Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The end of Off Tu

I have been wanting to post something for a while but have not really been sure what to say.

Yesterday was our last day at Off Tu. We went to one of the slums of Kampala to visit the homes of two of the girls who now live at Off Tu. The slum was heartbreaking. Tiny homes, built so close together, dirty water that attracts malaria-carrying mosquitos flowed everywhere. The water they drank was also dirty, as were most of the children. The girl's mothers were very kind though, and we had time to pray with each one. The girls were both happy to see their families and pretty sad to leave again after such a short visit.

When we got back to the Mission we played with the children and then had an amazing dinner. It was our farewell dinner so everyone came, we ate delicious Ugandan and German food, and several people (including me) had to give speeches. I almost cried at the end of my speech when I tried to tell the kids how much we love them and how wonderful it has been to be their "aunties". When it was time to leave I held Martha in my arms and she wouldn't let go of me. She started moaning and saying "Auntie, don't go". I really just wanted to take her with me, back to UCU and then back to the U.S. on Tuesday. Martha, and all of the Off Tu kids, is so precious and loving and fun to be with. I know that I am going to miss them so much and it breaks my heart that I might not come back to Uganda to see them.

It has been wonderful and beautiful to love these children. To know them and play with them and connect with them. To hear their stories and see their homes and to imagine their future. But the downside to the deep attachment that we have made is the eventual pulling away. The inevitable detachment that occurs when we leave. I will always hold them in my heart but I will miss holding their hands.
(the one in the front is martha)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SaSCU has a piece of my heart

"I can see the son of man suffering, oh my Lord
No one cares for their lives, street kids all over the world"
This is a song that the kids of SaSCU (Save Street Children Uganda) sang for us on our first week of visiting them. These kids are all former street kids who now live together (all 43 of them!) with a few "uncles" and "aunties" to care for them. We have been there every other Tuesday to play, sing, preach, share and dance with them. Today was our last Tuesday there and it ended bittersweetly. Bitter because I care a lot about these kids, got to know some of them well, and know that I probably won't see them again. Sweetly because we got to take two of the girls with us, to move into the Children's Center at Off Tu Mission. It was exciting to see these girl go from a temporary home to a more permanent, stable place to live.