Thursday January 14, 2010
I slept through the rooster this morning although I did drift in and out through the Muslim call to prayer before dawn….
By the time I got up, Joyce and Joyce were in the back of the compound stirring 4 giant pots of beans and 4 giant pots of rice on 8 separate fires. The process to feed the 900 children of Masese this afternoon began last week when Renee made the 20 minute ride on a piki (hired motorcycle) to the city market and balanced two 100 pound bags of beans and rice on the ride home. Yesterday several ladies sat on the concrete veranda for most of the day watching children play in the yard and parade through the house in search of “Auntie Renee” as they sorted and cleaned the beans and rice for today’s meal. At 1:00 the children started arriving at the gate carrying old, broken plastic cups, bowls and plates. I watched their expectant faces, dirty clothes and distended bellies as they lined up, many of them carrying younger siblings almost equal in size, to wait for lunch to be served. As they began sitting in groups around the yard happily eating handfuls of their lunch I was incredibly grateful that my own children have never had to miss a meal.
I received my first gift today! After lunch one of Renee’s neighbors who is suffering from Typhoid came to receive her daily medication. This delightful spirit filled woman welcomed me and proceeded to tell me of the wonderful things that my daughter has done for her community. After a lengthy dissertation on the blessings of Renee, she said that she wished to bring me a thank you gift for raising her and allowing her to come to Africa to start this ministry. About an hour later she came to our door with a loudly clucking chicken for me to eat for dinner – I have named her Thursday as that is chicken day on the menu here!
As I spend time with the children here, it is amazing to me how easy they are to get along with. Each one is unique but all are generally content and happy despite the fact that they own nothing, the few toys here are only for certain times and each one has a history of difficulty. I’d like for you to meet one of these special children named Nusula.
Nusula is one of the most fascinating children I have known. Her age is questionable – she came here last week weighing only 11 pounds although she has her 2 year molars. To hold her is like picking up a stuffed animal that has lost most of it’s stuffing, she is so frail and tiny but so intelligent. She has a sense of wisdom about her that is way beyond her short lifetime. I love watching her eat; she studies her food as she carefully plans each mouthful, her incredibly tiny hands are so careful as she examines each grain of rice, beans or tears off small pieces of chapatti to sustain her fragile little body. She sits carefully on the dining room table like a delicate miniature ballerina and diligently feeds herself for 45 minutes at a time without changing position except to carefully rearrange her meal before slowly and deliberately eating it. I don’t know her story except that she was brought to Serving His Children in an attempt to keep her from starving – her one chance at life. Nusula is one of the many children living here with HIV. Tomorrow she will be enrolled in the HIV program at the Hope Center where she will begin receiving treatment in an attempt to keep the virus at bay for the rest of her life. Thank you Renee for being Jesus to this little child and giving her a chance to grow up to know Him!
Tomorrow I will wait here for Carl and Mary to arrive while Renee and the girls take three of the children to the Hope Center where they go to receive their HIV medication. We plan to work on a few household projects the first day or so of their visit so I am taking notes on the numerous repair projects around the house that exist because it is easier to live with than to fix. I myself have learned to adapt to the toilet that is 2 inches too short because there is no seat – my first thought was to pick one up to install but quickly realized that there are no toilet seat vendors at the market in town! My hope is to have at least one working shower here by the end of the weekend!
Thanks so much for all your prayers – wish you could all be here, maybe one day you will…!!
Serving His Beautiful Children in Uganda,