I often wonder if I should share the things that we see here. The reasons God has sent us here. Times are so tough for so many people and we all need a little more joy in our lives. That’s why I am writing I want so many to have joy, not happiness but joy. The joy that can only come for God. The joy that can only come from knowing He loves you and gave His everything for you even though you have made mistakes. Sad stories, do they bring joy? They may not bring you joy to read but maybe they will inspire you to go and be a joy maker. Jesus came for the sick, lost, broken and hurting. So if that is the case then those are the people we should be around. Those are the ones we have also been sent to. The title of this entry is based out of Isaiah 61, read it. We are smack dab in the middle of Isaiah 61 one here. It is hard, but it is beautiful.
This past few weeks I have been working on a case with the local authorities here in Uganda, along with probation and child and family protective services. I have been in and out of the local jail and prison. Why? A beautiful girl who has a broken story. A devastating past. A mom, who abandoned her baby just hours after giving birth, in a pit toilet, hoping, needing her child to die because she had no choice. Or at least she thought she had no choice. Meeting with her, loving on her, reminding her God loves her. Only to hear her say, she doesn’t deserve to be forgiven because she committed the worst sin anyone could ever commit as tears rolled down her eyes, as we speak just outside her prison cell. Her step sister was there with her also, in the cell listening to her share. Abuse, abandonment, being unwanted, unloved by so many. This young women’s heart is shattered in a million pieces and now we have to figure out where to start her healing process. Love. Love is the best place to start. Not judgment, but love.
Her sweet boy is two weeks old. We hope to reunify them soon. Why? How could we give him back after she left him to drown in a pit toilet? Her story. That’s how. She should have never had to endure what she did. She gave birth on the road side by herself. A dirt road, by herself, cutting the chord, delivering the placenta, by herself. Now she is facing a serious infection in her uterus from the delivery conditions and ulcers due to stress from her living conditions. So here we are traveling to jail, and now prison as we bring her food because she can’t eat beans because of her ulcers and every day it is beans and posho (a think white carbohydrate that fills you up with no real nutrients, all starch). So we brought food for a few days. No one visits her. There is no one here that cares about her.
My heart aches for her. She calls me her muzungu mom. Muzungu means white person. I took her to the hospital and was accompanied by two prison guards who sat one on each side of her in my backseat of my car. What a sight we were in town as we went to the clinic to have tests done and to pick meds. I was proud to be with her. I didn’t care what anyone thought. She was wearing the bright yellow dress that they have to wear in prison. So everyone stared at her, all wondering what she did. I just loved on her, reminded her she is okay and stayed by her side.
There are so many women like her in prison. Most of them for murder. Yup you heard me right. Murder. They have either killed or mamed their boyfriends or husbands, because of domestic violence. They reach a point after bottling it so long they can’t anymore, then they explode and lose control and retaliate against their significant other. Then they do time. Which they are grateful to be there and not at home. They would rather serve time than be beat everyday.
One of the prison guards looks at me, straight in my eyes, and says, “don’t stop at this one girl. You have to come back and help these women. They are hurting so much. They need someone to help them.” They have asked me to come and do a bible study with the women and men inmates. I am praying for the time and do all God has called me to do. I wish there was more resources of people to help share Jesus but I know God is going to send people. Timing. All in His timing. Those who wait on the Lord shall mount up on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31. So we wait on the Lord.
Along with this case I have been doing research on abortion statistics and pregnancy rates. Abortion is illegal here in Uganda but all too common and very dangerous. So many girls coming in each month to be treated for post abortion complications. As young as 13. It breaks my heart. I couldn’t believe the numbers I was seeing. This was just one hospital. One. How many more women suffer from the affects of abortion. How many babies lives are taken. How many women like this mom I am working with didn’t have any support and felt this was the only choice they had. Fear. It is ugly and can cause us to do things we would have never done if we had someone to help us work through our fears. I am being asked to help girls. I don’t even have an office yet, no staff. Yet the Lord has pulled the trigger of the pistol and the race has begun. I pray. I wait. I trust. I do what I can now. I love now. I visit. I pray. I bring food. I believe God will move.
Each month, in this one hospital anywhere from 56-107 girls ages 12-55 are treated for abortion complications. The young ones, who come in with serious bleeding will go to surgery and run away right after. They don’t register patients here like they do in the states. They treat the emergencies and register later. They run before they can be registered. So their numbers were lower but not because they aren’t there. It is a sad situation here. Fathers leave once they are pregnant, left on their own to now care for this child. Women having so many children they can’t take care of them, but cannot deny the husband (who has many wives) children. They quietly abort, believing they cannot care for any more children. It is a cycle that we are hoping to break. We will wage war and love these men and lead them to Jesus so they can love their wives, only one, and raise their children in the fear of the Lord. This cycle will be broken in Jesus name.
Last year alone over 1,000 women and young girls came in for post abortive complications. OVER 1000! In jsut one of the hospitals. I will be going to a second hospital next week. I am not sure I want to see the numbers. This past year there were 3,256 girls who came for prenatal care. So many of these women don’t want to be pregnant. They are truly caught in crisis situations. God has called us here to start a Crisis Pregnancy Center to help counsel these women and young girls who find themselves facing crisis and or unwanted pregnancies. We know God wants to heal them and save both momma and her baby. So we will do what we can to be the hands and feet of Christ.
Abandonment. That is not uncommon. Seven babies last year were abandoned to this one hospital. These are the ones that were found and brought in. So many are not found. It breaks my heart but many are never found. They go to heaven to be with God just hours after being born. Desperate mommas who are scared, feel trapped and feel as thought there is no other way. Some are abandoned and found by others and they raise them as their own. Never to be told to police. How many are truly abandoned. We will never know. But what I do know is we will be proactive in reaching these moms as soon as they find out they are pregnant so we can walk along side them to help them and support them in any way we can. It is going to be a huge ministry, thank God that He showed us this ahead of time or I might be a bit freaked out.
We will be developing the first foster care system in Northern Uganda as we partner with Child I Foundations, located in the capital of Kampala. Look them up. They do amazing work. We will also be starting a community watchmen program based out of Ezekiel. These volunteers will be keeping a watch on their own villages and keeping an eye and reporting on vulnerable families, girls and women so we can reach them at the very beginning of their crisis. We are so excited for all that God is doing, and will continue doing. Every girl is worth it. Every Man is worth it. We are family. We are one. We will do everything we can to see that we show them all the love of God, the love of Christ so that they will know who they are , who they have been created to be so they can fulfill Gods purpose for their lives.
God is going to change this nation as we storm the gates of hell. Warfare is real. Witchcraft is real. We know we have to be covered every day. Please pray for our family and for those whom God is sending us to, and bringing to us. We are available and humbly at His service, as His hands and His feet. Isaiah 58 speaks of the fast God requires. We fast like this unto the Lord.
Give thanks for all God has given to you. Sometimes we can take our eyes off God and unto our circumstances and forget all that we have to be thankful for. I am reminded every day as I serve Him here how blessed we are to just wake up, have food to eat, someone to love and a place to sleep. We have more than most people have. So give thanks, bless others and be Gods hands and feet wherever He has planted you. There are hurting people every where if we just keep our eyes open and look.
Thanks for taking this journey with us. We love each of you.