Saturday, September 20, 2014

Human Depravity

I have seen human depravity in a different light this week. Actually it was dark, in the shadow. My emotions have been all over the board and I am still picking up the pieces of it all. Through different stories we found out that one of the girls that often comes to our school was being sexually trafficked by her mom.  She is 11 and doesn't even reside with her mother but is rather homeless, and paid less than a dollar a night, beaten if she doesn't produce the money. A punch to my stomach and sleep was fleeting. Questions came...why?...why would a mother do that her child?  Why do men find this okay? The flesh can make us do revolting, reviling things. Something has gone wrong with humanity, it is heinous, we are heinous. I will never look at a rainbow the same.

The morning I went to get E out of Kisenji the song Kings and Queens by Audio Adrenaline came on:

Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent too brief
On their own, on the run when their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved

Boys become kings, girls will be queens

Wrapped in Your majesty 
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout your name in victory
When we love when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these

It said so much of what I was feeling. It was everything I could do to not burst out in tears. Tears of anger, tears of joy, or sorrow, of so much. And then thankfulness poured over me. God lets me be a part of this. He leads me throughout the day. He helped me find an organization to rehabilitate her with counseling, education, love, discipleship, and more. I have a community of friends here that can help to provide supplies when I didn't have the strength or time to go shopping for her, and that would even go with me and help me sort through it all. For the body of Christ coming together. That she is safe. Suddenly my circumstances and problems seemed pocket sized. 

Within the shadow I could see the light. It was tangible. It was at the foot of the cross. It is were I reconcile my own human depravity. It is where I find redemption. It is where I find forgiveness. May we take it to the darkness, and reveal the shadows with the light. 

Please pray for E. Pray that she wouldn't have a desire to run away. Pray that she would feel loved. Pray that we would have the compassion of Jesus, and that we would be able to minister to her mother. We assume there are more girls living like this so pray for us in this. Most of all pray that the Karamojong would be changed by the gospel, and that God would provide more laborers. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer Update

Forgive me for the lack of updates. Do not have any great excuses other than writers block and summer break.   I figure I could at least fill you in on what is happening in our lives at the moment.

A lot has changed in the last couple months. Joshua turned 15 and is now living with some friends in the town we come from called New Castle in Colorado. He is going to school there (Freshmen) and playing soccer. This obviously is not ideal but when you live abroad that word "ideal" doesn't exist anymore. Cody is currently there with him getting him settled while reconnecting with some churches and sharing what God has been doing here in the last year (side note: a huge thanks to Church of Redstone, and New Hope Church for helping with travel costs). He has been gone 22 days and I have 15 more to go. It has been extremely hard to walk this journey of not having Joshua in our home and being a single parent for a time but God has been extremely gracious. We have established such a great community of friends that have become like family to us. Of course having Briana here has been a tremendous help, meaning I can leave the kids with her to have lunch with a friend, or attend prayer groups etc.

Janaya (8th) and Samuel (6th) have started attending Acacia Classical International School. It is a new school and Janaya's class will be the first graduating class (That is why Joshua could not attend this school). They are quite fond of being around their peers.  It has taken some time for me to adjust to the fact that I am not home schooling 3 of my children.  Carter is in 4th grade this year and Malachi is in Kindergarten of which I am homeschooling both. Eliana is also enjoying doing a little school and her favorite thing to do is write letters. Azariah has done a good job of exploring and is on the brink of talking to express what he wants which will bring relief to us all, because he currently screams to express his desire or distress.

Anyway that is what is happening on the home front.

As far as ministry goes.....things are going well. Cody left John Lokwii in charge of the discipleship times twice a week while he is gone and they have been going great. Before Cody left he realized that 4 people have made a commitment to follow Christ since we came. Lokwii and Rosta are his main disciples who go into the 2 main slums where the Karamojong live and teach the Bible to them. Of course with this has come persecution and struggle but they are pressing on. Rosta has a desire to start a church on Sundays since there is no church for them in their language. We are excited to see where this goes.

The school is going well too and we were thankful to have Erin Mulcare for some of the summer to help with teaching the kids and teaching the teachers. Briana has been the main teacher to lead the school and she departs in 2 weeks. She has been working with Lokwii and teaching him how to do it on his own. She has already started stepping back in some capacity to let him be on his own. His love for the kids and for his community will no doubt live on.  As most of you probably know he is also living with us and after getting through some cultural difference we are living pretty harmoniously. We will be extremely sad to see Briana go as we have enjoyed watching her grow in God this year and also love on our kids as well as the street kids.

The women that I have been discipling are doing as well as one could expect given their circumstances.  One of the women lost her baby right after it was born bringing deep sorrow.  There are 3 that have saved enough money to start their vocational training which will hopefully start up the beginning of October. I am pretty ecstatic about this. It is a pilot project and we are hoping that the women can begin working instead of begging on the streets. Another goal we are hoping this brings is that they will stop trafficking their children. Prayers here would be appreciated; wisdom especially.

I feel there is more I want to tell you but I will leave it for the next blog. One of which is something we are going to start incorporating into the ministry. Stay tuned, as I promise not to go so long before writing.

Pictures from the last couple months:

Cody, Rosta, Lokwii and Francis discussing Acts

Both of our cats had kittens within 2 weeks of each other. The kids have enjoyed having baby animals around. 

Sunday, one of my favorite girls in Kisenji. She is so cute! 

Our washing machine broke a couple days after Cody left so we were washing clothes by hand. We made it into a party. I put the kids in the tub and had them stomp around the clothes for the first washing cycle. Thanks to New Creation Church for donating a new washing machine! 

Lokwii and the kids.

Showing of the Jesus film in Kisenji. 

We got a new puppy in hopes that it would distract Eliana from missing her dad. It has helped and we are excited to be able to have an indoor dog.