At last I get some free time to sum up what has gone on in these last two weeks. I will start with the weekend during which some Ugandan children stayed with us, and in my next post I will try to sum up the adventure element of our holiday which challenged me to the core.
A couple of weeks ago we had the joy and the privilege of having stay with us three children and one adult from the Kampala Children’s Centre Choir, which visited and performed in various parts of the UK. Although the Kampala Children’s Centre is one of our church’s Mission Partners, and we maintain regular contact with them, this was the first time the children had left Uganda and probably their village too, not to mention travelling on a plane, and living in a foreign country for a few weeks.
On Friday afternoon having picked up the kids from school, I made my way to the Village Hall where the children were getting ready for that evening’s performance, having just arrived from another part of the UK.
You would not have known they had arrived in a completely foreign country only a few days prior. As we arrived in the village hall, we spotted all the children playing in the public playground and having a fantastic time in the swings. I went into the Hall to introduce myself as one of the hosts, and soon after I was instructed to join the children in the playground and introduce myself, which is what my children wanted to do in the first place.
My son immediately gelled with one of the boys, and without further ado they introduced themselves and carried on playing as if they had known each other all their lives. It was a lovely picture of Christ’s love which has no limits, no fear, no obstacles. My daughter remained absolutely in awe of the Ugandan girls’ beautifully beaded hair and could not take her eyes off them. I discovered hours later that these girls were also fascinated with my daughter’s hair which is very, very fair. In fact, on the second day they stayed with us, one of the girls, Cristine, gave my daughter a bit of a makeover on her hair which she was thrilled with.
One of the comments some have made on looking at these pictures is how well dressed these kids were. I think it is important to point out that most of their clothes were given to them upon arrival in the UK and all their belongings throughout their long stay, were contained in bin liners which they happily carried from one destination to the next.
I can’t really say anything about their performance which would make it justice. Only that they all had beaming smiles across their faces right throughout, and that I would give my right ear to have the energy and sense of rhythm these kids have. The joy in their lives was evident in their voices and the way they moved across the dance floor. Getting to meet these kids has given me just a little taster of what pure and undiluted faith in Jesus Christ is like. No ulterior motives, no hidden agendas, just an inspiring eagerness to please and bring the love of Christ to a society so blinded by so much wealth that the joy in the simple things has ebbed away from us.
I have had some amazing feedback regarding that evening, from Christians and non-Christians alike who attended the performance that night, and I know in my heart and in my spirit that those kids carry the presence of the living God wherever they go. It is easy to preach to non-believers about one’s faith when our lives are so abundant and overflowing in every sense, but when a witness for Christ comes from people, like these children, with tragic backgrounds and barely a plastic bag to put to their name, there is no need for words, no need for speeches or pretense. Their joy, which surpasses all understanding and is difficult to comprehend in their poverty and their loss, can achieve for the Kingdom in one single moment more than our “works” can achieve in a lifetime.
My prayer is that the Lord helps me to cleanse my heart from the inside out, and to get rid of the clatter that has accumulated in it throughout the years of being told what to believe, how to believe it and how to transmit it to those who don’t know Christ yet. My prayer is that one day my faith will become like that of these children: pure and unadulterated, infectious but effortless, loving but NEVER judgemental.
Praise be to God for giving me a glimpse of what Faith IS and what IT IS NOT.
If you wish to donate to such a worthy initiative which has put a new hope and a future in the lives of dozens of children in Uganda, please go to the link below and get in touch with the Kampala Children’s Centre. Thank you and God bless you.