My life has been so easy. I have everything I need right at my reach, but meeting new friends that have lived a life so difficult, and painful and dangerous has given me a new perspective of life. I love that God can use the pain and suffering of His people to encourage others to live a life that honors the Savior. Does that make sense?
When you go on a missions trip and open your heart to new experiences and immerse yourself in their culture and worship style and way of living… it changes things. It changes the way you want to spend your money and time and resources and energy. My dear friend, Pastor Isaac lives on the other side of the world and told me he is surrounded like “hot cakes” with Muslims who hate him and his ministry. He has asked me and others to pray for his family for protection from evil. He doesn’t waste any time telling his fellow believers what he needs to minister to his children and community in Jinja.
Here is a little snippet of Pastor Isaac’s testimonial when I asked him to share with my blog readers [why is it so important to visit orphans?]
“First of all it is Biblical, we see God pledging to be the father to the fatherless and there is no any other way how God can fulfill that task unless some one stands in the gap,so when ever teams comes to visit Orphans and show them love, kindness,
compassion,sharing with them the word of God like Bible clubs, singing together,playing together, that is how God can become a father to the fatherless.
Actually that is how those Children can prove the sweetness of their Father God the Almighty like as you have been doing.Psalms 68:5,James 1:26-27.
I always see the teams coming with gifts or surprises,really that is great and wonderful allow me to let you know that when ever we give the children the gifts that the teams bring the children become so much excited and because of so much joy the Children start to cry and when you ask them they say that they have never thought that there are people who can love them as to that extent. Ecclesiastes 11:1.Mathew 25:34-46.”
My “middle of the night” Journal Entry:
(just before bed) I’m sleeping on a twin bunk bed with a white mosquito net covering every bunk. We’re all sleeping together like we’re at camp in three different buildings- girls, boys and couples bunkhouses. I love it!! We drove from 5-8pm to Jinja. We pulled into the compound and were greeted wildly by 200+ screaming for joy children. We literally could not get out of the bus. They hugged us all the way down the line. It was incredible!!!! Every child there was so happy and welcomed us to their home.
We are living in an orphanage for four days. I think I am in heaven. We had a very late dinner and even helped ‘scrape” and
clear the tables for our hostesses. Pastor Isaac calls me “Mama.” I fell instantly in love with this 62 year old pastor. He literally dances when he talks. I have never met anyone quite like him. We had a brief meeting after dinner (organic chicken, potatoes, rice,
fruit, gravy, and bottled water:)) He is a lively man with a spirit to match any 20 year old.
What will today bring?
Day 3 –
It is 5:30 in the morning and I’m hiding in the bathroom with my flashlight so I don’t wake up the girls. The Muslims woke me up soooo early!!! I hear them singing loud prayers. At first I thought perhaps it was one of the Canaan staff, but was told later that it was the Muslims on loud speakers. What’s so funny… There is a big dog howling along with the singing… I swear! This is truly remarkable in every way!!!!! How is this possible that I am here in Uganda? My life has been richly blessed every second I am here. Here are some highlights of the day:
- Today we went to school!!!!
- Restful with lots of playing and one on one time with children.
- Allan- my boy
- Walking thru the village
- Singing at school with the children.
- riding a bouda bouda
- soccer game- sitting on top of the platform and cheering with Randi and Amanda (world cup whistles and cheers)
- Nile River Ride with team- 2 boats
- Prayer at the Nile in 4 small groups
- Dinner… homemade chips!!!!!!!! (They feed us so much good food… I’m stuffed from Rebecca’s cooking:)
We have loved our time here at Canaan’s!! Living here for many days has given us a different perspective of life in Uganda…. life is hard here and challenging and your life for Christ and eternity is the only way to survive. Pastor Isaac has asked us to continue praying for the persecution from Muslims in Jinja. He told me that Christians are like “hot cakes” here in Uganda. Their dormitory was burned down by Muslims last year, but they never pressed charges. He simply loves and believes God will fight his battles for him. My brother Pastor Isaac is a living, walking miracle with a PURPOSE!!
Pastor Isaac’s testimony will blow your mind. He was literally “killed” during the rebel takeover like in the movie the “Last King of Scotland.” This was when all the pastors in Uganda were rounded up and murdered. He was shot and piled on the top of hundreds of dead bodies and bled to death. God rescued him and brought him back to life. I mean I was weeeeping when he shared his story. This man literally bounces with joy… dancing and hugging and kissing and loving so big with all his heart. I adore this man!! He is 62 and has a beautiful wife, Rebecca and children who are grown & now preaching in their own churches. But, he’s called PAPA by all his staff and orphans (his children) He is like their hero in every way. We invited him and his family and staff to eat dinner with us at King Fisher Lodge the last night there. The restaurant is a beautiful outdoor lodge on the Nile River (can you imagine!!) What was even more surprising, this amazing couple had NEVER been there before to eat. They were ecstatic. Rebecca kept hugging us over and over thanking the team. We gave them gifts too. I have never witnessed such joy and appreciation. I cried like a baby when I had to get up in front of my team and give them our love gifts for his orphanage. I couldn’t say goodbye and Pastor just hugged me as I booohoooo.
Best for last… I also want to introduce you to a little boy named Allan (3). I have NEVER bonded like this on a missions trip, but this precious child captured my heart in a CRAZY way. When he was 2 years old, his father was murdered protecting the trees in his forestry. He was killed defending and standing up to a gang of thieves. The rebels then went to the home and raped the mother to death and mutilated her body. They left her small baby boy, still breastfeeding, there to die. The rebels burned down the home, farm and land. The little boy that survived was Allan. He was brought to Canaans Children’s Home 10 months ago, but his heart is still damaged. They call him “humble man” he is sooo quite, but has a smile to die for. My heart broke into pieces and I just scooped him up and never let him go the entire time I was there. I carried Allan everywhere I went. I kissed his snotty little nose and mouth and just kept telling him “mama” loved him. The children affectionately call the women staff “Auntie.” I was given the name “Mama” by Pastor Rebel, so Mama Kiki just stuck with me. Allan’s entire personality changed the 5 days we were there. He was loved by 28 aunties and uncles and one big crazy mama- me:) The last night, he went up to the front of the church with the other children and danced a traditional Ugandan dance. This was the first time we witnessed him opening up and having a wonderful time… showing off. I was like waving and clapping like a proud mama!!!!!! How can I express what happened in my heart. When this precious 3 year old had to say goodbye to me… he dug his head in my neck and told Pastor in Luganda that he wanted me to have his little wooden toy car. I was weeping and told him that I wanted him to keep his new present, so he said then I had to take his cross necklace. I told him I would always be in his heart…. and he would ALWAYS be in my heart. I taught him how to do “I love you” in sign language and that was what he did when I got on the bus. I was a mess. I have the honor of sponsoring Allan monthly for years to come… I’ll always be his Mama Kiki!!!!!!!! Is this a possible re-direction for our adoption??
It breaks my heart that there are Allan’s here in Uganda. Orphans who are not protected and horrifically abused. I prayed over Allan and sang songs to him like a mommy would do. He told me he was sad. I rocked him and just let him know over and over that he was loved. I loved him. Jesus loved him. I pray that his little heart continue to heal and he can grow up a strong man of God.
Thank you dear brother, Pastor Isaac for allowing us to come to your home and minister to your family. We love you!!!!!!
Please join me to Uganda June 2-11, 2011 to minister with my heroes… Pastor Samuel, Rebecca Sorensen and Pastor Rebel. I don’t want you to miss out on this incredible adventure visiting orphans. Sign up today- here!!! Only a few spots are open!!
This was my favorite pic taken by my friend, Vit Steiger. He caught me walking through the village and captured in a single moment, simply love. “Love Will Always Find A Way!”
URGENT : SPONSORS NEEDED FOR 23 NEW ARRIVALS- BABIES AGES 3-5 AT CANAAN’S CHILDRENS HOME- www.canaanchildrenshome.org