Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ndyamuhaki Joseph


Apparently being pregnant really does mean you have lots of crazy hormones that do things like make you hyper-emotional. I love reading, and I've been stuck at home (due also to pregnancy issues - aka really bad morning sickness) Tragically, on Monday I ran out of books to read -- so I got online to read some of my favorite blogs - and stumbled upon Compassion International's "Uganda Blog Week" - I spent most of the day reading the blogs of people who had gone with Compassion to Uganda to meet their sponsored kids, and describe some of the stuff that Compassion is doing over there. Their accounts were incredible - I spent most of the day with tears streaming down my face . . . and as a result, Adam and I decided we needed to sponsor a child from Uganda. So, meet Ndyamuhaki Joseph (who Adam has already decided we will call "Aki") He is 3 years old and an orphan. He lives with his grandmother in a small home (by the way - that's not his ACTUAL home but one that is typical of the area he lives in) He has 5 brothers and sisters, and enjoys soccer and singing -- how cute is he??!! We were thinking about our own little one and hoping that someday our child can pray for Ndyamuhaki with us, and learn about other countries, about how rich we really are and about what it means to give. Adam and I are excited to see how our gift every month can be multiplied over there. We will give $32 a month, while the typical person's monthly wages in his village are the equivalent of just $3 a month!

Watching the videos, seeing the pictures and reading the descriptions of the way these kids live and the poverty they grow up in, of course, prompted me to think about the kiddos I work with downtown Atlanta. Some of our friends who have been to Africa on a missions trip tell us that our descriptions of the projects and how they live is similar to what they experienced over there --- of course, the kids in Atlanta live in actual homes with four walls, electricity and running water - so comparatively they are much better off. But in many ways, their experiences are still similar. Many of the kids I work with wont eat three meals a day, dont have parents at home to take care of them, or clean clothes to wear each day. But something kept nagging at my heart, a fundamental difference between impoverished African children and impoverished American kids. Finally, watching a video of the kids in Uganda squealing (literally) in delight over blowing bubbles - I realized what that difference really is: the kids in Atlanta lack joy, they experience a kind of emotional and spiritual poverty that forces them to stop being kids far before they should. Three year olds in the projects would probably scoff at bubbles being for "babies" rather than squealing at the pure wonder of them. My heart continues to be seared by the words these kids fling carelessly at each other, at the strength with which they can push you away and the glint of hardness in their eyes where you should see only innocence.

All this to say, I am excited about the opportunity to help a little boy, and excited about the ways our own hearts will be changed through giving of ourselves, but I am even more excited to be sharing the love of Christ with the kids right here in my backyard who are just as impoverished as little Ndyamuhaki.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child through Compassion, you can do so here

If you're interested in sponsoring a child in Atlanta through Metro Kidz (the ministry I work for) you can learn more about the Won-by-One sponsorship program and sponsor online here

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