This week has been a real eye-opener. So many things have been brought to life. Monday, Patrick David and I went into the city to buy a refrigerator for the apartment. It started off as a great day. We were all cutting up in the car laughing at the chaos that is downtown Kampala. The driving here is insane!! I am nothing short of relieved that I have friends like Patrick and David who grew up here and know how to drive amidst the insanity! Oh, and they said their next project is to teach me how to drive here so I can use the car whenever I need to without asking one of them to drive me!
On our way back to the house we got caught up in traffic. While sitting in traffic in downtown Kampala people are constantly coming up to your car to try and sell you anything from plastic watches to cell phone minutes. I saw a group of kids maybe 5-6 years of age walking bye and politely waved at them to say hello. One of them caught my eye and came over to my window. He had a look of hopelessness like I had never seen before. He had no shoes, no shirt, and you could tell he hadn't eaten in days maybe longer because his stomach was so expanded. He came up and immediately started tapping on my window. I looked out at him and he kept putting his hand to his mouth for me to give him something to eat. Shocked at what was happening I asked Patrick what I should do. He said there's nothing we can do for him right now brother he just wants to eat, he just wants to eat. Neither of us had any food on us, but I couldn't leave this boy with nothing. Luckily I had some bottled waters I had just gotten for the trip downtown. With tears flowing down my face I rolled down the window and gave him a bottle. The rest of the car ride home was spent in silence. The sad news is there are thousands of kids like that all over Kampala alone who never know where their next meal will come from. I've always heard of stories like this and even been in a third world country before where this exact thing is going on but none has affected me like this one. When we finally got back home and found our composure we decided to talk about what had just happened. We all looked at each other and knew what had to be done. Our dream of one day opening an orphanage was soon to become a reality.
Back in January I shared with Patrick my calling to Uganda and the fact that one of the things I wanted to be able to do one day was to have a home to take in kids from the street, and be able to feed them, clothe them, and give them the things they need to survive each day. At 4:30 AM the morning before I was to leave to come to Uganda he sent me a text message saying he had had a dream and we were to start an orphanage. I smiled at the thought, but questioned what was to be my part in the whole thing. After many a conversation with Patrick trying to squeeze out every detail about it I can, I am still unsure of what my exact position with it would be. On Monday he asked me to be the one who ran it and would be in charge of it. This of course would be a huge undertaking and an even bigger sacrifice. While I know I am supposed to have an immediate role in all of this I do not however know right now if I really am the right person for that job. He wants for us to purchase some property and build a house with around 7-8 bedrooms. This would allow for around 15 kids to be able to come in and live an abundant life. We know we can't save all of them, but at least here we would be doing something rather than nothing. It would be run under the Bridge name so that they could have their hand in all of it, and be able to send teams out to help run it. I am praying fervently about this and ask that you who read this do as well. I know that the Lord will lead us in the direction that is best for Him. This is still a good way down the road, since it is still all subject to funding, so I know I still have plenty of time to soak it all in and really listen to the only voice that matters.
One thing that has really been shown to me this week is the way God can bring us to humility in a second. Even though that boy on the street that day had no clothes and no way of knowing where his next meal was going to come from, my life is still no more significant than his. He is still one of God's beloved children and the same Jesus that died for me also died for him. Philippians 2:3-4 says "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in HUMILITY count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." It is for kids like this that I am here in Uganda serving the God who gave us humility so that we could count ourselves as less and Him as more. Though I constantly feel dirty even after I shower, and my stomach never seems to get full I would not change any of it for the world. I know I am right where I am supposed to be. I thank you all for praying and please know that I am praying for you as well. None of this would be possible without the support of each one of you and to that I say Thank You.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" Hebrews 12:1-2