Mar 16, 2015

Clawing through a brick wall

Sometimes life is hard.  Sometimes life in a foreign country fighting for Justice is even harder.

You spend all day, every day, clawing through a brick wall of injustice with your bare hands. You are fighting for justice. Fighting for peoples lives.  Fighting every day, all day and all you want is to see one tiny crack in that brick wall of injustice.  One tiny glimpse of hope.  One success story. One thing to go your way.

Right when you think you are making progress, when you think maybe you see the start of a crack in that wall, another stone is added to the top and you lose all your progress.  The tears fall and you can't catch your breathe. You are so tired.

At that moment, when you can't go on any longer, you look down and notice your hands.

Your hands that at one time were rough and raw have miraculously changed. You would think that with all the clawing your hands would be calloused and bruised, But no. The callouses are gone and in their place your hands are soft and smooth. They've transformed.

As the tears dry on your face you realize something.  You realize that taking down the brick wall was never the goal in the first place.  Sure you'll occasionally make a crack or bring down a pebble, and that will be reason to celebrate.  But the real victory is the change that happens in you, smoothing out your rough edges. Taking down your callouses. Transforming you into a newer, stronger person right before your eyes.

And that victory will be enough to keep you going at that brick wall.

One moment at a time.

Feb 18, 2015

I won't believe you

It hit me all of a sudden.

The beauty of the moment wasn't in the lights or the music.  It wasn't in the view, the fireworks, or the fancy food.  Yes, all of that was beautiful and extravagant.  Don't get me wrong.

But all of that couldn't compare to the parents.

The parents who lovingly held their children. The parents who picked up their children and danced with them on the dance floor. The real beauty was in the way a whole community surrounds these parents and each of their precious children.

Over 90 children.  All with special needs. All loved. Cherished.  Wanted.  Just for who they are.

I've never seen anything so beautiful.

So don't tell me that Ugandan families don't love and care for their children with special needs. 

I won't believe you

Jan 28, 2015

When children can't stay with their families

I see the scars.  

I feel the ribs sticking out.

I hear the words "Mom told me she wanted to kill me with a panga [Machete]".

Abide Family Center is about family preservation.  We work hard to keep children in their families through business classes, parenting classes, free childcare and emergency housing. We pour time and resources into our caregivers and their children, working overtime to help them reach their full potential. 

We have helped over 70 families stay together.  Success stories are plenty and I see redemption around me everyday. I see it in the smiling faces of our caregivers and children. I believe in families.

But sometimes children can't stay in their families.

Sometimes you can't make a family work.  Even after spending months showing unconditional support and spending endless resources. Sometimes things go downhill so quickly you aren't sure how it could get this bad.  Sometimes you have to say enough.  We are a child protection agency and we will protect the children in our programs above anything else. 

Sorry, but not sorry, we are not turning our backs on abuse of any kind. 

Please keep this situation in your prayers as we move onward to get these children into a safe place.  They are beyond special and deserve so much better.  Seeing children you care about in this situation is heartbreaking.  I won't be able to rest easy until I know they are safe. 
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