I thought home would be weird. I thought it would feel strange to be back in the US because it is the complete opposite of where I have been living and considered home for the last 10 months. And it is weird. It is weird how I feel like I never left. It is weird that I am equally comfortable here. A friend that has been living in Uganda for over 2 years now told me that I would feel at home in both places. I thought she was crazy. How is is possible to consider a place like Uganda home and the US? I was convinced that I wasn't going to feel at home in the US anymore, but I do. And it leaves me confused. Confused as to what am I doing, confused as to maybe I am becoming complacent here, confused as to if I am making the right choice to go back. Just confused. And then yesterday happened...
I have talked about Ronald on here several times. He is an amazing kid and probably my favorite of favorites of the kids on the streets right now. Since the moment I met him, I have been praying for God to bring him close, more like begging really. I knew God put him on my heart but every time I thought we were making progress in our relationship, he would disappear, stop coming around or start ignoring me, but I knew I couldn't give up on him. I would just keep praying that we would make progress, that God would provide a way. Ronald is about 15 and acts like he is grown. He is very independent and works hard for his own money. So he can be a bit stubborn and sometimes the uncles don't have patience for it. (This is what happens with a lot of the older boys.) Don't get me wrong, I saw his stubborn side (the gambling, the bullying, the fighting, the not listening), but I also saw a kid with a good heart that just needed someone to love him so he could be a kid again.
As most of you know, I am going to go back to Uganda specifically to open a home for street kids and Ronald is boy number one on my list. One of the uncles that knows all the boys really well told me I should reconsider. He told me he was stubborn and difficult, and loved to fight. I told him there was nothing that could make me change my mind about Ronald. I told him to just wait and see. He would see that he is perfect. I talked to the uncle 2 days ago and he told me that I was right. Ronald is becoming perfect. He told me that Ronald had stayed at his house a few times and goes there to pray. To say that I was happy with this news doesn't do my feelings justice. I was absolutely over the moon! The uncle told me that I should call on Thursday because the boys would like to greet me. I didn't know who would be there and it didn't matter. I am missing them all like crazy and wanted to talk to whoever would be there but I was really hoping Ronald would be there.
When I called yesterday, I talked to many boys...Joel, Dunkan, Derrick, Willy, Tom, Julius, Ivan, Richard, Bwanika, and of course Ronald. One of the first things I heard was Ronald screaming in the background. He hogged the phone from the other boys, told me how much he missed me, and sang to me. In general, the phone call was amazing and exactly what I needed to hear. Tom, the boy that never talks, said thank you so many times for paying school fees, told me he loved me and called me his mother. Joel, who can be a bit moody and I don't always have patience for because he can be difficult, talked to me non-stop and told me he missed me so much and can't wait to see me.
If I ever had any questions as to if I was making the right choice, Ronald and the other boys reminded me I am. Even though I feel at home in the US, Uganda is now my home also and I have a new family there. One I can't wait to get back to...
I need everyone's help to get back to Uganda and get these boys off the street. If you are interested in sponsoring Ronald, another boy or me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you sponsorship information. All donations are tax-deductible and most importantly will change the lives of these boys.
|Ronald and Ivan|
|Innocent sleeping outside|
|some of the boys sleeping in the room they pay to sleep in if they have money|
|bathing in the canal|
|me with the boys at street program|
|Sebastion is in the middle with all the bandaids. He picked up a piece of metal and it cut all of his fingers.|
|This is Richard. He accidently drank acid right before I left and was on a milk only diet for a week because of the sores in his stomach and throat. He made a complete recovery and is fine now.|
|me and the boys at uncle David's house|