**WARNING: This post is a little longer than usual, so if you don’t have time to read it all, please just skip down to the quoted area below.**
Hello blog friends. Yes, this is my second post today. It’s a rainy, windy day here in Nashville, and Yohannes and I are chillin’ at home. I’ve been struggling with what to do with this blog for a few weeks now. I want to use it to keep our out-of-town friends and family up-to-date on what’s going on with us. BUT, I also want to do so much more. I want to encourage people through our journey to step out in faith and participate in making a difference in the orphan crisis. I want to challenge people (including our family) to live for something other than just themselves.
If I just sit on my couch and blog about the fun things we get to do as a family, it’s just not worth the time in my opinion. Blogging takes time, and while I really enjoy it, I want to accomplish something that matters through that time. I’ve been incredibly challenged about the orphan crisis since we got home. My mind constantly wonders what can also be done in the area of family preservation – so that moms never have to make the gut-wrenching decision that Yohannes’s birth mom made. Whether she realizes it or not, she will forever be part of our lives in one way or another. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and grieve in some way for her loss. My mind races at times during the day, and I pray that God will guide us and show us what’s next for our family. I don’t want to sit back and say, “Well, we adopted a little boy – our job is done.” I desperately want to continue to make a difference in the lives of hurting people here in our city and around the world. My heart will forever be connected to Ethiopia, and I long to continue to make a difference in that country – even if it’s in a small way. In many ways I feel like our journey in this area of life has just begun.
So, why am I taking the time to write all of these ramblings today??? Because our friend and worship leader, Josh, is in Uganda right now and has shared some devastating news that demands action. I just wanted to share the need and give you the opportunity to help. Here are his words:
I want to come before you all with a great need. But I believe it’s not too great for our God.
I came to know of an orphanage just outside the city of Entebbe called Mercy Home. I was told it was a thriving place with about 70 children, a few of whom were musicians who needed some guidance and encouragement. I instantly took interest in coming to this home to hang out with the children and help out in any way I could.
When I arrived in Uganda about a week ago I got a very disturbing email concerning the state of Mercy Home. It literally made me sick to my stomach to read this email. It was from an American guy named Robert Fleming who runs another orphanage in Entebbe (Malayaka House) and has been visiting Mercy Home regularly. It’s a COMPLETE DISASTER at Mercy Home right now. There is no paid staff there anymore, and no one is taking care of the kids. They’ve been abused and abandoned by the former leadership. The founder of the orphanage has married and since moved to the States, and seems to have washed her hands of the whole thing. Apparently the leadership (her included) had been stealing a great majority of the money coming in for years while covering up the whole thing, leaving the kids empty handed and broken-hearted. They had even sold all but 4 of the children’s mattresses and taken the money for themselves. One of the men “Uncle Bob” is now going to jail for sexually abusing the girls at the home. It is utterly sickening. Absolutely disheartening. But I believe it’s not too far gone that it can’t be turned around. And I believe our God is big enough to accomplish this. No question. Children here are very resilient. If you give them a little, they can thrive. These orphans HAD been given a second chance, then it was ripped from them. I want to help give these forgotten children a TRUE second chance. If I accomplish ANYTHING from being here in Uganda, I want to help see these children be restored. In the name of JESUS.
Whether these kids need to be transplanted to other homes, or if this place can be rebuilt is still to be seen. Time will tell. But SOMETHING must be done.
There is one immediate need that I believe can be met very easily and quickly, IF we will rise up and ACT. School here in Uganda is not free, and these fees are not exactly attainable for most here. Dozens of the children from Mercy Home are being threatened to be kicked out of school for their last term because they (obviously) can’t pay their remaining school fees – about $2000 total. Let me re-iterate. 2000 DOLLARS. For ALL of them. That’s NOTHING for you and me. If we can start anywhere, let us start here. I want to bring this need before you and ask that you pray about and consider giving (even just a little of what you have) to help see these kids through the rest of the school year. This is a baby step. And very doable. If you would like to give CLICK HERE.
In Isaiah, God tells us very plainly, “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” What a promise! And what a challenge for us! To spend ourselves on behalf of the weak, the poor, and the helpless…
Please, keep all of this in your prayers. Please pray for these poor children. Please pray for wisdom and discernment in what needs to happen next at Mercy Home.
I know many of you who follow this blog are either in the adoption (and in many cases – fundraising) process yourself. Others of you recently gave generously (and in many cases – sacrificially) to help us in our adoption fundraising efforts. We desperately want to do our part to help these children have the opportunity to continue to attend school by giving ourselves and helping spread the word about their most urgent need. If you’re interested in donating toward the $2000 needed, please click HERE, follow the link Josh has listed, and know that you will be making a HUGE difference in their lives.
As I write these words, Yohannes is snuggled up against me on the couch, and I’m reminded that he could easily have been in this situation. It brings tears to my eyes and grief to my heart knowing that there are children JUST LIKE HIM – precious children – who desperately need us to step up and do something on their behalf. Those children aren’t just a statistic or the subjects of a newspaper article. They are real kids just like him that deserve to be loved and fought for. Thanks for reading and considering how you can help. If you have any questions about this opportunity, please use the “CONTACT” button at the top of the page to send me a message.