Friday, February 22, 2013

Sanctuary Family

Children’s faces peeked through the iron bars that secured their home. Their voices shouted with joy as they anxiously awaited my approach. Tiny bodies piled on mine as soon as I sat on the bench to greet them all. Why did there seem to be so many? Who could ever leave such beautiful children alone in this world? Two additional young ones sat on the floor watching the chaos with veiled interest.

Valentine’s Day offers a great opportunity to talk about the love of Jesus to anyone at any age or stage of life. Even the young ones need to hear the simple story of Jesus’ sacrificial love. Using coloring as a way to help the children engage with the message, we talked about Jesus’ love for children. Specifically we talked about how loving him makes us sons and daughters of God and that we are part of a family in this way.

The children were seated at school desks which gave Michael the opportunity to explain that the landlord wants to sell the house they are renting and so they had to move the school structure outside the compound. So many of the children are old enough for school now and school fees are impossible in this situation. So, Silvia and another woman teach these children from a room about 12x20 just outside the gate. Michael and Silvia are doing the best they can with their growing brood – growing because local officials are recommending their home to the homeless babies in Bugembe.

Michael rarely asks for help of any kind but today he pointed out the condition of the mosquito nets on the 10 tiny beds shared by more than 10 growing children in that one-bedroom house. Not only would replacing those nets keep the children from getting malaria, but they would also keep healthcare costs low for Michael and Silvia as well as keep the children in school. If you would like to replace one or more of these holey nets, please contact me.