I'm kneeling on the carpet in front of the wood stove, praying into the wood chips and the ash, like I do many nights now when my family falls asleep.
It's been a month since I walked the slums of Katwe, Uganda in my pink shirt and blue jeans. The air smelled like despair there-- like salt and soil--and I touched every hand possible, picked up every baby, because I couldn't hold Africa tight enough.
It was a reunion for this girl who lived in the Congo and Nigeria for two years, my Dad a missionary with Christian Blind Mission. In spite of the garbage in the streams, the barefooted babies with malnourished bellies, the aching fatigue of collapsing shacks, I was home.
And this has made coming back to Canada more than difficult.
We were gone for nine days -- four days of travel, three days in Uganda, and two days in Rwanda, and yet it felt like a lifetime.
It's made me fall on my knees, night after night, weeping for the memory of children without mothers or fathers, without food or water, without clothes. Children who had green snot running down their faces and no doctor to rush them to. I weep over the lethargy and hopelessness of life in the slums -- and yet, there was Mama Evah, rescuing babies, taking them with her to her orphanage, Destiny Villages of Hope, and nursing them back to health.
But oh, with every ache of this mother's breath, I want to end the pain -- I want to pack up and move to Uganda and give those babies a home and it's been the hardest surrender.
Yet I know a Savior whose flag flies higher. I know a God who claims to do the impossible, and even as I fall on my face in my comfortable house in the snowy north of Alberta, Canada, I can see Jehovah rising furious over the slums of Africa and then gently placing down servants to bring about mercy.
Because when I walked those streets in Kampala, it wasn't me bending down to hold those children -- it was God's love exploding through my skin. Desperate to let his people know he cares.
He sees those HIV-positive babies lying in the dirt crying for mothers who won't come because they're dead. He sees those teenage boys sniffing glue to numb their hunger pains. He sees those grandmothers working 20-hour days to find enough food for their dead daughter's children who lie on the dirt floor while chickens defecate around them. And the 400 families who lost everything in the fires that recently ripped through northern Uganda? Yeah, he sees them too.
And He weeps.
Because it's not fair.
So I beat the floor when I cry. And I know I'm not the only one to return from Africa and feel this way. But the question is:
What are we going to do about it?
Because it's not enough to have a "changed perspective." That trip was not about me. It was about God inviting me into his heart -- and his dreams -- for Africa.
So here's what we as World Help Bloggers were intending to do.
We did rolls and rolls of art with the boys and girls of Destiny (see here), and we planned to auction off those original paintings on canvas, so that Phases 2 and 3 of Mama Evah's baby rescue homes could be funded.
And then the art never arrived with us in Rwanda. It was (most likely) stolen. We checked it in Kampala when we should have carried it on board. And the rolls of canvas, along with soccer balls we were bringing for the children of Kigali, went missing.
It was devastating, yes. But, we have a God who is bigger than stolen art. A heavenly father who loves these children more than we ever could, who can redeem any situation.
So here is Plan B to raise money for Mama Evah's Baby Rescue Homes.
We have raised 25% of the necessary amount for Phase 2 of the building project, but we still need to come up with $26,000 more.
We want to give you this beautiful printed copy of the original art by Destiny's children, featuring a hand-print of one of the students (#rescueart).
• Any gift amount ($2, $5, however much you can give): And you will receive a high-resolution digital print proof of the artwork above.
• A gift of $100+: And you will receive a 16 x 20 print matted and set in a 20 x 24 frame.
Just click HERE to donate now, and you will receive art from our beautiful Ugandan friends saying Thank You...
for helping Mama Evah build TWO NEW baby rescue homes.
And would you help us share about this post?
Here are two tweets we've made up for you, so it's easy to spread the word about #rescueart:
Thank you, friends.
We cannot fix the world. But we can give these babies a future.
(This post also appeared over HERE at (in)courage)