Thursday, February 23, 2012


One of the boys, Ibra, came to be "mine" very unexpectedly.  I loved him a lot from the beginning but I didn't think he was serious about anything except doing drugs.  Someone made a promise to him to take him to a home and when the promise was broken, I felt I didn't have a choice.  I knew my relationship with him would be hurt and I wanted more than anything for him to stop doing drugs and change his life.  So I took him to school.  That was 3 semesters ago.  I don't know how he survived the first term, I am pretty sure most days he was hungover.  Drugs were still an issue.  Second term, he stayed in the boarding section.  I think that he did better and when I got back in January, he was a completely changed kid.

I am so thankful everyday to have Ibra in my life.  I can now see God's planning in all of this.  Ibra was meant to be here with me, and I am so lucky.  Ibra is the perfect example as to how I didn't chose these kids, God brought them to me.  Behind all of the trouble, pain, addiction, and hurt, he is one of the most amazing kids I have ever met. He is always the first one to greet me and run across the school yard to give me a hug, if I visit school.  When we walk through the slum, he will hold my hand and make sure I don't fall in the mud and if any guy says something rude to/about me, he will defend me and tell them not to talk about his mom like that.  If he is walking with a little boy, he will grab his hand and help him cross the street.  He will brush my hair and put it in the craziest hair-dos ever, cut my fingernails, or whatever else he can to help take care of me.  When another boy, Richard, was still on the streets and very sick and refused to stay overnight in the clinic(in the slum) unless I stayed with him, Ibra was the first to volunteer to stay with me.  Two days ago, I was at school and there was a smaller boy running frantically and screaming at a bigger boy to leave him alone.  Who stepped in and protected the little boy?  That's right, Ibra.

I never thought that I would see the day when Ibra was changed, but God is good.  He brought Ibra to me and He has been hard at work in his life.  I am so grateful to be able to witness such a transformation.  If you knew Ibra a year ago and saw him now, you wouldn't believe it.  All the glory goes to God.

All these boys need is a chance.  My heart is for the older boys, many who are/were just like Ibra, waiting for a chance that may never come, crying out to a God they are convinced doesn't love them, dulling their pain and heartache with drugs and alcohol.  For 9 amazing boys, they have a chance.  They are in their "forever home".  Every day is a struggle, but when I see Ibra and the crazy men on the street that talk to themselves because help never came for them, I realize what the stakes are and what the reward is.  I have no doubt Ibra is going to grow up into the most wonderful, godly man that will cherish his children and wife.  That is where change has to begin here.  With the young men, so they know it is not ok to take many wives or beat their children.  That is the only way there will ever be an end to street kids.

I will be back to the US in a little over a week.  I am heartbroken beyond words to leave these boys, but there is still work to be done.  They still all need sponsors and I want to add maybe 5 or 6 boys, plus some other small projects.  If you are interested in sponsoring Ibra or one of the other boys, having me speak at your church, small group, youth group, classroom, etc. or hearing about the other projects I want to start email me at

I hope you will prayerfully consider joining me on this journey, to give these boys hope and a future, in whatever way you can.

Ibra being silly.  He took my glasses and decided to try them on.

Ibra cooking.  He is a really good cook and cooks for the other boys joyfully.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wicked step-mother

This was the kitten that was brought home about a week ago. I named him muzungu which is what you call a white person.  I thought it was super funny that I would be shouting muzungu all the time because of the cat and that was why I chose the name.

When I left for Jinja on Friday, muzungu was home.  When I got back on Sunday, he was gone.  I don't know where he went or why he left.  I was asking one of the boys what he did with Muzungu and he told me, "Now Muzungu has a step-mother, so he ran back to the streets."

Let me explain why this is so funny.  He was found on the streets by the market.  He was abandoned by his mother or at least she was no where around.  He was brought home to me, the step-mother.  Many of the boys have run away from their homes because their step-mothers were very mean to them.  Muzungu has now run away from home.  I was his step-mother...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Whose are they?

I have been thinking of writing this post for many days now but I am still not sure if I have found the right words.  But here goes...

We are all so quick to put labels on things as to whom they belong.  I think it is normal.  We say this or that is ours or theirs or whoever's.  Today alone, I probably claimed something as being mine at least 5 times.  But when it comes to these boys, the boys that I love so incredibly much, the boys I would do anything for just to make sure they are happy and cared for, I struggle with saying they are mine. 
I love them so much it hurts sometimes.  I would give anything for them to be safe without thinking twice.  I love them just as much as people love their biological children.  When they are sad, my heart breaks.  When they are happy, I feel like everything is right in the world.  At the end of each day, I cannot imagine loving anyone more, until the next day when I fall even more in love with them. 

But I know they do not belong to me.  They are God's, not mine.

The amazing thing here is that God doesn't need me to do this work.  He is mighty and able and could do it on His own.  They are His children and He is more than able to care for them.  But each day, I get to be a part of His work, with these 8 kids that are so incredibly amazing.

People frequently ask me how I chose the boys for the home and I tell them I just knew.  The truth is,I didn't choose them, God did.  He opened my eyes to what He saw when he looked at the boys.  He didn't see a boy with a drug problem or a boy that liked to gamble and fight or a thief.  He saw His precious children, hurting and broken, patiently waiting on Him.  He saw a boy with an incredibly soft heart.  He saw a boy that covered up his pain with a tough exterior.  He saw children the world had thrown away, but were still so eager to praise Him for His goodness.

Thankfully, that is what He let me see also.  Every day, I am so grateful God decided to use me for His work here with these boys.  I am so grateful that of all of the people in the world He could have used, he chose me.  The other night the boys were giving testimonies.  One boy said that he drank too much and did too many drugs, but God knew he could be somebody and sent him me who knew he could be somebody.  Another boy, said how when I chose him, he was still a thug but I still gave him a chance.  I of course knew those things.  I paid to get the one out of prison, the other I saw drunk many times.  But it never mattered to me.  I loved them regardless and knew God had called me to them.

I am so undeserving to have these kids love me. Their love has made my life complete.  Their love has taught me what true love is. Their love has given me a home and a family that I have longed for for almost 13 years.  Their love has changed my life forever.  God knew my heart and knew that I needed these boys more than they needed me.  And so He called me to move across the world, to love His children, just like He loves me.

I know nothing about parenting, especially to 14 and 15 year old boys that have lived on the streets for years and are so broken, hurting and traumatized, anything can trigger them.  I worry about things any parent worries about plus some.  I fear if I love them too much, they will get scared and run because they don't know how to be loved because no one ever has.  I fear if I don't love them enough, they will run because they think I don't care.  I worry about people hurting them when I know they can't take any more pain or loss.  I fear that I will lose them or they will never change.  I worry about doing and saying the wrong thing, overreacting to a small situation, not having enough patience, failing them in some way, not being able to provide for them, the list goes on.  But then I remember...

God gave me the wonderful gift of having these boys in my life.  AND IT IS A GIFT!  A gift I wouldn't exchange for anything.  He started this work and I know He will finish it.  He loves these boys and brought us together for a purpose.  I realize that I cannot do any of this on my own.  It is only through God and His mercy, that I have any chance.

Although He has given me this gift, one day, I know He will take it back because they are His children, not mine.  In the meantime, I give Him thanks, for entrusting me with 8 of His most precious treasures.  I pray that I will never forget or take for granted how truly special and perfect they really are.  And I pray that I will always mirror the love to them that God has shown me.