Saturday, September 1, 2012


I usually talk to the boys several times a week on the phone.  It helps with the distance and missing them a little.  Hearing their voices always brightens my day.  Some of the boys still don't speak English well, so we have to have the uncle translate.  But for the boys that speak English well, they will run off with the phone and we can talk for 20-30 minutes.  I love hearing their voices, about their days, their problems, their triumphs.  It makes me feel like I am still there.  I pretend that we aren't actually on the phone but sitting in our family room.

Sometimes talking to them makes me sad.  It reminds me how much I am missing each day I am gone.  They are at that age where they grow over night.  They are in that place where they change overnight.  It is a humble reminder that it isn't me that makes the boys change, but God.  And I am so grateful for His faithfulness and love.  Without Him, I know we would have never made it...

This is the story of Dunkan whose real name is Allan.  I don't know where he got the nickname from but I like the name and out of habit, I still call him Dunkan.

We almost didn't make it.  It was tough.  Sometimes, I thought just too tough and I had definitely gotten in over my head with him.  I absolutely adored him but he was never supposed to live in the home.  He was going to go home to his mother and I was just going to sponsor his studies.  That was what we agreed on.  The day I was supposed to meet his sister, she never showed up.  The next day when I saw him, he avoided me.  Finally, he came to the home and told me that he couldn't go back home.  They would never let him go to school.  He told me his sister never showed up because she was drunk.  So I told him it was ok, I loved him and would like him to live with us.

I knew Dunkan was a difficult kid.  I had seen him high, fighting, disrespecting, etc. but I really had no idea just how difficult he was going to prove to be.  I don't always like sharing the details of the boys problems. but with Dunkan I think it is important to see where he was so you can see how far he has come.  Dunkan is a miracle and all of the glory goes to God.  

Not long after Dunkan came into the home, things started missing.  A watch, a memory card, money, clothes, so many things.  No one could figure out who it was or find the stuff.  The house finally blew up over the memory card.  The boys were accusing everyone and turning against each other.  That is when Dunkan stepped in with a story and accused another boy.  The story was plausible and believable so immediately the other boy was accused and all of the boys turned against him.  Well, I am sure you can see where this story is going.  Dunkan had taken everything and had turned the house upside down.  Did I mention I had traveled to another part of Uganda that weekend for business and it was the uncle's first weekend with us?

I got angry phone calls from the boys telling me what he had done and found out he had ran away.  I got back on Sunday and he didn't come back home until Monday.  It turned out he had debts from when he was on the street and the people were demanding he repay them and he didn't know what else to do.

The problems didn't end there.  He struggled in the home.  He struggled with rules and listening.  He struggled respecting anyone.  He eventually ran away again after another incident.  It just kept going.  I remember thinking that he was just too much.  I couldn't handle him.  IT was one thing after another.  It was a mess.

Today, I had the chance to talk to him.  When I left Uganda, Dunkan spoke very little English.  Now we can talk and talk and talk.  He tells me about his day, his problems, school, whatever he wants.  When I asked him what he was doing he told me he was finishing practice at church.  The boy that used to not pray is now singing and dancing for the Lord!  He is dancing this Sunday.  When I told him I was sorry I was missing it, he told me not to worry I would see him one day.

He also told me something I will never forget.  He said, "I am not Dunkan.  I am not the Dunkan you knew anymore.  I am not a thief.  I am not the Dunkan that fights, does drugs, and has bad behavior.  I am a new Dunkan.  I have changed.  I am now becoming a gentleman."

Dunkan still questions me as to why I chose him.  He tells me time and time again that he was so bad and asks time and time again why.  I always tell him the same thing, because I love you.  Today it turned into a lesson about Jesus loving us enough not to leave us where we are and how we should treat those we love the same.  He is starting to get it.

He also told me when he is finished with his studies, he is going to bring some children from the streets into his home.  He said that he thought it was a good job to have to take care of those kids.  He told me that he would love to have a job like mine.  He said he wanted to get all of the kids off the street.

I hope Dunkan's story inspires you.  

I hope it gives you hope.  

I hope that it is as great of a testament of God's love and faithfulness to you as it is to me.

When I met Dunkan he was so far from God and had no interest in Him whatsoever.  Now, God is molding him to become His hands and feet.  

God loves all of us.  Even those that have strayed.  He loves us enough to not leave us where we are.  He loves us to use all of our hurts and bad stuff for good.  He promises to continue the work in us until the end.  He promises a new life and new beginning with Him.

Dunkan is proof of that.

Meet Dunkan!

in his school uniform

when he was still on the streets

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