Monday, October 6, 2014

My responsibility.

Original post from Oct. 1, 2013>
Emotions, emotions, emotions. Right now, I am full of a million, but sadness is the one I feel the most.
I am sad because I miss Shafic more than I even thought possible. I see him in everything I do here. I miss our other boys too, but both Sula & Muzaifah have brothers and sisters at the orphanage, which somehow makes me feel better. Like they have family to love them and comfort them when needed. I will have to tell you more about them later…Justin and I had a very special moment with Muzaifah.
From the moment I met Shafic we had a very special bond. He didn’t want to talk too much about his past when I first met him, perhaps he didn’t trust me quite yet, but after two days of getting to know eachother, Shafic opened up to me. He told me about his past and where he came from and how he ended up at Hands of Love. Both of Shafic’s parents died when he was 5 years old. I’m not sure how they died, I didn’t feel like he was ready to tell me, so I didn’t ask. Some villagers helped to take care of him and his brother, Martin, for a few years until it became too burdensome. They didn’t have any money so Shafic and Martin relied on others to feed them. They also couldn’t go to school because in Uganda the public school system requires every student to pay some small admin fees (unless the school is a UPE school), but when you don’t have anything but the clothes on your back (literally) those small fees prevent you from going to school. That and the fact they didn’t have any transportation besides traveling by foot. Shafic explained to me that one day Solomy, the sponsorship coordinator in Uganda, found him and his brother in a field and took them to Hands of Love. Shafic was 10 years old when that happened. I am not sure about Martin, but I know Shafic was sponsorless for 3 years. Justin and I began to sponsor him in March of 2012. A some point during those three years, Martin ran away from the orphanage and got involved with a bad group of people, a Ugandan gang of sorts. Martin is not allowed near the orphanage, so the day he ran away was the last time Shafic saw him. I asked Shafic if he missed his brother, and he said he does very much, but that he is very happy at Hands of Love and doesn’t want to leave. This whole story about Shafic’s brother running away made me worry (just like a mother). I worried that Shafic’s brother might influence him. That maybe Shafic would one day feel like running away thinking that there might be something better out there. Justin and I talked and together we decided to have a serious talk with Shafic. It was hard for me to be stern with him, but I knew I had to be. I explained to him how much his dad and I loved him, and that if he ever ran away or left Hands of Love that we would be deeply sad and worried. In fact, I told him, we would be so worried that we would come right back over to Uganda and search for him until we found him…and we would find him.  And when we did, he would be in BIG trouble with us. I explained to him that it was with a loving, motherly heart that I told him all this. The thought of him running away and maybe never seeing him again brings me a deep pain in my heart. Shafic reassured me that he would never runaway. He said, now that he met his mom and dad, he wanted to make us proud. He has no idea how proud I am already. He is the sweetest boy, he has a big heart, he is selfless, and he loves the Lord. He is always looking out for the younger kids. Molly, one of the nurses on our trip, has a precious son at HOL named Julius. I constantly saw Shafic sharing his treats with Julius and guiding him to the bus, back to school, etc. There are so many reasons I am proud of my son.

It was so hard to tell Shafic goodbye. I cried and cried. I let the whole “be strong in front of your kids rule” fly right out the window. I didn’t care. I hugged him and held him so tight. I reminded him that this was not goodbye forever and that I would return to see him. I reminded him for the 5 millionth time how much Justin and I loved him, and he reminded me that he loved us so much too. As he was summoned back to the bus, Shafic looked at me and said “I will miss you, Mom.” “I will miss you more,” I replied. And we both turned to walk in opposite directions.
This song randomly played on my iPod on my way back to the US…. each word is exactly how I feel.

I carry you in me.
Now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
Now that I have held you
In my own arms
I cannot let go till you are
I will tell the world, I will tell them where I’ve been
I will keep my word.

Now being back in America, I feel a deep rooted responsibility in my heart, a responsibility to take care of Shafic forever, to tell his story, and to hopefully, one day, help him go to college and follow all his dreams. I realize that right now that begins with helping him right where he is…at Hands of Love.  I want to educate people, like you, about HOL. And if I’m honest, I want HOL to get more funding and more sponsors. It only costs $40 a month to sponsor a child. If you go to Starbucks a few times a month, go out to lunch more than 4 times a month, or pick up an extra item every time you go to Target (come on, we’ve all done it), then you have enough “extra” to help a child. I know many of you donate your money elsewhere and I get that (I did too before I knew of HOL), but I hope this touches your heart in such a way that you feel called to sponsor a child….that you make room for it, because if we’re all truly honest, we could all make the room to do this. And when you do, you will be blessed, immensely.

I am here, but my heart is in Uganda.

post signature

No comments :

Post a Comment