I think I came in to our agenda for today expecting a huge God-moment. You know the kind I’m talking about. That moment when it feels like the entire revelation of God’s will for the whole world just pours out on you. It’s that moment you end up pointing back to later in your life and saying something like, “Everything took a major turn when God touched my heart that day.”
I waited for it.
And it never happened.
At least not until I sat down to write this post. It’s probably because it wasn’t a single big event. Instead, it was a theme that continued to emerge throughout the day. And if there’s one word that I would put on the entire experience for today, it’s this one…
I held 9-month old baby boy named Serwadda in my arms this morning. He was abandoned by his mother who couldn’t care for him. I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk away from your own child; to feel like there’s no other way out. Even though he was early in his recovery, he was doing well. In a few months he’ll be healthy enough to move out of the hospital.
I also held a 7-year old boy who was lighter than my two and a half-year old daughter. He was so severely malnourished that he weighed only 7 pounds when he was brought in a few months earlier. You heard that right… 7 pounds at 7 years old. But today is a big day for him! After several months of treatment, he can now walk and talk! So he’s “graduating” to the Destiny Villages of Hope, a place where he’ll continue to grow and learn for many years to come.
I walked the streets of the Katwe slums today, the second largest slum in all of Africa. It has over 500,000 people living in conditions most of us would find completely unbearable. There was fecal matter in the road where children run and play. There was the ever-present smell of burning trash. There was the man digging for God-knows-what in the trash-cluttered ditch. And there was the rapidly growing church being a beacon of Light in a dark and seemingly hopeless place. It’s a church with 2,500 people (and growing) coming to one of three services where they serve up healthy doses of the Word.
Then I met the children of Destiny Villages of Hope. There were kids like Jerry, abandoned by his mother in the Katwe slums. Left behind with no one to feed or care for him. (Watch Jerry’s Story now on Vimeo!) Now a vibrant young boy, full of spunk and life! As are all the kids who live with him at Destiny Villages of Hope.
And we made art today.
We watched children paint things like, “I love Jesus,” and “God is Love,” and hearts, and flowers, and soccer balls on big stretches of canvas (which we’ll be talking more about later). They created something amazing and beautiful today. We gave them the chance to express themselves, and they shined a light to the world… because someone shined a light on them.
And that is the theme I watched emerge throughout the day…
One question swirled around through my mind (and my heart) all day, and it’s the question of who will care for these kids. If we don’t, then who will? Will it be a Godly influence who sows life, hope, and redemption into their lives, empowering the kids to have a positive impact on their society? Or will it be a world that takes advantage, and, well… you get the idea.
I met leaders today like Eva and Sarah, and many others who have dedicated their lives to helping and caring for others. They see the value of each precious soul who crosses their path, and they relentlessly pour out hope into those lives. They are shining examples of God’s heart for the orphaned and the poor.
Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
~ Psalms 82:3 (NASB)
This is where you come in.
We need your help. We need people to come alongside these leaders and the work they’re doing. And the same question that defines them, also defines us. If we don’t, then who will? The easy route is to turn a blind eye, or ignore the fact that we can truly make a difference in someone’s life. It’s hard work sometimes to raise your hand and say, “Yes Lord, I’m willing. Use me.”
So here’s how you can help…
- Dontate $10, $20, $100, or whatever number God puts on your heart to our Rescue Homes project. In order for Destiny Villages of Hope to have the room to bring in more children, they need places to house them. Every donation helps, and connects you to this great work.
- Share the stories from our blogging team. Read the stories from Emily Wierenga, Matt Appling, Michele-Lyn Ault, and Noel Yeatts, and share the links on your social networks. We need these stories to get in front of more people.
- If you blog, then help us tell the stories. Talk about how these stories have inspired you to make a difference. Talk about how you are taking a stand to help where the help is needed. Use your voice to reach the people you have influence with, whether it’s 10 or 10,000.
Most importantly, continue to pray for these children and the local leaders who continue to shine a Light.
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