The Poor Man's Christmas actually happened!!
I am so grateful for all the support and hard work that came in order to make this day a success.
Words from a colleague: Many a time we, (and I mean you and I, the baptized, confirmed and born-again heaven-bound, fire-spitting, Holy Ghost filled Christians) throw parties, whether birthday parties, graduation celebrations, or promotional feasts in style with almost reckless abandon… and indeed Jesus Christ our Lord is not only privy to this human tendency but is invited. Except when he appears as a homeless street person he’s probably not welcome! However, we, these Christians, are commanded to do otherwise.
Neighbour kids portioned sugar and helped me load and unload the car many times.
Other friends walked the streets of Soroti and gathered a list of names of the widows and beggars on the streets.
The goal was to bless 180 of the town's most needy, and let them know that God loves them so much.
Of course, events never start on time, but we did pretty good. Chairs, sound system and food were delivered with a smile.
Friends from Oil of Gladness stepped in to help with sound, and ladies from my discipleship Bible study sang, served, and loved on the elderly.
The crowd came from every ward (subdivision) and people were able to hear the Word of God being preached, songs sung, and games played.
I stayed in the background a lot - portioning out gifts and directing others.
May God bless these elderly, needy people
Rev. Beseri encourages one of our guests.
The NIV states Christ’s command in Luke 14:13f, thus;
12Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
I was amazed to see the strength these precious people. They were so full of joy!
The youth that I was training with at the Global Community Sports session decided at the last minute... which was a true God-send... to come and help lead worship, games, interact, clean up, and serve. 24 extra willing hands. God was moving in so many ways!!
The elderly danced!
In Uganda and particularly in this small town of Soroti, located in the northeast of the country, many decades of war and rebel activities have polarized the populations economic status, and coupled with high levels of death related to HIV and AIDS over the years has created a situation in which the poor have been driven to the slums of Soroti town. With time this led to a few families being either headed by the elderly of in some cases having only the elderly left behind to fend for themselves. Many of the elderly have thus resorted to begging in the streets since they cannot cultivate the ground, or have lost their land to malevolent clan members.
Those living in the street are characterized by irregular feeding disorders, old age diseases such as pressure, ulcers and malaria. Without much help from the government as is the case everywhere, some resort to eating in dump bins and others almost starve to death.
It took a while for the Freedom Boys (these young men spend a lot of time living on the streets, loitering and sniffing glue) to feel at home, but soon they were laughing and participating too!
Blessed are these women!
It's good to have friends.
Gifts were brought to the stage...
Soap, sugar, and biscuits for all the elderly guests
And the street boys got new-to them clothes, biscuits, sweets, and a few school supplies, along with a football.
Food was in plenty!
I'm sure a few of the boys even had a few extra sodas. :)
A day of Feasting!
I am so grateful for all these youth who helped out... some of them are even sponsored at 3 Compassion sites around Soroti.
The Mayor was also there to help hand out gifts. To God be the glory.