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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hmmmm.... Bible Club?

For at least 5 years now a few of us have been hosting Bible Club at a local church during school holidays.  It's always a grand time of sports, games, Bible stories, singing, Bible study, points, rewards, and wonderful fellowship.  Slowly over the last year or so the leadership team has become super busy - some have wedded, others have gotten jobs, one moved to Kampala... and yet we all have a heart for Bible Club.  
 A few weeks ago we even celebrated with a birthday party of a one year old princess.
 It's always a joy hanging out with these awesome youth leaders.
 Well, two Sundays ago we had a short meeting in my house, planning the Bible Club for this school break and I must say, I didn't think it was going to work.  Some have great vision and passion.  Some have absolutely no time because they now have other requirements and responsibilities in their lives.  
I volunteered and said that I would try to run the Tuesday afternoon program, knowing that it's not really fair to run the whole afternoon alone with anywhere from 10-60+ kids. 
 But I went.  I took a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) to the church and walked into an empty compound.  No opened church door.  No younger youth to assist me.  Just sunshine and peace.  I sat down on the veranda of the church and thought about texting friends, only to realize that my phone was at home, so I really had to wait and see what the plan was that day.
The Lord had a plan.  A few of the neighbouring children spotted me waiting and wanted to come over to talk and touch a mzungu.  It started with three... then more, then more.  I started with simple questions - name, school, church, etc.... and they started with small stories and lots of giggles.  I have never seen these kids at a Bible Club meeting before this.
 It was so sweet.  An older sister came along and then organized the children to minister to me.  They prayed, sang songs, and worshipped God with their whole bodies.  And then I knew that the afternoon plan was not in vain.  Under the car park shelter, I asked the children in I could share a few Bible stories with them.  They listened with great joy in their eyes.  I was glad I had come.
Praise the Lord for these little ones.  Really, there are ministry opportunities around every corner if I had the time and energy.  May these kids grow up knowing Jesus.

Freedom Boys in a Frenzy

This evening I had the neighbour boys organize the toy room, and then decided to take 3 of them with me to town to buy 2 flats of eggs for the Educational Care training snack tomorrow morning, and a few packets of baking flour because there are birthday celebrations around here this weekend.  Walking along main street, one of the boys says... "Auntie, why do people like staring at you?  Is it because you are not brown?  I don't know why!  You are just Auntie K."  I smiled delightfully.  

While waiting for eggs to be packed at a corner store two or three of the young boys who live on the street came out of the wood work to greet me.  Some of their faces looked new and too young to be living on the streets.  A few of us in town call these young men the "Freedom Boys" and it really is my hope that they will find Jesus and become free of addiction, theft, and other troublesome spirits.  Many of them walk around with a plastic water bottle with a tiny piece of cloth shoved into the bottom of the bottle.  The cloth is soaked in airline fuel or glue which they sniff all day. 

The neighbour boys stood near the egg shop while I started greeting the Freedom Boys.  They (my neighbours) have learned that I greet all people in town - whether mad men about to throw rocks, or dirty young boys who joke around and want high fives.  At first they were few and the Freedom Boys were asking about former team-mates that they miss... (Shout outs to Tim, Rebekah, and Bobby)... then more and more came.  Some fist bumps, some quick stories, and one young boy came and kissed my hand like a prince.  :)  Then they complained of hunger... and as I stood there holding 3 packages of flour and 2 trays of eggs, I knew I had to give them a snack also.  I wanted to buy samosa for them so we all marched down one alley way.... they looked so proud to be walking with me.  

I had sent my boys to another shop where they could sit with their older working sister until I was finished with the Freedom Boys.

The samosa were finished in that shop... so they decided to pair up and share a chapati each.  16 boys meant 8 chapatis from another street vendor up the road.  Well... it was chaos, a lot of pushing, a lot of smiles, and a few older ones joined at the end also wanting chapati, but I didn't give them any because they weren't in the original count and they wreaked of alcohol, so I already new they found coins for the day.  

I never know if I should give the Freedom Boys a snack... but I do know they are hungry, and they just need a little love.  Actually a lot of love is needed.  One day at a time.  

Riding In His Palm