This post is from Emily Ryan who has been serving with us in Uganda for the past 18 months. While she has been here, Emily has been involved in nearly every aspect of our ministry and currently focuses her efforts on reuniting children with their families through our resettlement program.
“I see heaven invading this place. I see angels praising your holy name, and I sing praises, I sing praises. I give you all of the honor Jesus.
I see glory falling in this place. I see hope restored and healing of all disease and I sing praises, I sing praises. I give all the glory Jesus.
We give you praise and all of the honor. You are our God, the one we live for. We give you praise, all of the glory, God. “– I See Heaven” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt
Last Tuesday night I received a call from one of our social workers. 108 children were expected to arrive at M1 that night. 108; the population of M1 was going to increase by 30%, in a matter of minutes. 108 children coming from the streets – maybe with clothes on, most likely without shoes, and definitely hungry.
Our staff at M1 were preparing; they needed money for food, clothes, blankets, and mattresses so the children didn’t have to sleep on the cold, hard cement floors. Hours later, 43 children climbed out of a pick-up truck (we are still expecting the others any day). Terrified, lonely, away from their moms, cold, and hungry.
And we were in Kampala, an hour away. The only thing we could do was pray. Pray that these children immediately experience the love of Christ through our staff. Pray that these children see Jesus as our staff mobilizes to treat their medical needs, comfort their sorrows, find out where their families are living, tell them about Jesus. All we could do was pray that the Lord would provide the financial resources for SixtyFeet so that these 43 young children could eat, sleep under a blanket, and receive necessary medical treatment.
When we showed up to M1 yesterday, eager to hold and comfort scared children, we saw the Lord answer each and every one of our cries for His help and provision. The LORD, through generous donations, allowed us to provide for these children’s basic needs. Our medical team was amazing and met every child, tested them all for HIV, dewormed them, and entered them into our system. But, above and beyond, these children experienced Jesus. They cried out to Him in fear and met Him in those dark places. Our staff sang songs of worship with them, prayed with them, and taught them about Christ.
In a government-system where we never know when a child is going to arrive or depart, the greatest gift we can give them is a hope beyond this world. A trust in a God who sees them, knows them, and promises to fight for them.
We will never understand why these children are forced to fend for their lives on the streets, rounded-up and taken to prison, some only 2 years old. But, I know that the LORD ordains the desert and the valley in our lives to show us more of Him. And I have seen Jesus in one of the darkest places; I have experienced Him at M1- in our staff, in the children’s lives, in children who have been resettled and now are leaders in their communities and churches. Jesus is working.
In the past few weeks since I have been back in Uganda, the Lord has revealed His work and His power to me. There have been days that we have woken up with little funds to treat children who need to go to the hospital, no money to follow-up on a resettled child or even buy gas to travel to the prisons. But each time, as we daily bow our knees for His provision, He has met our needs. There truly is no better place to be then completely dependent on the sovereign God who provides.
So each time He shows Himself mighty, strong, and full of love, we praise Him. We praise Him for His faithfulness, His provision, and that He reveals Himself to these little children.
And we continue to pray. We pray for the short time we get to know these children, that they will experience Jesus and His love, that they will come to know the God who sees them when they are scared or alone; the God who protects and sustains them, even when its in a situation, like at M1, that seems so broken.
And we pray for SixtyFeet. We pray for our staff who daily minister to the children, we pray for donations to be made, but most importantly we pray that He would be made known, revealed, and glorified in our lives and in our work.