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Soap and Restoration in Jesus Name

A few days ago, the children and staff at M1 piled into the dining hall to learn a new skill: liquid soap-making.

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The atmosphere is changing in this place where children used to wander idly and needs were profound. Now that basic needs are being met – including food security, medical care, and counseling – we are able to pursue the vision of long-term restoration. We are able to ask the question “How do we help these children thrive once they leave M1?” We are able to link arms with gifted, passionate individuals who desire to share their gifts with these children.

One of those individuals is named Agnes. She teaches soap-making and candle-making to groups of different sizes and demographics, and we invited her to lead a training class at M1.

We were unsure what the response from the children would be, but it did not take long to gauge their interest. As Agnes began teaching, there was an overwhelming request for some way to take notes.

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The Owens in Uganda

We started out normal enough. Just a daddy, a mommy, a little girl, and a baby boy. Dan was a corporate software executive. I stayed at home with our little ones. Life was good and busy and our plates were full.

If someone had told us back in 2006, at the time this picture was taken, what our lives and our family would look like in 2014, we’d never have believed them. In our defense, this is a rather drastic difference:

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Sampson – A Success Story

The work of resettling children is difficult and labor intensive. So when we have a story as inspiring and uplifting as Sampson’s, we can’t help but share it. Our gospel-soaked counseling program is seeing some tangible results and the response that Sampson has to it makes all the long hours worth while. The following account comes from our 2nd quarter report submitted to the UG government regarding our work in returning children to their families.

Nyesiga Sampson* is a 13 year-old boy who we met at M1. The M1 staff identified Sam as a street child needing to be resettled, so we enrolled Sam in the Resettlement Counseling class, traced for his family, and resettled him.

Sampson Going Home

One month after resettlement, we completed a follow-up visit and we quickly learned that Sam was doing wonderful. His mom was so grateful for how Sam had changed. She reported that Sam no longer goes to the streets, works hard at home, and does what he is asked. His mom committed to finding a school for Sam and trusted that God would provide for his education.

In May 2014, we completed a second follow-up visit. Sam met our criteria for additional aid, so we visited the mother and Sam to follow-up and pay school fees. During the follow-up discussions, we learned that Sam had fulfilled one of our visions for the children: “to transform society by becoming a leader”.

* His name has been changed to protect his identity.

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As a child.

(Today’s post is from Maggie Utsey, one of our staff serving the children in Uganda.)

Jesus did only what he saw his Father doing.

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John 5:19)

When I come to the end of knowing, I’m pushed to the very place where I should begin – sitting at my Father’s feet, seeking. Listening.

When I come to the end of myself and give up the struggle to figure it out on my own, He quiets me with His love. He speaks to my spirit that’s now calm enough to hear.

“My child”, He says, “do you remember Solomon?”

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Tension

Mar’eh is translated appearance and refers to ”what is seen”, the “outward appearance” and it “can be deceptive in nature”. Oxford Dictionary defines it as “an impression given by someone or something, although this may be misleading”; it is what is visible, or noticeable, what is shown.

The way that things APPEAR, the way they look to us, does not always indicate the truth. For, “the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

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There are two things going-on in every situation…there is the visible and the underlying truth. The Lord sees the truth, while we see impressions, on which we make judgments.