Truly–it is amazing…when you take moments to step back…and you watch God working.
About 3 years ago (if I’m doing my math right) I began dialoguing with an old high school acquaintance of mine through Facebook. Her heart was being stirred–and she was beginning to draw close to the Lord…she wanted to know more…talk about Him more…and her heart was being broken for the poor and orphaned throughout the world.
Weeks went by and we continued to dialogue back and forth–usually after the kids went to bed. I’ll never forget one particular night in January–as we were dialoguing back and forth (seriously at 2 or 3am…NOT normal for me…BUT the questions were sweet and the dialogue was ordained–and I knew it was better than sleep). I had the sweet privilege of watching the story unfold for this old friend and watch her come to Jesus–and watch her begin to follow Jesus with reckless abandon. It was fresh…it was pure…and it was real. She read the scriptures–and believed them. It said GO–so she did.
Christy now serves in Uganda with Ekubo Ministries and once again–God is on the move in the ministry the Lord has begun through her and her family. (Yes–this single girl who left now has a family…and a very big one in fact). They are now working on raising funds to build a children’s home and they just need $10,000 to do it. The BIG NEWS is this–they have a supporter who is offering a matching grant up to $5,000! So they need to raise $5,000–which will then become $10,000!
Truly–I am blown away how much the Lord has done in the life of Christy as she has followed Him in just 3 short years. As C.S.Lewis would say–“Aslan is truly on the move!” The Lord is going to do this with or without us–but what a BLESSING to be a part of what He is doing!
Here is a little bit about the home from Christy:
A million ministries will share hundreds of millions of needs this holiday season. Some will be urgent and some will be dreams of theirs for the people we serve. I would like to share a need with y’all, which is both. We exist to share the love of Jesus as we serve orphaned and/or vulnerable children. For almost a year, we’ve been pouring blood, sweat and tears into making Ekubo Children’s Home a safe haven for such children. Some will come as total orphans. Some will come as a result of abandonment. Some will come for safety. Some will come for nourishment. Some will come for a short time as we struggle to learn their stories and trace their families in an effort to resettle them. This is the heart of our ministry. Some will come for a longer time as we struggle to exhaust all avenues of having them resettled into the community they came from or into a foster family here in Uganda. As a last resort, we will seek to place them into loving families outside Uganda that God has called to grow their families through international adoption. In the last year, we’ve done a little of it all. God has a story for each child, and if anything, we’ve learned that TRUE orphan care is a mosaic of so many different details that God uses to weave into His story. Our part is to always do what is in the best interest of the child while he/she is with us and trust God to provide an ethical avenue to them having a loving family. We are currently caring for 11 children, with 7 of those being a sibling set.
In order for this home to be a fully functional home, in addition to furnishings, we need $10,000 to finish the home itself. $5000 for the inside (floors, painting the walls, plumbing, tiling the bathroom, etc.) and $5000 for the outside (outside of building, pit latrine, etc.). An additional $10,000 will be needed to build a security wall around the property to ensure the safety of the children. This wall will be a work in progress but the urgent need is for the home itself to be finished so we don’t have to turn away children. We have worked diligently on each and every child’s case that has come to us since we accepted the first 2 children in May of last year. Because of the vision and hearts we have for the orphaned and vulnerable children in Uganda, we are the first contact for our district’s probation officer (child welfare). If we are unable to take the child, an orphanage is her next stop. What we have learned the hard and rather heartbreaking way since we were approved as an NGO to do this work is that many orphanages in Uganda exist to be a long-term home for children. They never once try to find any family to resettle the children and these children end up living in these institutions. Throughout our investigations into whether or not the children brought to us have families that are willing to care for them, I have been shocked to see what one can find when money is not involved (no info is “found” because then the child will be available for international adoption, which keeps the orphanage operating). We searched and searched but came up empty handed with one of ours (out of 12 that we’ve fully investigated so far this year), it COULD have been the case with all had we not gotten our hands dirty, taken hours out of our days, and spent money we didn’t have to ensure these children have a voice. I came into this thinking that an abandoned child is just that – abandoned. Case closed. But what I’ve learned from this culture is that if you dig deep enough, you will find answers. Uganda is a very family-oriented country. There are not many children who will have absolutely NO family members willing to care for them, IF the investigations begin as soon as the child is found orphaned or abandoned.
An orphanage is not a home for a child. Each and every child belongs in a family. What we’ve seen is that what starts out as “good intentions” in people starting these institutions ends up becoming profit-making business. These places are kept in horrific conditions so that when visitors come, they are moved to empty their pockets. This money never reaches the children, but instead is used to continue to keep these children separated from their families. The government is seeking to close these “orphanages”, as they are finding in addition to what I’ve just pointed out, that many of the “orphans” in these “orphanages” aren’t orphans at all. Many have parents that live in the communities right outside the orphanage gates. They are allowed to live there where their education is exchanged for donations from unsuspecting Westerners that come tour the orphanage on short-term mission trips. When we learned of these dark, horrific truths when investigating and interviewing these orphanages as part of our approval from the government to start helping orphaned and vulnerable children, we knew we needed to be a light in the darkness. It was then that we decided to open a transition/foster home and pray about being the first stop on our probation officer’s journey to place these children in a safe situation. It is our heart to care for them while seeking to find them a loving family. Please pray with us that God’s will be done in the lives of each and every child in our care. His will is ALWAYS in the best interest of the child.
Please pray about helping us finish the home. The $10,000 for the building itself and the $10,000 to provide a security wall do not include furnishing for the home or for things for everyday operations. Things like food. Cooking supplies. Soap. Beds. Bed sheets. That kinda stuff. I got a message that rocked me to the core a couple days ago. Someone said they’d love to help out but their donation was so small that it seemed senseless to even contribute. Trust me, I know that feeling. I see the immense need around here and sometimes I want to run to America, get a job making $80k like I used to, and just work for a while and then come back here. But that’s just the fear talking. I prayed over that message and how it made my heart feel, and God immediately stirred something in me to figure out just what your donation would do for the immediate (and some on-going) needs that will help get the children and caretakers “settled”. These figures (especially food, soap, etc.) are just based on the 2 caretakers, 2 newborns, and 3 toddlers we have at the home now.
The older 6 siblings of one of the toddlers are in our home because the children’s home doesn’t have enough finished rooms to accommodate them. Our home was already bursting at the seams and because school is on holiday, that means that we go from providing our own children more than 1 meal a day (the school provided 2 through their sponsorships). We now have 6 more mouths to feed. 3 meals a day.
Will you considering joining Christy and what their ministry is doing in Uganda this holiday season? Consider giving a donation in honor of a family member in lieu of a tangible gift? Will you prayerfully consider jumping in and being a part of the movement of His working in the lives of orphans in real and radical ways–making life change for kids across the world? You can donate to this amazing project by visiting the blog: COMPASS IN MY HEART
Never underestimate what the Lord can do through someone who opens their hands and gives them to Him. Never underestimate what He might want to do through you!
Wish y’all all a wonderful weekend. Someone in our house has 2 more Nutcracker performances…AND a birthday. It’s gonna be a great weekend!