After the Hope House we went to lunch and then headed to the slums for a feeding program, a mini-clinic, and to just love boys.
Street children is a huge problem in Uganda and most all of Africa. It is a heart-breaking, horrible situation where children are so abused every day. Most children are on the street because they ran away from their abusive family or they were kicked out of their homes. It is more street boys than girls in Uganda. Their situations are desperate, sad, and just heart-breaking.
When we entered the slums I was overcome with emotion. The ground was dirt and trash. SO much trash. It just piled on the ground. The 'homes' were made of mud and sheet metal. It was the stuff you see on TV that you think isn't real and it comes true before your eyes. The slums are truly the worst of the worst area. My heart breaks for His people.
One thing I learned as I went through Africa though; God is ALIVE in the slums. He is alive in Hollywood,too. He is real and alive and so very present. In the worst of situations, God is all you have to lean on and that's exactly what most of these people do.
Street boys are not even allowed to sleep in the gutters of the slums or eat the trash/left over food there. Can you imagine that? Seriously. How can you be lower and more desperate than the slums? I did not think it possible, but it is. These boys are not just faces. They have names, they have stories, they are real and alive and they need someone to love them. That is exactly what API does. They love them like Jesus does. They are the hands and feet of Jesus there and for one day, I got to be that too.
Ms. Barb began the cooking and a few other ladies joined in to help. We began cutting vegetables, meat, and everything else needed for a 'Ugandan Gumbo' thanks to our native Louisiana girl, Ms. Barb aka Jja Jja Barb or the Cook. She was so wonderful to these boys. She loved them so much and they loved her, too! Before we knew it, we were surrounded by a lot of little boys from API's street program who were so eager to help! They wanted to cut the vegetables for us and clean the meat. It made them thrilled to get to help! It helped us a lot too!
I soon stepped away and began another mini-clinic so to speak with Alicia. We were overwhelmed with the children who wanted their wounds looked at. Some were really bad and others were just scrapes and some were just kids who wanted a band-aid and a kiss. We did it all. It was so amazing to see the joy and thankfulness on their faces for simple first-aid. I am no where near qualified to do anything amazing medically, but because of my clumsiness I am over qualified at using peroxide and band-aids. It went perfectly. Two hours passed and we still had kids. The meal had already been prepared and everyone had eaten.
We then got to hand out NEW clothes to these boys. THAT was the highlight of my trip. Seeing the joy on their faces from a simple tshirt and pair of jeans. Truly overwhelming and emotional and heart-wrenching and tear jerking and just amazing. I fell in love with those boys. They were so sweet.
At the end of the day we were all gathering and talking and these boys began to sing 'Mighty to Save' Do you know how moving that is in the slums of Africa with street boys? They are praising the Almighty God of the Universe in full. Offering themselves and saying 'My God you are mighty to save' and they are in the worst of the worst situations. Another wonderful saying that our entire team adopted from Africa was God is good, All the time and All the time, God is good.
This saying broke my heart more than anything else the entire trip and especially in the slums and it left me with this one question;
if people who have no home, food, schooling or security in this life can proudly claim "God is good, All the time. All the time, God is good" why can't we, who live the 'dream' life, proclaim this in every situation?