These last few weeks have been quite a journey. So many sights, sounds, and smells so foreign to many of us. It stimulates the mind and has questions rolling off of our tongues constantly. But what I would like to share with you moves past all of those senses and hits me directly in the middle of my heart and soul … it is comprised of two experiences. The first was the meeting of a child I have been sponsoring for about 2 years now. He is a young boy of 8 years, think of a typical energetic 8-year-old and place him in Africa full of smiles and energy, inquisitive and rambunctious, yet very innocent. As we rode in the vehicle towards his home, we sat next to each other trying to communicate with his broken English and my non-existent Lugandian, however so much can be said and shared through facial expression and shared fun with a camera.
Upon arrival to his home we were greeted by his grandmother who was so overjoyed to meet us that she literally broke out in dance and song, what a picture … I know I would never be able to do it justice with words.
It was all of this that has reminded me that child sponsorship is so important, but even more it is the relationship you cultivate with the child you sponsor and their family. I know many of us will never be able to make the long trek to visit our sponsored children, but through the letters written, pictures sent a long sustainable relationship can be had, and it does make a difference!!!
The second experience came out of on overwhelming high adrenalin and confusing moment and it all started with baseball. We were asked by the school to help some of the children learn and practice their baseball skills.
This was extremely fun to watch and participate in … watch out world Uganda will be producing the next Ken Griffey Jr. or Babe Ruth!
All of a sudden one of the children had a ball thrown directly into the middle of her chest and dropped like a rock. Wilma was close to the action and called me in to have a look. At first glances this young girl (her name we later found out is Patricia) was simply in shock and just gaining her composure. I knelt down and reminded her to breathe and she appeared to be recouping from the event well. I sat her up to take a drink of water … it was at this exact moment that she thrust herself back from my arm into what appeared to be a grand maul seizure … for a moment I froze not believing what I just saw, it was in this moment everything happened very quickly. I called Trysta over to help assist and assess … somehow we carried her to the principal’s office while she continued to have a few petite maul seizures and drift in and out of awareness.
As God would ordain it, an ambulance was just outside holding a mobile clinic to children in school, so the decision was made to load Patricia up and send her to the hospital — Trysta and Shirley went along. At this moment everything went quiet and the emotion of it all set in … what in the world just happened??? As we stood in the wake of it, all we could do was pray … so we did, Wilma, Mike, Clary, Garry and myself put everything before the Lord and He graciously granted peace and some understanding right then and there!!! But this is not the experience I desire to tell you about today …
As I walked down to the International Needs office to make sure we could collect our teammates from the hospital, I was stopped by 2 young girls about 12 years old. They simply said hello and asked if I would be their friend … so cute, how could I resist … then out of the blue the one girl by the name of Winnie asked “how is the girl?” I responded that I was not totally sure but was confident she would be ok. Then Winnie said “Lets Pray!” she grabbed my hand and her friend’s hand and we made a little circle. As we bowed our heads and held hands Winnie led the prayer with such confidence and passion, and as we finished she said, “God is good, and we trust in Him” … I am speechless, humbled and honored to have had this moment with Winnie and her friend, what an awesome God we serve and what amazing moments He places in our lives if we simply will stop to have them.
Just so you all know, Patricia is totally fine, she received a bolus of fluid and was sent home later that night. It turns out that she had not eaten all day (not typical for a child in school and is being rectified by the school) and was wearing four layers of cloths in 27 degree heat while playing baseball. The shock of being hit with a ball along with all the other factors triggered the seizures. Please continue to pray for Patricia and Winnie as they continue their education and walk with our Almighty God …