Saturday, May 2, 2009

It could have been him. . . .

In the Bukedea District there are over 1,000 orphans identified.  In the sub district of Bukedea Town Center there are 100.  These children are registered by the Teso Widows organization as children who are either single or double orphans, meaning living alone with their widow mother, living as orphans with extended family who are struggling to care for them or even living on their own.  We spoke to the widows and told them we would come for a visit and buy porridge for breakfast and beans and meat for lunch.   We expected a little over 100 children.

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

16 comments:

Andrea said...

Great post. Been struggling with these thoughts myself. Praying for you guys!

Terri said...

What a great challenge !!!! Honestly ... we can't stop crying here. I can't imagine our little Davis without food, clothing or clean water! I would not know what to do with these feelings if I didn't trust in a good and faithful God. LORD, speak to my heart and change me. Thank you for keeping this on the forefront of my mind! Thank you for your overwhelming blessings and help me to share all that you have given to me.

Dearest Jessica said...

I love that they are HIS kids. I pray that he uses those pencils and undies just like the did the Loaves and Fish.

I know that is hard. Praying for the team.

Love ya

Jackie Sue said...

This is the hardest stuff...I am not sure I could do it, really. Seeing the suffering through your eyes is tough enough...makes me weep and I love that He reminded you that these are His children. How He loves them and knows every hair on their head....how He plans to care for them and to allow us to be just a small part. Doesn't it make you wonder what BIG plans He has for Davis....that He chose to give that one child hope and a future??? I always wonder that about my girls...of the millions...He chose them. It's hardly about us at all....we just get to be a part of what He is doing. Mind boggling. Keep being His hands and feet, Bran and know that we are praying and loving those kids through you.

Whitney said...

Powerful blog. I will also pray that God multiplies your supplies in a mighty way. I know that this work no matter how gratifying can be emotionally exhausting. We are holding you up in prayer! Love You!

Kari said...

Wow! I am praying for you and your whole team. It is amazing how much God has already provided. But like you said there is always more need. It's good that God is in control not us. Love you!

Erin Moore said...

tears rolling...thank you!

Anonymous said...

Oh Brandi! You sure know how to capture the moments and make me feel like I am there! I am sure it is nothing close to seeing it all first hand. It just makes me cry!! I love how God continues to remind you that He is their Father! He has sent you all to bring some of His love and provision for them...doesn't seem like much but to them their heavenly Father is providing! Thanks for being such a humble and willing servant! Love, Christie

Amy said...

Oh Brandi, now you have me in tears.
I want to share what He has given me with the people you are reaching. Tell me how.

Tom Davis said...

Don't even know what to say. Thanks for sharing Brandi. Mostly, I'm glad you're there and that we will be in a position where we can help these kids long term. Praying.

Missy said...

Oh my friend...praying for your whole team of amazing women everday. wish I could have been one of you. Keep us updated as you can with specific prayer requests.

Love you,
Mis

PS sounds like Greg is doing an aweseome job on the homefront..praying for him and the kiddos too.

Anonymous said...

don't even know how respond, seriously the tears are overwhelming...such a time is this bran..i can't even put words to what you must be feeling and experiencing..i will be praying..5 loaves 2 fish

xoxo
gossip girl

Amy said...

My heart is broken over what you are seeing. I can't imagine how God must feel as He looks down at His children - those in need and those with much to give who aren't. I know I fall into the latter category. God forgive me. I was just folding laundry thinking about your post and I too thought about the fish and the loaves that the little boy offered to Jesus and He multiplied. I am praying for a miracle for you all...that you find your provisions multiplied and able to meet the needs you encounter. Thank you for blogging...I can't keep myself from checking every few hours to see what God is up to on the other side of the world. Praying for you guys. Amy Savage

Beautiful Mess said...

This breaks my heart and then on the other side IGNITES me and says we must do more, collect more, educate us Americans MORE.

Praying faithfully for you! Praying for your mission. Praying for change.

Love, Jen

carrielkg said...

B- I am weeping with you. I am marveling at the strength and passion God has given you, and I know that He will continue to supply as you need it - can't wait to give you a big hug (although I know you'd rather stay...)love, clg

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Ok, I keep getting frustrated that I can't read the last paragraph of any of your posts. That video on the left covers half of the middle column on my computer and I can't figure out how to minimize.