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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Suffer the Little Children

 (Picture of multi-purpose room at Eseza's school)

People often ask how I can go to Uganda and see the things I see, and not break down.  Well, I do, at times, break down.  But the things I see, the things I experience while working with women and children in Uganda, are things that God uses in my life to break my heart for the things that break His heart.  He uses these experiences to grow my faith, to humble me, to keep my heart tender.  The new picture you see as our header is of a precious little family of children.  The oldest girl, Eseza, or Esther, is only 6 years old.  Those are her three little siblings with her, Tracy, Viola, and Senfuka. Their mother and father both worked in the stone quarries making about fifty cents a day.  The two parents together making less than one dollar a day to feed this little family!
Eseza's mother died this past year.  She was at work in the stone quarry when some of it collapsed on her.  The father, being left with 4 small children, and having to continue to work, pulled Eseza out of school to care for her younger siblings while he went to work. He works all day, every day, 6 days a week. This little 6 year old girl roams the neighborhood with little little siblings, and no food.  Daddy comes home in the evenings and then tries to find what he can to feed them on the little money he makes.  I know that I would have trouble feeding my family on that amount of money.  You see, Eseza had been in one of the schools with whom we work on our sponsorship program.  I visited that school recently, on my June trip to Uganda.  I was able to talk to the headmistress who graciously took me to this child and her home.  These beautiful little children are who Jesus talks about when he says "suffer the little children to come to me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven".  Children have a very special place in the heart of our Saviour.......we should give them a special place too.  Mercy Uganda is working closely with this school to provide a way for this little girl to return to school, and for her and her siblings to receive food and care.  The father agreed to let the children live at the school with the headmistress as caregiver, and Eseza able to learn again.  This arrangement is not perfect.  The school really does not have a boarding section yet, rather, all the children who are orphans there sleep in a multi-purpose room, used as a classroom by day, and lodging by night.  Some do not have mattresses or mosquito nets as they can't afford them. They sleep on the floor with no protection from the mosquitoes that carry malaria.  Food is in short supply.  However, the headmistress, precious lady that she is, and her dear husband, have a small garden where they grow food to help feed the children.  Mercy Uganda is working with them for ways to expand their ability to provide food through more agriculture, and through livestock that we hope to be able to provide over the next several months.  We are also working closely with them to help tie into the water system to provide more, and better water for the children, and are looking to the future for how we may help them expand through building an orphanage.  Yes, some of these are far into the future, but some are now, things that we can do to make a difference even in small ways as we seek God's guidance and provision in caring for His little ones.  We are prayerfully working with the father of Eseza and her siblings, so that he will be encouraged to be an active part of their lives and their care, and that he will come to know the Lord who loves him, and loves his children.  Please pray for Eseza and her family, for the headmistress and the school. Please pray for Mercy Uganda as we seek to honor God in our work with them.  Please pray, too, about how you might be a part of this ministry work with this little family, and many like them.

(Eseza, Tracy, Viola, and Senfuka in front of their home)

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