Thursday, November 04, 2010
The Grandpa and the Spear
Today was a perfect day in orphan ministry! Long and bumpy roads took us to two more villages, filled with singing, dancing, and laughter. In all we distributed 206 more beds to 206 precious children.
At the first village the elders greeted us with a traditional dance. Some of the meaning may have been lost in translation, but it seemed they were using one grandpa's crutches as a hunting spear. Great playtime with the kids followed. We introduced them to colorful parachutes and played rousing games of duck duck goose, along with some Ugandan games they taught to us. Meanwhile I took the opportunity to roam the outskirts of the play in search of stragglers. To my delight there were dozens of two- to three-year olds just waiting for me to coddle them. One little love curled up in my lap and within minutes fell asleep. This is something I've seen time and time again on Sweet Sleep trips; if you hold these children and give them only a moment to be still and secure they will fall asleep. This continues to validate the work Sweet Sleep does. These children have seen and lived through things we will never know. Most have experienced more in their few short years than many of us will experience in a lifetime. Despite all this, they are still babies; in need of sleep, in need of protection from malaria. With a sound night's sleep they will live better lives during the day. Without malaria they will not miss school. Without having to pay for medical treatment for malaria, money will be available for other needs of the family.
We distributed the bedding there then moved on to the second village. A courtyard was filled with over a hundred recipients and their caretakers, along with onlookers, and hundreds of children who were in school next door. It was a wild time of play and dance and giggling children as we showed them photos we took of them. And the message that was shared was clear and perfect. That God loves them. That they are His wonderful children. They were given hope, they were given love, and they were given sleep.