Thursday, July 16, 2015

Maria & her Maama {5 years later}

these 2 are a testament to my faith. they'd been starved and left for dead. a 10lb, 2-year-old baby girl and her Maama. and God called me. ME. I was anything but prepared. I was an ill-equipped new Christian, only having decided to follow Him 7 months before. yet He called me. He called me as His daughter to not just go visit them. He called me to not just go sit with them and leave. He called me into the mess with them - into the hell they were living. He called me to take responsibility for them. the village was abuzz at how stupid I must be. at how lost a cause they were. at how deep in over her head the muzungu had gotten. but I turned a deaf ear and kept my eyes on Jesus.

for 5 years now they have been in our care. we have watched the hand of God reach down and pull them from the ashes. we have seen it. praise God for His faithfulness!

“Since the day you got me from where I was my life has changed a lot. You got me from a bad situation when my daughter was being starved and I was being abused. You built me a home and my daughter and I came into your care full time. Though I was not your responsibility you saw me as such and these days I’m feeling that I’m now someone. My health has changed. I have a shelter where I sleep very well and I eat very well. Though I still face some challenges with my epilepsy but the seizures are less frequent. I have hope that I will recover soon. On top of that I have gained energy and I can now dig in the garden, do housework, and many other things by myself. I am so independent. It was always a burden for me to depend on someone else and even then they neglected me. I have hope that my life will continue to change because I feel the people you have given me to help care for me are good people. I believe in Jesus Christ now. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me, most especially you and Master George. Maria is now growing, having education, medication, food, shelter and I feel that God has answered my prayers. Now everyone treats me differently. My family where you got me from now see me as a better person and everyone loves me.” – Maama Maria


Sunday, July 12, 2015

water is life

we have never had running water in our village. actually when I moved there we didn't even have clean water. we fetched our water from the only few sources we had. the water was full of parasites but when you have no other option a running stomach becomes the norm.

there are 2 seasons - rainy and dry. after the end of the dry season the rainy one never came. these water sources that get replenished during the rainy season were shallow. and the more shallow they were the more filthy they were.

2 back-to-back dry seasons took their toll and, not knowing when the rainy season would return, we raised money for a borehole. it was a slow, eye-opening process. when we can walk through our homes and have our choice of taps to turn and clean water comes out, it is hard to imagine that the whole world didn't have these same luxuries. and a luxury it is.

during the longest, hottest days of the drought when the funds had stopped coming I got an email from a friend I'd met through Facebook. she was no longer able to go on a mission trip she had spent over a year planning and wanted to give all the money she'd saved to us. read the whole story here. blown away!

we hired a team to survey the land and we prayed they'd find the best location to drill there on our compound close to our home. and as God would have it, THEY DID! just steps from our front door! we wrote in the wet cement "bringing Living Water to the thirsty." so many gave and collectively we have been able to provide water for thousands of people from our front yard. but that borehole runs from sunrise to sunset. and it can't serve everyone. so God provided and we drilled another one in 2013!

as I sit here looking through the picture I took today I see so far past what is on my screen. the stories come alive below the surface. the stories of how far we've come. and they bring hope for what's in store.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I named him Christian

4 years and 3 months ago we received a call that our friend's wife had failed to give birth at the nearest clinic and they feared she would not make it to a hospital in the city. we jumped in the van and rushed down the bumpy roads some 6 miles away. it felt like forever. we pulled in and she was laid out in the parking lot writhing in pain. we got her in the van and rushed off to the city.

George turned on his hazard lights, laid on the horn so much I thought it might give out, made his own lane dead in the center of the road, and a drive that was usually well over an hour took like 45 minutes. we still have the crack across the windshield where a rock popped up and hit it that night.

at 3am a little boy was born and later on that morning we went back into the city to pick them from the hospital. I walked out of the ward with him and because he was so light and because George was walking beside me, everyone said as we walked by, "I can't believe she gave birth in a place like this." our friend and his wife had a good laugh. I got to carry him all the way home.

when we reached their home they asked a favor of me. it would be another week or so before he would get his Luganda name but they wanted me to give him his English name. but there was a twist. he had to be named after me. I chose Christian.

today I noticed his sister walk by and I wondered how he might look these days - whether or not I would recognize him. the next set of eyes I locked with I knew. it was him!!! my heart soared! I must have taken a picture of him a few days ago but didn't notice him among the others in that class. and I am glad God chose a special time away from all the other children to show me. He gives the best gifts. praise His name!