I am living and working in Uganda with Amazima Ministries, but my eyes are set on eternity.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
Friday, January 13, 2012
The Ugandan school year makes sense. Just another aspect of American society that we buck the natural and obvious way of doing things. School in Uganda goes from the end of January till the end of November. This means that we are between years currently which in turn means that we are at the time we can add kids to the program.
Absolute chaos ensues. For the past few weeks we have had extra busy days at the Saturday program due to Christmas Gift Baskets and the Christmas Program. We have also been getting tons of people coming wanting to sign up for our sponsorship program. Just to make it through the day I have been telling them that they should come back on the first Saturday of the new year to apply to be in the program.
Yikes, did I not expect the outcome. I guess telling them this and giving them a few weeks for the word to spread everyone in all of Africa heard the news and came on the first Saturday of the new year.
I put together this nice application form to be filled out by each of the families applying for sponsorship just to have it turn into scrap paper. All our Ugandan staff was like "Um No! As soon as they fill out a form they will assume they are registered and they will send their kids every week assuming they are now part of the sponsorship program."
Well, I guess scratch that. I showed up on the 7th to a sea of people. There had to have been 700 people above and beyond the 500 kids already registered for our program. I gave notebooks and pens to anybody over the age of 16 to start taking down names so we could clear everyone out and sort through the possible additions.
Most of the people that came on the 7th were not in the category of people who we would accept into the program, but with other connections and a little research we were able to find around 160 new kids that did qualify for our program.
Everyone in Uganda wants their kids sponsored. Not every Ugandan NEEDS their kid sponsored. Here is an example of a family that fits the need we are looking for.
There is a family of 6 children all under the age of 16 that stay with their Jaja (grandmother). We do an initial interview and 2 home visits by our social workers to research the need. The first time they come to our program one of the boys in the family shows up with a swollen cheek. I honestly probably wouldn't have noticed, but Katie did. She asked him to open his mouth. You could see the pain in his eyes as he did so. She saw that he had a tooth that was abscessed almost bursting through his cheek. We immediately took him to the dentist. It boggles my mind how some of these kids continue on day to day. He musta only been 10.
After our research we discover that the only source of income their family had was their Jaja's job of "throwing rocks at other rocks." Basically she made aggregate for the use in concrete. She worked all day throwing stones at each other to break them down into small enough pieces to be sold as gravel. Unfortunately she had recently lost her job because a stone bounced back and hit her in the face and she had lost most of her vision.
If makes me think of the elderly in the United States. I would never say they have the best life ever, but in comparison... This old broken woman... I can't even put into words my thoughts about her situation. God bless her heart.
Praise Jesus He put us here to ease the struggle. They are now in our program along with the other 150 or so.
It is your prayers and support that open these doors for us to show God's love. Thank you so much for making what we do possible.
The photos in this post are a random sampling of some of the angels in our program not specifically anybody I talked about.
Posted by Bradley Raymond at 11:14 AM