Monday, October 13, 2008

Forgotten Children

Many people have heard of the "forgotten" or "invisible children" of Uganda. This is the name put on a tragedy that happened throughout Northern Uganda. The LRA (Lord's Resistance Army of Rebels) ravaged the area, stealing children and forcing them into fighting.

Today, we went to Trinity College in Otuboi. This is a secondary school which is particularly wonderful! The gov't of Uganda provides primary education, but secondary education is a rarity. This is where TCON came in . . they are an NGO that focuses on widow ministry but found out about all of these children that needed sponsorship desparately and they stepped in. You see, secondary education must be paid for. . .tuition PLUS books, travel fees and mattresses. This is near impossible for a child like Julius, whose parents both died leaving him as the primary care giver in his family. He scrounged and scrounged for the fees through digging through people's things. Many times, he would have to withdraw from school to care for his siblings. . .going from grandparents to uncles that threw him out. . .enduring beatings along the way. As he shared his story with us, he broke down sobbing. Jamin (a friend on this trip) reached out, grabbed his hand and prayed for him.

This school is changing these children's destinys. Most of these teens are orphans, many former child soldiers and all have lived hard lives. We have a photojournalist / videographer that is along for this trip and asked if any of the teens would share their stories. 11 boys and 1 girl stayed behind. We silently weeped while they shared their hearts and stories.

Pray for the children of Trinity College. These children NEED adults who care for them, invest in them and share with them the HOPE that God provides. Pray also for Sarah and Beatrice who serve these children faithfully. After a number of the boys broke down while sharing their stories, Beatrice quietly walked over to them, grabbed their hand and led them aside to a quiet place to talk. It was beautiful to watch a Saint of God's build His Kingdom. . . I felt like I was watching a whole new verse of Sara Grove's song, "When the Saints" in action. Hopefully, I'll be able to share the children's video testimonies soon. For now.. . .pray

7 comments:

jena said...

I need to move...

julie said...

awesome...........

Jackie Sue said...

precious post...thanks. love you

running shoes said...

thank you for sharing your experiences.

are you anywhere close to Andrea? I know Uganda is huge, but maybe you could meet up

annNEE said...

This is so exciting! You are an inspiration, my dear Brandi!

Isn't it so awesome to think how far you've come in the past two years and all of the great people you have met and become friends with?!

!!!!

Vanessa said...

Thanks for sharing!! I'm glad I found your blog!

Erhardts said...

Thank you so much for this post Brandi! We were just in Uganda a month ago and for the first time the "invisible children" and the LRA were brought to our attention. It has truly motivated us to go into action mode here in the States and bring awareness. You cannot just go and come back and do nothing. www.watoto.com are going to Gulu, Uganda soon to prepare a village for 5-6000 kids about to be released in the next 2 yrs as part of a peace agreement with the LRA.
Again, thank you for this post! Those kids are so precious!