More than ever during this trip we felt the tug and pull between the progress we are seeing in the lives of the children and the hurt and suffering that continues to surround us while we're there. We see positive changes, but we also see the scars that past hurt has left behind. We see people rising up out of the suffering, and others who are crushed by the circumstances they face.
And at times it's too much to bear. My mom said something today that really hit me. While we were in Uganda she was really resisting the trip to Igamba. That village is a very difficult place to visit and she knows that. We were initially supposed to spend a week there with the team joining us at the end of the week. Expenses kept us with the team, but my mom had really been resisting it anyways because she knew how much it would break her heart to be there. So we only ended up spending two full days there and it completely broke us. She said it was as if God was saying He didn't need a week to break our hearts for those people. All He needed was two days, nine home visits. That was all it took. We visited homes of kids we've known for years. We saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. We saw families thriving from the support they receive through AMG. But we also saw families completely crushed by life's circumstances.
A father leaves and now the mother can't provide food for her three children. Kids who are going to stay for two weeks and face the mother who abandoned them and left them without food for years. And the hardest part is the depth of love and connection we have with these kids. One of these kids was one of our sponsored children who stays at Upendo (she was home during her school vacation). The others were also from Upendo. Kids we consider as a part of our family, that we love as our own. And to have them sobbing in my arms, soaking my shirt with their tears is so hard. But then to leave them and come home, it's even harder.
A team member took this picture while we were visiting one home in Igamba. I think it perfectly captures the hurt and despair each of us was facing at that time.
At home we can hardly walk past each other without breaking out in tears. There's still so much to work through in our minds and hearts, reconciling the hopeless with the hopeful. Please continue to pray for us, but more importantly pray for the children we left behind. Pray that God's presence will be felt with them. Pray for their hearts.