Wow!! Things have been busy. I am sorry I haven’t been able to write. Where did I end up…so saturday, I got up early and headed out to enjoy the views and have my quiet time before the day started. Agaon there were some kids already out there. I sat and began reading when one of the girls came over and asked if she could talk. I was a bit annoyed at first wanting my own time, but I said yes and she sat down. Viola ended up sharing with me about her life, her family, her faith in the Lord. How her dad had been an alcoholic and was abusive toward her mom and the kids. Her mom was saved a couple years ago and then started taking the kids with her to church and Viola became a believer with some of her siblings. She was praying for her dad, but her continued to abuse her and ended up running the children away from their home. After staying away with their mom and praying, her father ended up coming to the Lord. He has stopped drinking and now their family is back together all serving the Lord. So amazing!! She even took my Bible out of my lap and opened it up and started ministering to me. This was a great reminder to me from the Lord that I always need to be interruptible. You never know what conversation will happen or what blessings you might miss. Viola wants to be a singer/songwriter and asked if she could share a song at our worship that morning. She did and it was beautiful!! Thank you Lord for speaking to me thru this young sister in Christ!!
Saturday and sunday had a similar schedule, breakfast, worship in the morning followed by small group. Saturday I spoke to the kids about where we come from. We spoke about Creation and how God intended things to be perfect with us walking in communion with Him and then we fell. This we all have in common(Romans 3:23). We all are deserving of death (Romans 6:23), but Christ came to give us a way back to God. We spoke about the Hope we have in the Christian faith, available to each of us. Sunday I was going to speak about where we are headed to round out the theme, but again, I felt God wanted me to share something different. I got up and I shared some of my testimony. How God has rescued me from so much hurt and pain because I have decided to live like He desires me to. It lead to a good old fashioned alter call. Kids were given an opportunity to ask Christ into their lives or return to the cross if they had wandered away. (Today I had lunch with some of the people who did camp with me and Allan shared with me that many kids shared that they received a new hope from camp. Kids that had already slipped and had sex, but felt like they could return to God and be forgiven and walk anew in what we call secondary abstinence. AWESOME!! Praise God!!!)
The kids were really talking about the different things we had brought to them thru our Scripture study or the CPR education. It was awesome to walk around and see the kids participating. Then we headed to the field for some fun games and crafts. Friday I took pictures of each person and today we made picture frames. Again, so simple just craft sticks and foam stickers, but the kids would have stayed there for hours if I let them. They were very proud of their pictures and showing off to their friends. We don’t think about how special it is to have a photo of ourselves, but here it is really a big deal. Lunch was followed by futbol and ropes course. Saturday we had 2 teams on the ropes course, so red and orange played soccer ending in a draw. The team going to thru the ropes course really ended themselves so much!! Sunday orange played their final soccer match before going thru the ropes and then yellow red and green finished out the soccer tournament. In the afternoon we would have tea and then head to the classroom for our CPR lessons. This program is so good!! It looks at the whole person in perspective to our sexuality and decision making. So often we say don’t have sex so you won’t get pregnant or get an STD, but this looks and the emotional mental and social consequences of being sexually active as well. So good!! And the kids were really into it and I think it challenged them a lot in a great way! After CPR is dinner and then worship with Raoul and saturday night we watched the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and sunday we had our annual dance competition. Each team is to perform a traditional dance and every member of the team must be a part of it. 2 of the staff members that work with His Hope Uganda came for the show and I pulled them in to be guest judges. The kids were great!! I am always so impressed with their ability to dance, drum and sing. So wonderful!!
We ended the night with a bonfire where we roasted marshmellows and had sodas(a huge deal for the kids). Since it is the last night of camp, I am not strict about bedtime, although I was exhausted. I asked 2 of the guys who were counselors to be the last ones to bed and they agreed. I found out monday morning that most of the kids stayed up until around 3 with the last ones going to bed at 6AM!!! So glad I didn’t stay up. A fun opportunity to play and enjoy for the kids!
Monday is the last day at camp. We had a bit of a late start since the kids were up late, but after breakfast Raoul came with some guys who help lead worship with him at their church. It was really a good time!! The kids just gravitate toward Raoul. He’s definitely in the sweet spot of his giftings here. I finished up talking to the kids about where they are headed, personally, as a nation and as a believer in Christ. It was great and the kids really seemed to respond well to the message. Pastor Godfrey, the husband of one of our CPR teachers and a friend I met in 2010 came and he and I served communion to the kids. So sweet to offer each child by name the Lord’s Supper. Such a blessing!! Kimi the director of His Hope came and spoke to the children too this morning. I was sharing with the kids that they are responsible to share their story of God’s grace to them Sunday morning as I shared some of my testimony. Kimi realized that she hadn’t really ever shared her story with all the kids like this, so she came and shared. It was so sweet and tender to hear the story of how God had worked and changed her to bring her to Uganda and into each of their lives. So thankful for that chance and willingness of Kimi to come and share. CPR then came and finished up their final lesson before we headed to lunch and prepared to leave.
It is always sad to leave. But this I know for sure, I will be back and seeing most of these kids again. For that I am so thankful!!! This morning I was slightly distracted by the fact that my mom and dad were due to be coming in in the afternoon. I have been giddy throughtout the week, but today I was a little wacky even. I made a phone call to Emma my friend who drives me who was picking them up and it was my mom’s voice that I heard!! They were here in Uganda!!! I did a little happy dance right there and the kitchen staff looked at me rather strangely. When I explained why they all flashed huge smiles! Thank you all for your prayers that they would arrive safely!! The drive from Entebbe to Jinja is long, but I was still out at the Discovery Centre waiting for a ride back to town when my dad walked out onto the porch where I was sitting with Kimi and a couple of the couselors. I jumped up and into my dad’s arms. It is real!! They are here!! Seeing this place I love and meeting my Ugandan family. Today God answered a prayer I’ve been praying for 3 years!! Praise God who hears our prayers!!! I can’t wait for the rest of the adventure!!!
Please pray for a safe and healthy week here with mom and dad. Pray that they would adjust to the time and the heat quickly. And please pray that we would be productive in furthering the ministry of Abundant Life Ministries here in Uganda.
Thank you!! God is hearing your prayers!!! I am so thankful for you all!!
Kindri 🙂 <><