Monday morning we loaded the bus and headed to the Karamajong Village just outside of Jinja. When we arrived to the village children came running towards our bus smiling and waving and yelling. Their faces were so beautiful When we got off the bus there were kids everywhere. All of them wearing dirty, tattered clothing. All of them sick with coughing and runny noses. We met children with HIV and children who had no parents. My heart was sad for the condition of their poverty
I got excited when I heard the kids speak to me in English. Some had better English than others. One little girl I met, Sagal kept petting and poking at me. She was such a cutie.
Carro asked me if I lived with my mother and then told me she didn’t know who her parents were. Namanya was wearing only a baggy tee shirt. She didn’t even have a pair of panties on.. I wrapped my scarf around her while she sat in my lap and held onto my finger. She was so little, she hardly weighed anything. I told Carro that she does have a Father, the same Father as me. He made the sky and the ground and you and me and He is our Father. I think she couldn’t understand what I meant because she just shook her head and said, “I don’t know my father.” Then, in broken English she told me she would like to go to my home and be with me. I didn’t know what to say I just hugged her. When it was time to get back on the bus I wasn’t ready to leave Carro and Namanya. I hugged them both again and again and when I gave Namanya back to her sister she started crying so I picked her up again and she stopped. My heart broke for her. I knew that must be the story of her life- anytime someone picks her up, they always put her back down again, they always leave her.
As the bus began to drive away kids were running up to my window trying to sell me beads. Other kids kept yelling, “Sweets! Sweets!” while they rubbed their belly and pouted their lips. And then, in the wave of Ugandan voices I heard a little girl calling my name. It was Carro. She had left her little sister to follow me to the bus, just to say good bye. Some of the kids just wanted to sell me their beads to make a profit from me, others just wanted my candy, but Carro knew me. She knew my name and I knew her. And I loved her. And God just opened my eyes to his relationship with his church. Apart from Christ, we just want God’s stuff, we want to make a profit from him, we want his candy. But when God calls us out of darkness and we turn to him we know Him and we don’t go to him to get his stuff, we just want him because we know him and love him and he knows us and knows us by name
Of course, I don’t want to give the impression that I was angry that the kids were trying to sell me their beads or wanted my candy- they need money and they are just kids so of course they love sweets I loved and felt compassion for all of those little kids. But it was so cool to ‘know’ little Carro and her sweet little sister Namanya and for God to use that to show me his love for his people.
Earlier that day Carro told me she liked me and as our bus drove away I yelled out the window, “Carro I love you!” and she hollered back, “Love you too!” and then I just starred out my window as we drove down the road looking at the little shacks and I cried and cried. I prayed, ‘God please give them a family.’