Having just returned from Africa, I could tell you how lovely the land is following the rainy season. Though it was late November, flowering bushes, trees laden with fruit, and lush garden plots make it seem like the peak of summer.
I could tell you about our visits to see many of the sponsored kids at their boarding schools, how they have passed through the fermenting angst of early adolescence to an awareness of what they’ve actually been given — a chance at a better life. Sidonia will soon be a nurse, Aber Nancy a tailor, Alfred will obtain his license to drive commercial trucks, and many will come after them, thanks to our sponsors.
I could tell you about all the new and shining faces at Kasozi Village. Most of the little ones are shy. They greet me by extending limp hands, saying that I am “most welcome,” in barely audible voices.
There are many things to tell. But what moved me the most was a simple thought.
While on this trip, I was reading, Housekeeping, a novel by Marilynne Robinson that “illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous undertow of transience.” I mention it for this reason:The author says that when a child forms one solid human bond it feels like “sitting at night in a lighted house.”
Those who do not make that bond, who watch from outside looking from the darkness into the light, see all the difference between here and there.
They spend their “lives watching and listening with the constant sharp attention of children lost in the dark … what to make of sounds and shapes, and where to put [their] feet.” They are furious with hunger, loneliness, and longing.
And that is why God ordained marriage, families, fathers, and mothers as the context of life where no child would be lost in that darkness. But brokenness abounds, parents abandon their children, and families fall apart.
And so in my view, the true work of Uganda Orphans Fund is to give that one solid human bond that welcomes a child into a lighted house where the greater connection with God will carry them into the fullness of why they were created.
The rest are just details.