About sixteen years ago Abdul was born the first son to the first wife of a wealthy Ugandan. That’s a coveted spot in a Ugandan family because it means you get the inheritance. Abdul’s father was a shrewd businessman and owned his village’s only grain mill so the family name carried with it some prestige and celebrity. It also meant the inheritance was large.
Every firstborn son knows he’s damned if his mother dies. He goes to bed a beloved son but in the morning he becomes a thing of prey. If he’s eliminated, the son of another wife can steal his birthright and leave him nameless. Penniless. Surrendered to the world like a Prodigal Son who will never be welcomed back. So many firstborn sons are poisoned, murdered, or coldly driven away at the hand of their new stepmothers.
And so it was with Abdul. His mother was the first of three wives and at the time of her death, his new stepmother, the second wife, forced Abdul’s father to disown him and send him to “M”. He has been there since the age of about eleven and he will stay there until eighteen. I can’t predict his fate after that but I doubt it will be pleasant if no one intervenes.
It’s not just the toddlers and young boys that need a fresh start, it’s the older boys too. The ones who’ve seen depravity through an older set of eyes and managed to survive it. I’m sure Abdul is painfully aware of his situation but does he know his Ugandan father is only part of his story? Does he know the One True God is the father who will never abandon him? Does he understand he’s fit for an eternal inheritance?
Sixty Feet will soon be back on the ground at “M” and although we know we aren’t there to solve all their problems, we are on the lookout for any chance to be the hands and feet of Christ. We know bandages and hot meals aren’t the only way to do this- we’re also focused on loving these children as our own and fighting for their souls.