06 July 2013
Today we headed out to Buziika to Amazima’s property for the Saturday feeding program. When we arrived we were greeted by our friend Patrick, who is the caretaker. We headed over to the worship area and started greeting the children. The children come from all over Buziika, some walking as far as 8km.
I found our friend Eric, who is one of the mentors. He is so great with the kids, he currently has 78 children that are assigned to him. He visits them, checks with their school and families to make sure each child is doing well. His love for the children is evident as you watch him talking with them and playing with them. I love it when he said, “I am obsessed with my children, when I have a Saturday off its like something is missing”. It is not a job to him, it is what he loves.
It wasn’t long before Mali found Lillian one of her favorites from our last trip. Its amazing how much the kids have grown in just 9 months. Before long we were reunited with the friends we made last time. Talking with them, finding out how school is going, and hugging and being so happy to be back with them again. We found Patience, Peninah, Precious, Alice and many others.
Then it was time for the children to line up to get their hard boiled eggs. Each child is given an egg to put some food in their bellies so they can pay attention during worship and bible study. Then it was time to sit down and get ready for worship. The children sit on the benches and the floor, ready to sing praising God and to learn a bible story. Raoul, who is their youth pastor arrived, the drummers started and worship was on. There is something so special about sitting in the middle of hundreds of children watching them worship. They are so excited to praise Him and to learn about Jesus. There were shouts of “AMINA” and our favorite 1-2-3 for Jesus, 1-2-3 for you, 1-2-3 for me! The bible lesson for today was about loving each other and being your brother’s keeper. The verse was “I am the way, the truth and the life” John 14:6 which keeps popping up time and time again since we have been here.
After worship it was off to play until lunchtime. The girls sat Mali down and started braiding her hair. Then the bell rang it was time for lunch. The children sit in the worship area waiting for their age group to be called. They start from youngest to oldest. Mali went with Joyce, Katie’s daughter, and helped serve lunch. The children are fed rice, beans and chicken. After lunch its playtime for a couple of hours before the children are dismissed.
We got to visit with our friend Oliver, who is the sponsorship coordinator, she is an amazing woman who can tell you the name of each of the almost 600 children who are part of the program.
The children who are in P6 and P7 have to attend school on Saturdays, so they don’t arrive at the program until later in the day. But it was so great when they did arrive because we were greeted and hugged so big by our group of older girls who we love so much. Winnie, Juliet, Dinah and Oliver just bring a huge smile to our faces, they are so happy to see us, and glad to see us back.
The best part of the day was when Regan ran up so excited to see us. Regan is an amazing young man. We met Regan on our last trip when he was the translator for Raoul. When Raoul preaches in english, Regan translates in Luganda, when Raoul preaches in Luganda Regan translates in english. Regan is a powerful preacher, and truly has a passion for God. But what was so amazing is the last time we were here he didn’t seem to interested in getting to know us better, we talked a little and snapped a picture of he and Mali. When we sent over the Christmas cards over this year we enclosed photos that we had taken on our last trip. But today when Regan came up so excited to see us, he gave us big hugs and told us how happy he was to see us. He told me that he has the photo of he and Mali framed and hanging in his home, and that he prays for us all of the time. He said that he had a dream the night before that when he arrived at the program that we were there, and that he had woken up in the middle of the night to pray for us. He had no idea that we would be there today, none of the kids did, and that is why he was so happy and surprised to see us.
Seeing the relationships developing and strong friendships being built between us and the children, especially Mali and the children makes my heart so happy. Knowing they remember us, pray for us, are happy to see us is amazing.
At the end of the afternoon the children are dismissed, they pick up a bag containing beans, rice, soap and posho to help get them through the week until they come back. Then its good bye for now, knowing we will see them the next Saturday.