Saturday 16 – 23 August.
This period of time has taken us by storm. The first wave of excitement arose on Saturday evening the 16th when Papa & Mama received an urgent call from the police. Two little children had been abandoned in a local village and had taken to the local police station. It was very late in the evening when Mama, Papa and Katie (a young missionary from USA) set-out to collect the children. So it wasn’t until the next day that we found out further details. Two beautiful abandon children, a little girl aged 15 – 16 months, and a baby boy approximately 6 months was left on someone’s doorstep. They both appear to have been well cared for, although both arrived with various health issues which are being attended to by the medical staff at Noah’s Ark clinic.
I don’t think Colin or I will ever understand how people can just walk away from their beautiful children. We understand that sometimes it is out of desperation, but mostly it’s out of inconvenience or fear. Often it can be that a mother has a new man in her life who gives her an ultimatum – ‘Get rid of your children or I’ll leave’.
The next day being Sunday, Mama bathed and dressed the babies ready to dedicate them to God in the afternoon service. This is a time where the children sing their welcome song, and the child’s new name is announced to the wider family. Some do hear the baby’s new name before then – this being the case on this occasion. Colin was informed by a phone text from Mama that the young baby boy had been named baby ‘Colin’, and the little girl was named baby ‘Katie’.
Colin felt very humbled – more so when he and I were asked to take part in the dedication service. Baby Colin was prayed over, and then passed to Colin to hold. Colin had a hard time giving him back to Mama. We have been fortunate enough to have had baby Colin overnight to help Mama catch up on some well-earned sleep. We can also go over to the home and feed him his bottle and take him out for a short while. Look at baby Colin… he is soooo cute – actually all the children are.
Baby ‘Katie’ sitting on Auntie Katie’s knee
This week has been special in another way also – it was my birthday on Tuesday the 19th and I got to celebrate it with sooo many. I was hoping for a quiet unannounced birthday, but NO – tell one child and you might just as well have told the whole world.
Colin and I were given the opportunity to go into Kampala city using a Noah’s Ark’s vehicle and driver. We sneaked off early and had a most enjoyable day shopping, etc. But not before receiving an early morning phone call from our daughter Vikki, wishing me a happy birthday. It was such a surprise and awesome to hear her voice.
One of our purchases in Kampala was a cheap set of outdoor furniture so we can have somewhere to play board games with the children. This has been well used this week – being school holidays. We only got a table and four chairs, but often times there are 10 – 12 children standing around cheering for the worst move from the winner. Somehow methinks we should have got a bigger table with more chairs.
Colin playing snakes and ladders with a couple of children
I digress – getting back to my birthday treat in Kampala. On returning home the driver pulled up outside our unit and stepped out. Unexpectedly, children came screaming from everywhere, doors were hauled open and in they piled. There would have been fifteen children inside the car and many more standing outside all shouting ‘happy birthday aunty Bev’. I couldn’t move from where I was sitting, they’d wedged me in while all trying to give me a birthday kiss at the same time. The poor driver had to shout at them to get them to move out, and one of the aunties from the home quickly came down and shepherded them back to the playground. I was so overwhelmed by their love; some children had even made birthday cards and pushed them under our door while we were out. It didn’t finish there either. Marilyn and Warwick had invited us down for tea, and when we got there Piet and Pita (Mama & Papa) were also there. We had a most enjoyable time, and the evening ended with birthday cake and gifts. Then when we finally got home and I switched on my computer, I found emails from family and friends – I was and am blessed. I will endeavour to answer all birthday greeting emails – it just might take a little time – something I’m short of at the moment.
Nan and Pop would like to add a special note to our granddaughter Jamie: ‘Enjoy your holiday Jamie Jack, take care – we love you dearly. And No! We aren’t going to adopt baby Colin, but maybe we will be lucky enough to be one of his sponsors.’
The past 2 weeks have been a bit more relaxed for Colin. This has coincided with school holidays, and has provided him with opportunities to spend time playing with the kids in the school playground while they are being overseen by some of the aunties.
Noah’s Ark also runs a holiday program for the kids aged about 8 years upwards. There is a wide range of activities including helping with practical jobs in the home, and workshop activities at a simple level. Colin has been helping them on a few occasions with the construction of gutter boards. Besides learning some very basic skills – which the students enjoy – they will also have the excitement of having competitions with other children using the boards. We are aiming to make about 15 – 20 gutter boards which can be used for a variety of games with a soft ball about the size of a tennis ball. Generally the ball is thrown at the face of the board and caught when bouncing back. Distance and speed can make it more competitive.
Gutter Boards on Workshop Bench
Part of the workshop where Colin spends a far bit of his time.
Hey, guess what. After 3 months here, we at last have some drawers in the kitchen – 7 to be exact. They were a mission (excuse the pun) to make, as the steel frames under the bench top are out of square in every direction. So each drawer had to be custom fitted. But it is a bit more Uganda luxury anyway, and a blessing to have.
Until next time,
Colin & Bev