Esther is a mother of four children (17, 15, 12, and 10 years old). The wrinkles that lined her face and the missing teeth in her smile, showed the stressful 30 years of her life. That’s right, do the math, her first child she had when she was only 13 years old. Widowed after her second child, she has had to fight with all she has to survive for her children alone. Going from job to job, streets to peoples homes, she and her family finally found a place to live in a 6’x 3′ “home” (more like a room) on the back of a 3 bedroom home. Her story brought not only her to tears but mine as well.
We praise the Lord that she has been born again. And her only prayer request was “a place for my children to live after I die.” Only making less than $2 USD a day carrying/selling water to her neighbors, she hopes one day she can afford to not only support her children’s school fees (none are able to attend because of the lack of finances) but also a home for them. She is also HIV positive. Her days are numbered, our days are numbered. It reminds me of the plenty we have and yet we are not satisfied in our culture. But with the little she has, she smiles at the mention of her children and prays for them, “to meet the Jesus [she has] met that continues to provide for her.”
Another day in this beautiful country, another powerful ministry opportunity!
We partnered with Watoto Church 360 this Friday the 13th! The name Watoto not only rolls off the tongue in a fun way (WA-toe-toe) it means “children” in Swahili, as in we are all children of God. Watoto 360 is a passionate division of the church, for gap year programs for college/young adults.
One of their responsibilities is helping to rehabilitate individuals in the slums by coming alongside them, meeting with them monthly, and helping brainstorm ideas to make those in the slums be self sustaining for their families and for their futures. Their motto, “a hand up, not a hand out.”
We first met the staff of Watoto 360 and were introduced to the program before breaking up into 8 different groups. Loading the buses and taxis took a bit of time but not long before heading out to these individuals living in the slums. We came bearing “glorious gifts” which was incredibly humbling because they were as simple as a bag rice, beans, sugar, and soap.
We turned corners, hopped over the small streams and piles of trash, to get to 8 women in different parts in the slums and befriend them. They shared their stories and their broken hearts, and then our hearts were broken as we prayed over them individually.
Our students got only a small taste of poverty that we pray will stay with them for a lifetime. For their hearts to break for what breaks the heart of God.
For the Uganda Family,
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