Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tough Stuff

The team joined us on Wednesday, and we've been together ever since ministering to the kids at Upendo as well as doing the Saturday program today. It has been so busy and between doing the ministry work, spending time with team members, writing in our journals, and sleeping it's been hard to find time to update the blog much.

Yesterday was a very tough day. We had to say good bye to the kids at Upendo because they're going on their break from school. They go home to stay with their relatives. Some stay with Uncles, sisters, or grandparents. Almost as soon as we arrived out at Upendo, the taxi came to take some of the kids to Igamba. So the good-byes began immediately.

We were doing ok, holding it together as best we could. We connected with these kids so quickly and strongly this year. They kept coming up to us and hugging us. Then they would walk away and come back a few minutes later and hug us again and again. But one of the kids came walking toward us and when she reached my dad she started crying and we all lost it.

Having made such a connection with the kids and knowing where they're going to spend the next few weeks is so tough. And just as bad was the kids who are not allowed to go back. There are a few who are too sickly to go. My mom found Joy collapsed on her bed just sobbing uncontrollably because she wanted to go but couldn't. It is literally a matter of life and death for her but it doesn't matter. It's still her family and still her home. So we had kids crying because they had to stay and others crying because they had to go. By the end of the day we were emotionally spent.

Today was an emotionally easier with time to spend at the childcare center at Masajja with the kids. My friend Karen was able to meet her sponsored child for the first time and it was so great to see that connection being made. I was able to meet with some of the kids whose sponsors we know.

So we're just a little over halfway through our trip. Still so much ministry left, but yesterday was just the beginning of the tough stuff. We'll soon be leaving for Igamba and there are many more good-byes left.

We appreciate your prayers, and ask that you would continue to pray that God will use us to make a difference in the lives of these people.

- Aly

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