I wrote this post last week, but have decided to tweak it and go ahead and post for you all.
So, lots of things are different here in Uganda this time around… So much is the same, yes, but so many things are different! I have debated between listing shortly things that are the same and different. I do not want to make it a massive post, so I will do my best to bullet!
· Of course I am still working in Kivulu Slum at the API Street Programs, the Bombo Homes, and in the API office.
· David, Abby, Cailtyn, Nakato (housekeeper) and two of the uncles at the Street Program are still here.
· The thrill of boda bodas! (okay, that wasn’t really within the theme of what I was looking for.. but it is truth! I love those bodas!)
The “Different “ers
· Finding several boys from the Bombo Homes in the Street Program (not because they are volunteering, but because they have run away to be street boys again)
· Finding so many BRAND NEW faces in Kivulu! I recognized maybe 5-10 faces, but the rest are all new boys… Lots of names to learn!
· The new Tuesday/Thursday morning Bible Study in Kivulu, which I wrote about in my most recent ministry letter!
· New Staff! There are more than 9 new staff members in Kampala (7 I see on almost a daily basis) and maybe more than that in Bombo at the homes as well! Very exciting how we are expanding! Two of the new gals are here already and the Lord is graciously blessing our relationships! I am thrilled.
· API now has 4 homes for children, not two (We have added a Discipleship House out in Bombo, which I wrote about in a ministry letter a few months ago, and we also have Joseph’s House! For 5 more difficult boys who struggle in typical homes.)
· A new Volunteer House (VH) that you saw on Facebook if you are my friend! It is absolutely beautiful! We have at least 7 or 8 rooms and 3 or 4 bathrooms here! Plus the office, a huge dining/common area, and 3 “kitchen” spaces!
· I have my own room!
· Fairly dependable electricity (I have been here for about 3 days now and it has never left…)
· Warm Showers at the VH!
· A fan in my bedroom! J Small things can make a big difference!
· I will soon be sharing the VH with not only the staff that are already here, but 3-7 new Americans and/or Canadians that are joining us within the next month or two! Last year it was basically me, Caitlyn, & Nakato all the time. It is a full and happening place these days!
· There are so many other things…but I think I will stop here, for I have something else to share with you.
But there is something that is the same, has never changed, and will never change in the future… who is our Father… the God who created each of these young boys, and who loves each of them truly and completely. I was thinking about the pain in my heart for some of the things I had seen my very first day in Kampala and back at the Kivulu slum, and this was the devotional the Lord gave to me from “Jesus Calling”.
I am a God who heals. I heal broken bodies, broken minds, broken hearts, broken lives, and broken relationships. My very Presence has immense healing powers. You cannot live close to Me without experiencing some degree of healing. However, it is also true that you have not because you ask not. You receive the healing that flows naturally from My presence, whether you seek it or not. But there is more – much more – available to those who ask.
…When the time is right, I prompt you to ask for healing of some brokenness in you or in another person. The healing may be instantaneous, or it may be a process. That is up to Me. Your pat is to trust Me fully and to thank Me for the restoration that has begun.
I rarely heal all the brokenness in a person’s life. Even My servant Paul was told, “My grace is sufficient for you. My power works best in your weakness,” when he sought healing for the thorn in his flesh. Nonetheless, much healing is available to those whose lives are intimately interwoven with Mine. Ask, and you will receive.”
I pray these words in the lives of my boys. The boys from the D House that are struggling to launch out on their own, the boys that are in the Bombo Homes that are learning to love and trust again, the boys that have run away from the Homes and I find on the streets, and the boys still living on the streets-wondering if they will ever have a home again. I pray for healing. May I truly grasp onto the Father so tightly, that I may understand the power of His grace and healing in my own life, and share it with these boys who so desperately need it.
We have been in training since last Friday, but yesterday we went in our traditional Ugandan clothes and attended an Introduction Ceremony!! Where the bride introduces her groom to her family and father.. he pays the bride price and they are married. It was pretty intense! We were sitting for about 6 hours! But what an incredible experience...