Thursday, March 6, 2014

Aaron and Frank

I am often asked how the boys in our home respond when we bring in a new boy and my answer is, "they rejoice!"
Frank welcoming Aaron home

 Recently in the street programs there was an adorable little guy named Aaron who had been dropped off on the streets by his parents. I remembered the day I seriously began considering him, I went to the programs thinking, "God please show me, if this is the right child to bring into our family..." About 5 minutes later, Aaron shot a stone in my face using an improvised toothbrush slingshot after watching his friends shooting people with them first. About 10 minutes later he was playing the worst game of soccer I had ever seen and 15 minutes later he was on the very bottom of a dog pile, crying for the next 10 minutes because people had smushed him. 

Aaron had picked up with a bunch of wild street kids for protection and was quickly showing two things, 1) He makes a lousy street child, he does not have a "tough" bone in his body and 2) he was quickly adapting the not so great habits of his buddies in order to survive on the streets. He needed a good role model, but there was none in sight.

We prayed about it more and knew that God was calling us to bring him into our home.

We had talked to the boys before Aaron went on his home visit saying that there was a little boy who might be coming into the home soon, the boys cheered and Richard asked, "is he going to be my size?" He was very happy to find out that he was.

 Afterwards we  pulled Frank aside, a great kid of around 14 and asked if he would be willing to help be responsible for Aaron and to be his big brother. We asked if Frank could make sure that everyone was nice to him, he learned how the home runs and the expectations as well as playing with him and helping him to make friends. Frank, looking extremely serious nodded and said yes, he would be willing to take on that responsibility. 

The day that Aaron came into the home Frank came swaggering up with a big smile on his face, put an arm around his shoulders and showed him to their room. He then, with only one hand as he had recently broken his arm falling in a soccer game, helped him unpack his suitcase and put his things away talking to him the whole time. Frank had waited to eat lunch so that he could eat with Aaron so as soon as Aaron's things were put away he brought out their food to the table and sat with him, being cool and caring the entire time. Aaron didn't know how to use a salt shaker so Frank salted his food, got him a fork, and then went to get him a cup of water as well. When mid-meal, Aaron lay down and fell asleep (yes, he was that tired) Frank tapped his hand and asked if perhaps he should go to sleep and finish eating later. 

It was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen, the entire time I felt like my heart was going to explode with love and pride for Frank and that big 'ol beautiful heart of his. 

Richard and Aaron on Aaron's first day
Several months ago, we had been talking about forgiveness with the boys in devotions and what that looks like. We told them about God's love and forgiveness and how forgiving someone is hard, and does not mean necessarily that they will change and should be allowed back into your life (if they are abusive and are not wanting to change for instance) but that it can allow you to be released from that person through God's strength who helps us to forgive. Frank said he could never forgive his father for what he had done. 

Through prayer and time spent talking with Uncle David, the house uncle of Stephen's House Frank said that he wanted to see his dad and tell him that he wanted to forgive him for mistreating him growing up. Frank asked David and I to go with him. I was honored but nervous for Frank, not sure of what would come of such a conversation and what his dad might say.

We went with Frank who found his dad who was already smelling of alcohol and was working in a garage in a slum in downtown Kampala. After introductions David and I stayed close but gave Frank and his father some privacy to talk. After about 15 minutes, Frank and his father came up to us and his father full of enthusiasm told us how much he loved Frank, his oldest son that he is so happy for what Frank had come to tell him, and that he was sorry for the mistakes he had made and for not always treating his son the way that he should have.

I was blown away by God's goodness and so happy that Frank got should a good response when telling his father that he forgave him for how he had wronged him. 

As we got into the car Frank had a huge smile on his face, looking more peaceful than I had ever seen him. 

At Frank's last birthday party, everyone kept saying what a great dad he would be one day, and the truth is, he will be, Frank will be a wonderful father, and that is a beautiful thing.

I see so many amazing things in Frank. I don't even know how to put it into words but Frank is simply good-hearted in a way that I rarely see in this world. God is mightily at work in his heart and his life. Even when in the street programs, although I had hardly known Frank one day I knew God was telling me extremely clearly that Frank was to come into our home. I am so glad that I listened to His voice.

Frank loves people and he is so compassionate with children, babies, animals, anything that is smaller or weaker than he is. He loves God and he loves to learn. He is athletic and super cool, but he is humble and always including others. Whenever I see Frank I can hardly believe the wonderful blessing that it is to have the opportunity to raise him and to watch as he grows up into a good and godly young man.

Amos and Frank
Frank and Jessie

1 comment:

  1. I wish to revisit Africa and thanks to Flysky I shall...your articles are so inspiring. Keep up the good work:)