Sunday, May 30, 2010

ALL on their own

“You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so their people can no longer terrify them.” Psalm 10:18

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27

Why these verses? I’ll let you know in just a bit…

Well…at the end of a spectacular day where I literally jerked from side to side and bounced up and down as our rickety mini-van sped and slowed across roads consisting of dirt, gravel, rocks and at times only grass.

Where I traipsed through narrow “feet” only trails of banana plantations etched into the side of steep hills. Where I gingerly walked along goat and cow paths carved by animals used to traveling in this precarious manner.

There were times I felt as if I were a character actor in the movie, Sound of Music, because these hills were truly alive, not with music, but with LIFE!

At the end of every one of these paths, lanes, trails and passageways were the MOST precious of all gifts, children. However, these weren’t just “any” children. This day, I had the extreme privilege of being an honored guest in the homes of these very unique, very special God made gifts.

Yet, many wouldn’t generally see them as such, you see, often they’re referred to as Double Orphans or Child Headed homes. It was humbling, really, as children extended me, the adult, hospitality. These kids ranged in age from 6 to 22.

Most of us in the US, and in particular in the sheltered confines of Southern California, are clueless that over the past 10 years, in this one African country of Uganda, all as a result of HIV Aids, TWO million Ugandans have died.

Yet, here’s the story that often goes untold, because of the destruction of AIDS, 1.8 million children are orphans TODAY!!! 1.8 million in Uganda, alone!

Today, it was these kids who loved on me. So to say that today was an emotional day would be a complete and TOTAL understatement.

Think about it, where we live, if someone can get past the gate and ring the doorbell of a house, apartment or condo and a child would be allowed to answer the door, one would immediately ask, “Can I speak to your mom or your dad?”

Today, I visited kids who’d say, “You’re speaking to him. You’re speaking to her.” Ponder the reality, it was these kids who buried their moms AND their dads.

Therefore, most have no one left to care for them. So they don’t go to school like other kids and even if they did, how would you like to be the kid without a mom AND dad; where everyday is a reminder that you’re going home to nobody and they’re all going home to somebody!

Not to mention, they now, no matter the age, are left to clean, repair, cook, farm, barter, learn, cry, etc., ALL on their own. ON THEIR OWN! Do not read on, don’t you dare, until you reflect on those 3 words (I’m not too proud to admit that I’m crying as I type)!!!

As I reflect on those three words…the implications are staggering. Men in the village break into their homes & rape little girls because there is NO ONE to protect them. Their house structures degrade rapidly because there is NO ONE to fix them. The grasses and bushes quickly become overgrown because there is NO ONE to cut them.

Fields go unfarmed, so no crops produce and then no food to eat, because there is NO ONE to tend to them…the list of atrocities goes on; children are taken, sold into sex slavery, because NO ONE to defend them. Studies aren’t maintained because there is NO ONE to encourage them…

You have a choice, make your own list or stay in your bubble. I let God burst my bubble this day…emotionally it hurt and spiritually it hurt…

I’ll end this for now…come back, tomorrow, for part 2…because there is HOPE being spread and a light more than flickering in the midst of this darkness.

Thanks for reading,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing