Saturday, May 22, 2010

The least of these...

Our team visited two sugar cane villages one day with some workers from the Welcome Home Africa orphanage. This was part of an ongoing ministry of teaching bible stories and songs to the children of the villages. Our team split up and 5 of us (Kathy included) went to one village and 5 to the other.
I had put an Awana grand prix car (made by Dawson Vaughan) in my backpack that day. I wanted to find the right child to give it too. As we walked into the village I prayed and asked God to show me a child to give the car to. As we sang with the children and I looked around and again choked back tears, I saw a little boy near the front of the group. I don't mean this in a mean way, but he was a mess. He had a big belly most likely full of worms, a large burn scar of the side of his head, he walked as if there was something wrong with his feets and legs, his skin looked awful with a dry scaliness to it, on his lower back was a "rash" and sores the like I have never seen. This boy was a medical mess. He was the picture of pitiful. Yet he stood and sang with the mass of children that were there.
I knew the car was meant for him. During the medical treatment time, Kathy was able to give some medicine for the boy to his uncle and learned part of his story. He is an orphan and his uncle now cares for him. (As I stood near the uncle, I could smell the alcohol coming from his breath and person. Alcoholism is a pervasive problem among the Ugandan men.) The boy had been asleep in a hut one night when there was a fire and the side of his head was burned. As for his other medical problems, there had been no real diagnosis and no treatment.
My heart was broken for this child. I wanted to pick him up and run out of that village. I wanted to tell him "I'm taking you to America and my doctors are gonna fix all this stuff." I never saw him smile. He just looked defeated. He couldn't even run and play with the other kids who were playing with the new soccer ball we brought to the village.
God provided a moment when I was able to give the car to him. He even managed a smile.

It was after moments like these when I would think of my American life and it sickened me.


  1. uncle kevin,
    See you can write! And I love this story. It's heartbreaking but I am so glad you could bring a little bit of hope into this little boys "hopeless" life. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Thank you, Kevin, for sharing that. It was encouraging, yet sobering. It's definitely a window for those of us who stayed behind into the reality (in a small way) of those experiences and people you encountered. I remember thinking the past couple of weeks as I would read the blog entries about a book from over 20 years ago called, "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (Moving from Affluence to Generosity)" - Ron Sider. I remember skimming it, but for some reason didn't purchase it. The title stuck with me. In reviews, readers state that the first two-three chapters of the book should challenge any Christian, and are based on I John 3:16-18, "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little chidren, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (NIV) As a community of believers, he maintains (and I agree), that we are quick to defend orthodoxy, but ignore the weightier matters of living justly...doing something with our materialism to reach the least of these. Are we really that different than the religious Jesus chastised? I am asking God for help in seeing what Lois & I can live more simply and justly for the sake of children like those you encountered. Blessings, Kevin, as God helps you sort through the powerful thoughts & emotions of Uganda. May we all have more of God's heart as a result.

  3. Heartbreaking....also gives me so much joy and hope that Jesus sent you guys to give these people some hope and even a grin. Thanks to the whole team for your obedience to GO.SEE.SERVE!!! Also, Kevin thank you for using your camera and sharing with us at home so we too can have a glimpse of the mission.

  4. Kevin, my heart broke when I saw that little guy, and I didn't know what to do to make a difference for him. What little medical care we could offer was not much. But when you gave him the car and I saw his timid smile, I felt he had been given something that made a difference - a little car that said that someone had noticed him, someone had cared enough to single him out and give him a treasure. God was there that day! Thanks for listening to Him!