David looks very tough. He can have the meanest scowl you have ever seen. Underneath, he has the softest heart. He is very sensitive and can become upset very easily. But usually he is so joyful. Laughing and playing and making jokes.
The very first boy that I sponsored was named Tom. He is very smart and performs well in school. For a treat at the end of one term, we went to the movie theater. It was a huge treat. (This was way before the home or I had decided to make Uganda my home.) After we went for a chicken dinner at a popular restaurant near his home. While eating, a bunch of boys came up to us. One of the boys was David and another was Semanda. It turned into a huge scene, but after we left I remember David showing me where he slept each night. It was on a street corner in between a makeshift shop. The space was so small and him, Semanda and 3/4 other boys slept there. Tom's home was very close so we decided to walk but it was late so David and Semanda decided to walk with us to protect me.
Before I left Uganda last Fall, the worst thing imaginable happened. David and 2 other boys were taken. They were arrested for loitering or who knows what. It was rubbish. Just a way to "clean up" the streets. I found out after it had happened. There was nothing I could do. I thought I was never going to see him again. I prayed for God to let me see him again before I left Uganda. I prayed for his safety. Where ever he was, I knew it was a miserable place. He probably wasn't eating, he could have been sick, no one would care. To them, he was just another street kid.
One day I was really busy. It was only a few days before I left. I was running errands and was in the slum for something. I was with a friend and we split up. She had a program to go to and I went to the clinic. A few minutes later she called and told me to hurry. The whole way there (a 5 minute walk) I was praying it was David. And sure enough it was. I was so happy to see him. Unfortunately, only one other boy was with him. The other boy, Semanda, was still missing. When they escaped, Semanda was too sick to jump the fence. So he stayed. We have never seen him again, so we can assume the worse. He was a beautiful kid too and no one should have had to suffer like I am sure he did. The comfort is he is now in Heaven, he is with his Father, and doesn't have to worry about sleeping another night alone and cold on the streets. It will be a beautiful day when I am able to see him again.
Of all of the boys in the house, David was the only boy that had a "proper" invitation to join our family. The other boys just kind of were or they showed up and never left. Don't get me wrong, they are all there on purpose. They all belong there, but David was the only boy I asked to join us. I had gotten back to Uganda, there were 7 boys in the home and we had room for one more. I was planning on asking David. But then Dunkan came and he made 8. David was my first leap of faith. He made 9.
When I finally asked him, I took him to dinner. He was so concerned because he didn't have anything nice to wear to dinner, so he was afraid to go. I brought him a pair of jeans and off we went. I wonder what he was thinking that day. During dinner, he barely spoke. Maybe he was dying with anticipation. When I finally asked him, all he could do was smile.
It has been wonderful having David in the home. He works hard at school and appreciates everything he is given. He is silly and goofy and always wants to make me laugh. He listens when we talk. I hope that the longer he is with us, the less his pain will be. I know that it is only God that can heal his heart. It is only God that can make him see himself for who he is. A beautiful child of God.
|David at the beach|
|David at school. He is slightly obsessed with kung fu. I think he was practicing .|
|Semanda is on the left. David is on the right. Dan is below.|