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Sunday, July 8, 2012
1:15 PM | Posted by Jenny | Edit Post
These are children. Made in the image of God children. Beloved children. They are HIV positive, some have AIDS, most have lost both parents to the disease. There is a young man named Julius who is 25 and takes care of them and many others.
Julius has this beautiful lady help him as their "teacher" who tells them about the love of Christ and taught them to sing songs and recite poems in English and learn about good manners. There are not funds to send any of these children to school, so she's it. And she's awesome. The joy of the Lord exudes from her every pore!
This is Julius with one of his sisters who helps cook and care for the children. Julius lost both his parents to AIDS at the age of 12 and was responsible to look after his 3 younger sisters. His uncle took him in for a while but his wife resented them and after she threw a rock at his face (he has a scar above his eyebrow) they went to the streets. Until a "Good Samaritan" took piton them and let them live in his garage. But they grew on him and eventually he let them move into the house. But one night robbers broke in and killed the man and Julius witnessed that murder. They took to the streets again until a Christian man knew of their predicament and sent Julius to school where he learned English and then studied accounting. He had a burden for children who had lost their parents to AIDS and were HIV positive. So he started taking them in. Here's one little guy below.
He has AIDS and then contracted measles along with many of the children. But his little immune system had a hard time fighting back and he nearly died in the arms of Julius. Julius got him to a hospital and he was finally released and is doing better.
Julius looks after 40 children. 7 live with him in his very small 2 room house. (we're talking no kitchen, no bathroom, just 2 rooms to sleep on the floor in) 20 live here in two very small bedrooms about the size of an American master bathroom. He is able to send 13 of the older ones to boarding school.
He was able to hire a carpenter to make 3 sets of triple bunk beds for each of the two rooms.
But he could only afford to purchase 4 mattresses.
This is the house where Julius lives with some of the children which is in close walking distance of where the others stay.
This is a skit the children performed for me that their teacher taught them. The little boy is shaking his finger at the other telling him, "You must obey God. You must listen to your elders. You must stay a virgin. You must not share a needle. We will stop HIV!" PROJECT HOPEFUL will be giving to Julius and his ministry Winds of Change to improve the living conditions of these precious children. It would cost about 400 dollars US to purchase the mattresses. He pays 100 in US dollars to rent his rooms for the children. There are 2 more available he would like to rent (my first thought was to spread them out a little) to take in more children. Our meeting today was not by chance. It was ordained by God. I am thrilled to see how God is going to bless this work and this young man who has been through so much but is bringing beauty out of ashes with Christ.
Above was the miracle possible to bring you this post about Julius. I was so excited to share the photos and information after our meeting.....and something went terribly wrong with the computer. It involved sparks flying and computer cord not charging anymore....and it looked pretty bleak in the natural. I jumped on a boda boda with no plan but to go downtown Jinja. That was futile. I was told by every store keeper I questioned that anything that could help with a computer is closed on a Sunday afternoon/evening. And after looking at my mac air and it's special type of charger they looked really doubtful anyone could help any way.
So I hopped on another boda.....and remembered the pastor I met at church this morning. He was a muzungo too (if you are white in Uganda you will be called "muzungo"everywhere you go....it means "traveler") and I felt like he might be able to help. By a series of miracles we found his place, I was let in by the very protective guard.....and the pastor and his sweet wife discovered the problem. I keep saying technology is an area of future strength, but I heard the Lord tell me, "The future is now." A few days ago I couldn't load any more photos on the computer because its said my start up disc was full. What in the world is a start up disc? I wanted to curl up in the fetal position and use the only tool in my belt in situations like these: my voice. Which shouts out, "BRAD!" But he's on the other side of the ocean. And you know what?! God....through google....helped me figure it out.
And Sebastian has been helping a sweet young lady learn to play guitar. I'm pretty sure it's the first bright pink guitar he's played.
And I was able to spend time with this guy I adore. (Daniel is with Esther this weekend while we are in Jinja. He is really going to miss her, she has been his world for the last 3 years. We plan on having him come with us when we get custody and can leave the orphanage to ease her transition)
I even got to play beauty school at the feet of someone who spends mucho time at the feet of Jesus. She is one of my heroes of the faith.
And other people are really good at lining hungry kids up for a meal.
But when I whip out toenail polish, it's more of a pile up situation.
And in other "there are no accidents in the Kingdom" news....I met this woman, and we're talking, and I notice her tee-shirt....and I tell her I thought I had heard of that organization before....and she tells me she is one of the founders....and we're talking and we're talking....then I ask....didn't you guys donate some of your products to a little girl's adoption on-line giveaway, her name is Esther.....why yes they did. And I"m Esther's mom. And of course I would see her at breakfast at a "random" hotel in Jinja. Anyone else want to join me in the hallelujahs and join the angels singing?!