Today is filled with many emotions. I have had a wonderful time here, met some incredible people, been treated so well, and I've had the most gracious host family taking care of me. It will be hard to leave without shedding a few tears.
Today, I said my farewells at the radio station. The Lord allowed me to speak on the importance of prayer, powerful and effective prayer, from James 5. I signed off with "Praise the Lord" and "Good-bye" in Luganda. The young men that are working there all are success stories from Impact ministry and the orphanage. Many of the guys, were street boys, and picked up in their early years. Now they are growing into young, God-fearing men. My heart breaks though, because they want to go to college so bad, but they have no means to do so. Somehow they still praise God and because of that, they are such an inspiration to me.
We also went by the orphanage for a final visit. However, many children already had gone to see relatives as today began their mini-holiday. It's like spring break, but for 2 weeks. But there were still many there as some don't have a place to go and the orphanage will provide food for all of them 3 times a day.
As a person who believes in developing and maintaining relationships, I will keep in touch with this Impact Ministry. The orphanage and faith radio. It's so important that after we "Go," that we simply don't just return and fall back into our old routine. There is a lot of opportunity here and I look forward to sharing more when I return. There are a few ideas that have come to mind during my time here and as I will share more as I get some clarity and more refined direction. One idea includes a sponsorship program.
As to not take up all of your time with a lengthy email, I want to give you a little insight to the working landscape here. There is very little industry here that provide opportunities for young people, especially ones that are orphans. Most of the small shops and food vendors at the market are family owned and operated. They don't exactly have enterprising businesses here. There is no such thing as a fast food restaurant and you can forget a grocery store or wal-mart. Children that are orphans cannot just go down the road an apply for a job.That said, these young people WANT to work, they understand the value of earning a dollar. They are willing to wear themselves out for only pennies day. I wish I could give them all a college education and send them to University.
It's really been put on my heart this trip that through feeding the younger ones and providing them an education, we are giving them a chance at life....but what happens when those children become high school seniors and have to go back to the street because they can't get a job or afford to college? That is not what is intended. I have fallen in love with the children, the babies, all the little angels, but my heart is so saddened by these teenagers who are about to finish school, they've beaten every odd, they've been given hope when there was none, and then to be given little to no option for future success? Where can we step in? What can we do?
Well, as I pray about that, I encourage feedback. If anyone has ideas, please feel free to let me in. There is obviously more to discuss about the culture and work-life here. It's just so different than the U.S., but our hearts are the same...our dreams and goals are the same.
As I wrap up my final email, I want to express my gratitude for your support. Thank you for reading each word of these emails and thank you for believing in my passion. This trip would not have been possible had God not laid it on your hearts to give. Thank you for the donations. The children were so happy with all the gifts, and as I call it, the Agape (love). Thank each of your for being the light in the dark world. I am amazed at the support I have received on this journey and just because you may not have been here physically, you were all in my heart. I would not have had the strength to do this on my own, so thank you for endless hours of prayer and continued words of encouragement. I am blessed beyond measure!
This will be my last email from Uganda. I will try to send a quick email letting everyone know I returned to the states safely. I will arrive around 2:30pm (ET) Sunday.