Today was all about food.
We spent the morning packing food for needy families from four different churches. Flour, beans, salt, rice, sugar, and also some washing powder and soap.
Two hundred bags later, we delivered the food to fifty of the neediest families at the churches of four pastors with whom we work.
This small amount of food will feed their families for 1-2 weeks. They were so grateful. It was truly humbling. I know I say that every year, but I need you to know that there is truly nothing like sitting-- with a fully belly, knowing that not only will you eat again soon, but that there are snacks in your backpack and hotel room-- looking into the eyes of a woman who is not sure her family will have ANYTHING to eat tomorrow. Let's be real. When I say there is "nothing to eat," I have no idea what that really means.
This afternoon, I had the chance to go visit Serving His Children-- the home that took in Baby Moses four years ago and nurtured him back to health. You can read his sorry in earlier blog posts. There is a group of teenagers traveling with us from Florida this year, and Robert joined the guys in a work project today to help dig a ditch in the community outside of the Serving His Children facility (Masese-- the slum of Jinja).
All photographic evidence to the contrary, I was told he worked really hard today. I heard that the community was really touched that they came and did something that will make such a difference for their homes whenever it rains.
While they finished ditch digging, I got to go inside and finally get to see this amazing place. If, an hour prior, I had felt "over nourished", I could not have possibly been prepared for this. Renee takes in babies who are malnourished and nurses them back to health. Here is the amazing part, though... She takes in a caregiver (mother or grandma) too. The caregiver lives at the facility with the baby and learns how to properly feed and care for her child.
Renee (a 25 year old American girl who is the founder of the home) was leaving as we got there today, but her mom was there and I visited with her for a long time. She said to me, "we encourage the women to go back to their villages and say to others,'remember when you saw me leaving with what you thought was a dead baby? Here is that child now. Have hope.'"
To read more about this amazing organization, go to: www.servinghischildren.org.
Here are a few more pictures of the facility, including the "admitting room" where they take in new children. The photos hanging on the wall are all before and after pictures of the children they've touched. They use these to give hope to the mothers who have just brought in their children. Nutrition. Feeding. It's making all the difference for these children.
A before and after of one child.
Yesterday, Robert and I spent the day at Sangaalo Baby Cottage, with Damilie, a precious woman who takes in abandoned babies. (We visited last year). Look at these children eating... And how amazingly nutritious (and generous!) their meals are:
Something else interesting that I heard today: most things here are sold in small quantities for a few reasons. 1. There is not storage in the home. 2. There is not money to purchase large quantities. 3. There is no guarantee that you will be around to need all of those supplies.
Food. For some of us, it's fun. For others, it's a game changer.
That said, thank you for all of your prayers for Agnes'. We are working out some plans, and not surprisingly, because of the way our amazing God works, they involve a focus on food.