My top Ten things learned in just two days at Amani Baby Cottage has reminded me of many things and taught me much more.

1) God is God all the time and all the time God is good.
2) God shows up in the smile of a child & the laughter and tears of a baby.
3) God sends angels like the "mommas" to work in an orphanage.
4) The poorest of people are most often the happiest.
5) We get more out of serving others than what they receive from us.
6) We are blessed abundantly and the simple life really IS the best life.
7) God's perfect plan is most revealed through the eyes of an orphan.
8) One's life changes forever by going to Uganda to serve.
9) The happiest people on earth work with "the least of these."
10) We must never forget.
We have had the joy of serving the "mommas" at the Jinja Amani Baby Cottage. Here, we found love. We found that these orphans are not among the least. They are loved by the workers, eat better than American babies, and possibly live in the cleanest environment that I have visited in all the orphanages.
The workers here give new meaning to "work". Momma Sarah known as "Momma Cook" works 7 days a week year-round to cook. She cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner for all 40 - 50 children at the orphanage and cooks enough to feed all 30 workers. She cooks the meals over an open fire and smiles the entire time. That's every day of the year, every year. She does it joyfully. I asked her why she did not take a day to rest and she answered simply, "because they need me and God commanded us to work."
There is a very high adoption rate at this orphanage which is wonderful. The children live there from birth to age five. At five years of age, if they have not been adopted, they go to a different orphanage. There is a boy that lives here named Steven. He is 8 years old and has autism. Because it has been in his best interest to stay in this loving environment, they have allowed him to stay. There are a couple of other children that are older than five with problems as well. The great news is that one of the volunteers fell in love with Steven and is starting a special needs orphanage where Steven and 3 other children from Amani will live. God provides in all settings.
The team has worked hard today. They have painted a mural in one of the baby playrooms and we will be posting the final pictures of that tomorrow. They help feed the children during meals, change diapers, clean the children, dress them, help with laundry and much more. They have done this with smiles and eager hearts. Two of the sweet ladies were telling me how much this team has blessed them. They have not complained once. They have learned that serving makes one happy and their hearts have grown for orphans. They have figured this out first-hand and their hearts are forever linked to Uganda.