Well it is my privilege and honor to write another blog for our Uganda Sweet Sleep Team. As Monday was filled with hard work and sweat, the last two days has been filled with grace filled conversations and the forming of friendships here at Blessed Hope Orphanage. If I had any reservations before I came on this trip, it was whether or not I had room in my heart for any more children. With my two precious boys back home, Gideon and Abel, and the two boys I fell in love with from last year’s trip to Uganda, Joseph and Amos, I simply didn’t know what to expect from this year’s trip. It is comforting to know that God can always carve out more room in our hearts for those that he created us to love.
Yesterday, I sure that you read from previous blogs, we were blessed with the opportunity to give the kids new Bibles. Many of these children have never owned a book before, let alone a Bible, and they cherish God’s word with such passion. After the kids got their Bibles our team spread out across their campus and spent time with the kids, going over their new Bibles, and answering questions about faith, life, and our homes back in America. During our time together, I was showing the kids my small pocket sized Bible, and the bookmarks that I keep are pictures of my family. The kids just loved looking at Gideon, Abel, and my wife Abby, and asking all about their lives back home. It makes me miss them, but it helps so much, as I get to make them a part of this experience. During this time, God began to expand my heart in some pretty significant ways.
Directly following our Bible time, we moved to the shelter do to some rain that began to fall. Our next activity with the kids, was for them make nametags for their beds, and to write thank you notes to all of the people that made their new beds possible. The kids that I was with during our Bible time, all moved to the shelter with me and it was amazing to see their creativity at work, and their wonderful penmanship. As the kids were finishing up, I noticed that one boys note began, “Dear Gideon,” and I realized that Dallen was writing a note to my son. I was very touched, and so I wrote on the back of one of my photographs in my Bible and gave it to Dallen as a gift. He was very touched, as was I by our gesture of friendship.
Upon leaving the shelter, a young boy named William whom I had played soccer with earlier gave me a photo of his family, and I was deeply moved. What a gift, my heart grew more. William is 14, his father is dead, his two sisters stay with his mother, and he has been at Blessed Hope for 5 years. He dreams of being a soccer player, has great potential, and I am excited to pray for this dream to become a reality. I have since talked with William at length, and I hope that our friendship across the world can give him encouragement to chase after his dreams.
I spent the better part of today talking with boys that I have connected with, Dallen, William, sweet little Gilbert, and a natural leader Ishmael. Before we left today, I received another note from Dallen, and I have cried a few times since I have read it. To think that he will be praying for my family, and especially my boys as they grow up, and to have the honor of praying for him as he matures into the man God created him to be is more than I can comprehend. I will write to you both notes that Dallen has written to me, and I am so thrilled that the God I serve can expand my heart far and wide!
“Dear Gideon, I love you so much. I want to tell you that God love’s you. I wish one day one time I will see you. I wish you a good day. From, Dallen”
Dear Uncle Mike, I greet you in Jesus’ name. I love you so much and your friends. I like to be with you everyday. I will not know what will happen when you have to go back to your country, but I will be praying for you everyday. You will be in my heart all of my life. From, Dallen I wish you a good day.”