526 orphaned children showed up with another 175 village children. Wow. Some of them had walked over 8 miles just to get there! They were packed into the church, singing and waiting for our arrival. After introductions and explanations of the Teso Widows and all that they do already to care for their communities, we began to serve the porridge. It was 1 pm and everyone's first meal of the day. . .for some, their first meal in days. They were thrilled as we passed out the mugs and bowls of porridge. Porridge is very filling, but do not be fooled, it contains no real nutrients. It is flour and water. This is what many families feed their children. The other meal would not come for hours. We ran out of porridge before everyone was fed and sent our driver out to buy more food for the next meal. We spent most of the last 20 minutes passing each other, knowing the porridge was running out and trying to hide our tears.
After spending time with the head of the Household Orphans and hearing their stories (more on that later as one of the girls has an urgent need. I am waiting for a quote before posting it to give you opportunity to contribute!) We decided it was time for giving out donations. This is when we found out that there were over 500 orphans present and we knew we would still be visiting over 850 more children. The high of knowing we had 1,000 of everything crashed in on us as we realized that we had to make choices. Literally, we had to choose between a child getting underwear and a toothbrush. Unfathomable. Overwhelming. . .
As I watched the children line up for their pair of underwear, my heart felt like it was ripping apart. I probably should have been excited about the opportunity to give, but I kept picturing Davis. This could have been my child waiting in line for one pair of underwear and a pencil. It would have been his life. How do I come to grips with that? He has a drawer full of underwear and chooses CARS every time. He has as many pencils as he wants and an electric Spiderman toothbrush. . .but he was born in an IDP (Internally Displaced People) camp in one of the poorest nations on earth. If God had not chosen him for our family, he would have been living on the excitement of random white people bringing in donations and handing them out. My son. One of the great joys of my life.. .
And then HE spoke. . .
"These ARE my children. As you imagine YOUR son and it breaks your heart, know that these are MY children. "
even now, hours later my tears will not stop. Once again my glasses are lowered so the girls don't have to watch me sob silently as I type.
And then, I thought. . . .I often give Brayden large handfuls of treats. I would easily give him a handful of m&ms without giving the other kids any. Then, I would say to Brayden, "Share with your brother and sister."
I believe HE's done that with us. Us, Americans. . . we have been given much and HE has said, "Share with God's People Who Are in Need" (Romans 12:13). Share with your brothers and sisters. . .to be good sons and daughters and share with our "siblings" / His other kids. hmmm. . I wonder how well I am doing at that? I wonder how well WE are doing with that? Yes, we share, but from here it doesn't look like enough. . .kind of like when I've given Brayden an entire handful of candy to share and I notice that he DID share with Gracie. . .he gave her ONE piece. ouch