Today will mark the first Mother's Day that I will spend in Uganda. Today will also mark one of the sweetest gifts that I have ever received and it is most special that it is on Mother's Day. I send out a special prayer to all the mothers that we serve that are abandoned and lonely. My prayer is that they will come to know the Lord that loves them and that they will never feel lonely again.
I have introduced Fazirra to you before. She is my dear friend that I met through the Crisis Pregnancy Center and has the six children - one was Shariffe that many of you fell in love with. He is the little boy that I have grown to love and he is pictured above with me. He is responsible and helps his mother in many ways. They come from a muslim community and have practiced the muslim faith. Fazirra has been asking me for a few weeks to go to church with me and today was the first Sunday that it worked out. My friend, Dee Anne, is visiting from the states and we picked up this sweet family this morning for church. At the end of the service, Fazirra grabbed my hand to walk up and accept Christ. This is a gift that brought tears to my eyes. I will always remember this sweet, humble mother on Mother's Day. We are now forever bonded and will be friends forever in Heaven...
In the short four months that I have been here, I have seen such remarkable progress in so many areas. I have seen children transform their faces to smiles in the villages. I have seen teenage girls transform their entire demeanor from sadness to happiness. I have seen women in the villages open up, talk and smile as we have gotten to know each other. And I have seen Christ work in the hearts of many. I certainly don't claim to be doing any of this wonderful work. God is at work in a mighty way.
I have learned about unconditional love through so many ministries. The gift that a little girl named Alice gave me at Rafiki was a straw mat that I will cherish. This mat probably took her a couple of months to make and it is a Ugandan tradition to give something so special to a new friend to be remembered by. Alice is a bright young girl that was given a second chance at Rafiki when abandoned by her family. She is in a wonderful orphanage that is teaching her how to live in this culture while spreading love to others. Alice is one of the little girls that also helps out with sick children in the village.
Esther is a friend that I have gotten to know at Canaan. I have been teaching her that she is a princess to God. She is very bright and wants to be a nurse. Her mother is not living and Dee Anne brought a pen pal letter from a lady that she mentors at the Rescue Mission in Nashville. The letter was not addressed to anyone in particular but the outside said "PRINCESS". Esther LOVES to write and has been wanting a pen pal. Yes, God is at work in many ways here.
I think of Alice and Esther and so many others like her on this day we set aside as the celebration of mothers. God fills in the gaps for all of us. He has provided a mother for Alice. He has provided a home with mother figures for Esther. He has provided ministries to help people like Fazirra get food, spiritual guidance and medical attention for her children. He was my provider when I was abandoned just as He is the provider of all the abandoned women and children that we have come to love. And, He has asked me to be present here in Uganda, to show up and build relationships so that I can see Him at work in a mighty way. I am blessed and overflowing with thankfulness on this particular Mother's Day.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for such a special gift of eternal life in my friends that I have made in Uganda. Thank you for using me, the worst of sinners, to build relationships with women and children that I can relate to. Thank you for never giving up on us and for giving us new mercies every morning. I am encouraged and excited that I get to continue watching YOU work!
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—P)">