Back to buvuma.
From the moment that our little boat nudged into the shore of Buvuma Island, I could tell that something was different. The voices coming from Kikongo School seemed higher pitched than last time, full of joy and anticipation. Children ran down from their classrooms to greet us, faces stretched tight into some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen.
These children knew that today, for the very first time, they were getting shoes and sweaters.
All 218 of them assembled in the school chapel, and a group of girls presented us with song and dance for entertainment. Deborah, my sweet little girl who will one day become a nurse, was among them.
My heart overflowed with emotion for these children, so very excited to receive what we consider such a basic necessity.
Some students were obvious in their gratitude. With tears in his eyes, one boy continually shook my hand and said thank you. Several girls dropped to their knees, a cultural sign of respect.
Other children showed no emotion whatsoever. That’s not to say that they weren’t grateful, or that they didn’t understand what was happening. But one thing I’ve learned here is that emotions are often secondary to survival instincts. It’s just not in some of them to be kids.
For most of these kids, if not all, shoes and sweaters are the only gifts that they will receive for Christmas this year. And yet, all of these children have heard the truth about Christmas, even if they have yet to accept it. They have heard that the greatest gift they could ever receive is a relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. And that gift is only as a result of a baby boy born in a manger in Bethlehem.
Friends, I don’t ever want to lose focus on the true meaning of Christmas. The decorations are festive, the movies are great, and the gifts are wonderful, but nothing that could ever come close to Jesus, who came down to earth so that we might have eternal life in heaven one day. He has clothed us in dignity, wiped away our tears, and loved us with an everlasting love.
I truly believe with all of my heart that these children know this to be true. There's just something magical about Kikongo School, and I feel that it is the presence of the Holy Spirit.
And though an immediate physical need has been met, these children continue to wait. They don't know it yet, but we are praying that by this coming April, two dormitories will be built on the school property for them to stay. This means three hot meals a day. This means sleeping in a bed, rather than a mat on the floor. This means that young children will no longer have to fend for themselves when their families are away at work. This means no more walking ridiculous distances. This means sleeping later and being more alert for school.
This means everything.
So now we enter into yet another season of waiting. Waiting on the Lord to move and provide the funding for a boarding school that has been a dream at Kikongo School for over 10 years. Waiting on Him to come and deliver us during this season of Advent.
Like children waiting on a pair of shoes, I will wait in joyous anticipation for my King to come. And I am so very excited to see Him.
Please pray that the funding for the Kikongo Boarding School will come in quickly, so that students may move in to their new homes by April/May. Give online here.
Please pray that the funding for The Safe Haven, a hostel for university women, would also come in quickly so that my girls can move in soon. Give online here.
Please pray for WGM: Uganda as we have our Annual General Meeting on Saturday. This is where we hear from each ministry about what God has been doing!
Several members of our team have made emergency trips to the States this week to visit with sick and dying family members. Please pray for peace and comfort as they say goodbye to their loved ones, for safety as they travel, and for the family that was left behind here in Uganda.
Please pray over my final two weeks in Uganda, that I would continue to experience Him and soak up every available moment.