restaurant called  Chicken Tonight.



Please Pray for me. I have an injured foot right now. I would like prayer for healing. I would also like prayer for an opportunity to go back to school.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bossa, an update

Bossa in bed with his stuffed animal

Bossa on left

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God put a love for a street child named Enoch Bossa on my heart. I hardly knew him and had only met him a few times, yet I knew he was supposed to be in our home. He nearly died, and then he disappeared.

I prayed for him constantly,  looked for him, and I fought for him, I cried for him, and I loved him so much.

And then one day God released him to us and he came home!

Bossa is doing so well and so often whenever I look at his sweet face I remember how good God is. How He knew this boy was meant to be in our family and worked everything together for good so that he could be home.

Enoch Boosa has a smile that can light up a room. He has a beautiful voice and is such a sweet kid. He loves animals and singing and playing the drums. He enjoys playing games and laughing. He now sleeps in a bed, and goes to school, he has devotions at night and plays with his toys. He is respectful and loves God with all of his heart. Bossa is doing SO well in the home, he is a great friend and leader to the other boys. He is safe and loved.

How he has remained so sweet after all he has gone through is nothing short of a miracle. But of course, when working with street kids, we see God working miracles on a regular basis- because He is good all the time, and all the time He is good.



Saturday, March 30, 2013

Back in Uganda, (the photos were taken by Rachael Ryckman)

Sorry I haven't updated in such a long time. I think I was waiting to write a truly outstanding or interesting blog, but I have decided to simply write some of the little things that have been going on

The boys going into the d-house are doing well! They are working hard and have already saved up a good chunk of money! Caitlyn has been giving driving lessons to all of the boys, (which has been super fun to sit in on) and very interesting, it turns out that the boys personalities are REALLY reflected in their driving! Sadic, who has been working the hardest in the d-house, has also been doing the best at driving, he is seriously amazing, parked perfectly his first time parking in reverse and parallel parking. As a reward for how hard he has been working and what a good and honest kid he is, we are going to put him into driving school, so that he can be the driver for our bakery and deliver the bread in town! As Dirissa (who is also in the d-house) and I were serving as human cones for Sadic as he was driving, Dirissa was telling me about how he is going to treat his wife kindly and how one day he will teach his son and his daughter how to drive too. =-)

Thanks to the encouragement of my mom and sister I got a crockpot and have actually really really enjoyed being able to use it through the week, it makes my whole life easier! We have also started a couples bible study and game/prayer night at our home on Thursdays with other couples and it has been a really fun time of play, encouragement and fellowship with other couples!

We are also in the rainy season. It is great for the crops but hard on street children since it is so cold and wet at night.  

 It is also great to be back with my dog Bear. For anyone that doesn't know, I love animals (always have) and about a year ago we got a Rottweiler named Bear for security since we kept getting broken into. He has been the best dog ever and super theraputic for me, whenever I have a hard day because of something heartbreaking happening to a child or children that I love, Bear is always there to sit with me patiently and help to calm me and cheer me up. He is great with the boys and they love it when we bring him, they are constantly asking me when I am bringing Bear to the homes to see them. Plus, all of our break-ins stopped as soon as we brought him home! We heard our neighbors being broken into, but no longer are we the target. Daniel's House (the new home with our younger boys) are especially in love with dogs. Today I got a couple of letters taking about Bear/dogs but in one the boy kept taking about how much heloves dog, that his favorite color is dog, that he loves that he in and I both have in common that we love dogs,  and then he drew a picture of Bear with a heart around it.

I have been really overwhelmed as to which child we should bring into our home next. The boys here are doing so well, and it is such a big change bringing in a new child, plus so hard to decide which boy in our street programs is going to be safe and stable to the other boys in our home.  Last night in devotions I was again praying that God would guide me as to the next child to bring into our family. After devotions were over Caitlyn came up to me and told me about a new boy that was at the street programs on Friday (I was at the children's homes and not in Kampala) she said that he was named Emma and was 7 years old. His parents had dumped him in the slum and left and although the police had looked into it,  it is obvious that they are not coming back. I am praying really really hard about this little boy and can hardly stand to wait until Monday when I will get to meet him in our programs.

I guess that's about it! 
 
Lots of love!

Abby





Some photos from the street programs






Because the boys in our homes have been so good we took them swimming at the lake as a reward! 
 

Shafik showing off the fish he just bought

Adorable little Reagan, yes, he is as sweet as he looks!


It was beautiful!

Ibra and Bob with Bear. All of the boys are in love with Bear, but especially Ibra

Paul and Peter having a blast, so happy to see Peter laughing! Praise God!

Bear being coaxed in by Enoch Bossa in front of him

Friday, March 1, 2013

Meet Bashir!

Bashir


Bashir making bricks

If you ask Bashir what he wants to be when he grows up, he will say an evangelist. It is
obvious that the Lord has always had His hand on this young man.

“At home my father would beat me and tell me to fetch water in cans that were too big
for me as a young boy. There was a church near my home and I had always felt deep
inside that I wanted to be a Christian, but my father was a Muslim. He would cane me
and yell, “Why do you want to be a Christian?” It was difficult at home so I went to the
streets instead. I had no hope, but I trusted God. I struggled because I had little food,
couldn’t sleep, and there were bad guys that beat me every night. I thank God that I
never used any drugs during that time.

“After a few months, I met Auntie Abby and began attending the API program. She
wanted to resettle me, but my father beat me and kicked me out of the house for being
a Christian. He told me I was stupid and useless and he never wanted to see me again.
Auntie Abby took me into the Forever Home and we celebrated with a party. It was so
wonderful.”

The Lord has placed within Bashir a wonderful heart for the unreached, and he recently
went on a mission trip to the Congo. He said his favorite part of the trip was preaching
the Gospel and praying with those who had never heard the Word of God before. Bashir
also has a love of music. Besides being a pastor, he hopes that God enables him to use
his music abilities to share the Gospel with others. Bashir's plans are to be an electrical engineer so that he can have a flexible schedule and be able to also provide his own way to evangelize to others, including people in Congo. 

 Bashir is now working to build and move into the discipleship house, the two year mentoring and vocational program as he is preparing to grow up and launch out on his own. We are so very proud of his gentle and kind heart that he has completely given to God!  (this interview was taken from Lauren Taylor who wrote an article about Bashir and her time in API and in Uganda, thanks Lauren!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Street child prayer requests

Thank you to everyone who prayers for our children still living on the streets, periodically we meet with two of the street children in our programs, ask about them and how we can tell other people to pray for them. We then pray with that child and try and encourage them. Here are the prayer requests from two children in our street children programs. Also, David and I are going back to Uganda in just a little over a week and one of the first things that we want to do is bring in more children into our homes. Please pray that God will guide us, from the many children in our street programs, which children He wants for us to bring into our home!


Ssekamaya  Patiya

I was at home when my dad did not want us to go to school, he would make us work in the gardens  and he would wait for the time of harvesting so that we can sell of the surplus to the market, we did what our dad told us but all the money we got he used it for personal things and he told us we can dig again but all it was in vain. It was one day that my elder brother came and took me to stay with him, he told me he is going to take me to school and as soon as we reach his home. I waited for some time to see my brother fulfilling his promise but as I was waiting he came up with an idea that we should plant rice and we can earn good money from it then your dream will come to pass. We cleared the land, planted rice in it and I was told to look after it, I used to go there a lone from morning until evening because I had to prevent birds from destroying the rice but some time I felt tired and rested but whenever, he could find me resting or the birds in the plantation I was beaten badly.

After we harvested the rice we got a lot of money and my brother told me that next week I was going back to school. I dreamed about going to school, and I started drawing pictures how school looks like and how I could look when am in the school uniform. Two weeks passed and I reminded him, he told me can we plant rice one more time and I accepted but in pain. He did the same thing again by having me work and harvesting the rice but using the money for himself and not helping me.   I ran to my uncle's home, he welcomed with both hands and I explained to him why I had come to his house, he told me his family was already too many and too big a burden. He told me he could not afford to take me back to school,  but that if one day he can become rich, he would take me back to school. The following day I was told to go to the garden and dig, water the crops, I stayed there for some good times and I had given up on my dream because every time I could look at my uncle's children going to school, tears became my drink. One day we were having lunch my elder brother came and he told my uncle that he wanted me to go with him, we reached home and I was punished heavily, he gave me orders of cooking food but I was not supposed to eat until he comes home. I was starving and my big brother would beat me anytime he saw me eating. I was told to work. Life became hard and I felt that I was not loved but instead I was forced to work for others gain. I made up my mind and escaped from there, I walked day and night for three days until I reached Kampala.

I have many things that I would like for people to pray for me for. Please pray for me to have a place to stay and be safe. Please pray that I will  find people who can treat me as if am their own child and love me. Please pray that I can go back to school and that my dream of studying will come to pass. 

God bless you. 

Street Child Prayer Requests #2



Juma Madangi

My name is Juma. I am nine years old, my mother died and I stayed staying with my father who married another woman. We were staying with my with my step brother called Mendy his mother went to Juba in Sudan but did not come back. 

We were told to fetch water yet we could find a big line of people waiting to get water, this delayed us, we had to go home late at night and when we reached home she used bad language to abuse us  and every time saying," I wish you had died with your mother and that could make me feel at ease", every time she used to remind me of my  mother who died and I felt soooooooo bad.

We used to go to school but as soon as we reached home, we were told to go to the garden dig, look for fire wood and from there we were told to fetch water, we could not stomach that and one day my step brother ran away from home, as we were in our holidays I fetched water and sold it to people that was the money I used to escape from home. I go a taxi from Mukono to Nakawa and I slept there until morning and walked to Kampala.

Please pray for me. Pray that I will have hope and that I will have a good life off streets. I also want to go back to school, because it is through education that one can have a better life, please pray that God will find a way to make that possible.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

We will continue to pray and to reach for more



"We are paralyzed in a poverty of hope because, first, we underestimate the value of what God has given us to transform lives. Second, we underestimate the value of a single life. And third, we underestimate God’s determination to rescue us from a trivial existence if we just free up our hands and our hearts from unworthy distractions and apply them to matters that make a difference in someone else’s life. …Likewise, when our grandchildren ask us where we were when the weak and the voiceless and the vulnerable of our era needed a leader of compassion and purpose and hope – I hope we can say that we showed up, and that we showed up on time. And that the very God of history might say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'”

Gary Haugen, Terrify No More

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone that sent books, games and legos for the boys! It was such a blessing and I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We cannot wait to give it to the boys! We are going to be bringing in many new boys in the next few months if the Lord allows and we are so excited for them to have them to play with! 

THANK YOU!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yes it is the same boy!

Enoch in blue at home!

Enoch

Enoch Bossa our newest addition

Enoch Bossa

Enoch Bossa in blue



Enoch is doing very well at home! It is hard bringing him home when we are so very far away but I thought I would share an email that Irene sent me on how he is doing:
"Dear Abby and David,

 Here are some of the pictures of Enoch Bossa in Daniels House, he is very happy, he told me he did not except that he 
can feel loved and cared, he said this is the home I always dreamed of and he told me to tell you and David, " thank you
sooooooooooo much", he is looking forward seeing you here in Uganda.

Enoch started schooling and he is doing great and I think he will not find it hard to pass because he loves God and schooling
as well, of all the boys he is the only one who can wash his clothes and get cleaned well, he is amazing."

Please also continue to pray for the other Enoch in our home (we now have to Enochs. Enoch Bossa who just came in and Enoch Wabulembo). Enoch Wabulembo is having a really hard time and needs a lot of prayer right now! 
<3