The bus pulled up to M1. There weren't many children around. Most of them were lining up for breakfast. A nice mixture of corn meal and excessive water. It was a late breakfast, but that's because a couple of the children have to cook it themselves for the rest. I'd have to guess that there were 200 kids there, anywhere between the ages of 5 and 18. Most were probably about 11 or so. We all kind of meandered off the bus looking around, not sure what to do or where to start. Some of the children who happened to be near the front building saw that we were there and slowly came around. We met some of the social workers and the gentleman who runs M1 and everyone was kind and cordial. After our greetings we ventured further out to meet the children.
[It's amazing how I could be walking around in a place, compared to American standards, that's filthy, with children who haven't bathed in who knows how long and I can feel like I'm the dirty one. It was so apparent that I came from a life where I had plenty to eat. But that's not the problem. The problem is that I have so many options that I "struggle" with frustration because I can't decide what to eat. It was also apparent that I had plenty to wear; the four outfits I brought on the trip were more than any of the kids had, yet I continue to "struggle" with buying more and overspending if they fade or I just get tired of them. Like how I look is somehow a part of my identity and I'm newer when my clothes are newer, forgetting that I have been made a new creation in Christ, clothed in His righteousness. My affluence was apparent and I felt like the kids were staring at it, disgusted by it, or maybe just I was. Now, I understand how when you come across this way of thinking it is where a lot of people start to make excuses and even pawn off their overindulgence on being "thankful" for God's blessings. We easily forget who our model is. Who our Lord is. Jesus never lived in luxury. He even challenged those who would follow Him to consider the cost before doing so(Luke 14) because it is so great. He reminded His disciples that He had no place to rest His head, informing them that as a servant is no better than his master, so we are no better than Him. If it happened to Him, it will happen to us. Paul recounts in 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 the generosity of the Corinthian church. He reminds them that it is written in Psalm 112:9, "They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever." This is what we are called to and I was feeling God's discipline in me for my years of disobedience. I am so thankful that I have a Father who loves me enough to discipline me back into His righteous ways (Hebrews 12).]
Once the children were done eating, we all squeezed into their worship room and began worshiping God in song. This was one of the most fun and most thrilling experiences of my life. The children were loud and enthusiastic. Most of the songs were in Lugandan, but some were in English. Thanks to God's convicting, I moved in amongst the crowd of kids and began worshiping with them. I don't want to give the impression that all of the children were born again believers in Jesus. Just like anywhere, there was a mix of both believers and non-believers, yet the majority of the children were joyfully engaging in this spectacular, worshipful interlude, where hope overcame all of the world's oppression, sickness and faithlessness, and we were communing together with our loving, reliable, freedom giving Father in Heaven. We weren't standing with our hands in our pockets, looking at our watches and trying to sing as quietly as we could so no one else might hear. Even if we didn't know all of the words, for the sake of joy, encouragement and praising Jesus, we were singing loudly, yelling even, making joyful, victorious shots to the Lord, dancing, hugging, bowing our heads and lifting up our prayers in a swarm of supernaturally unified voices that transcended race, age, and class! It is truly an experience that I will never forget and that I yearn to experience again. Not just there, but here in America as well. Oh how I wish the people of God would be freed from the bondage of debt, materialism, consumerism and concern for our image and worship in an undignified way! And not just in song! I pray we will be freed to: love even if we are trampled on, strive for the justification of others and not ourselves even if that leads to imprisonment and give our material blessing to others in need until God is all we rely on and rejoice in! Oh how I wish we would love like Jesus did and be obedient to the Father even unto death on a cross! He was accursed, made into sin though He knew no sin so that we could be redeemed, restored, renewed, remade, vibrant, victorious, joyful, jubilant, Jesus-like, healed, healing, helpful, hopeful, holy, saved!
and if you didn't see this video in the previous post.