Recently our board member, Elaine, and her husband Bruce were in Uganda.
We enjoyed a few days with them at the beginning of their month-long mission. During that time they helped get the boys who had just been welcomed into The Shepherd Center with new clothes and bedding. We celebrated the opening of the new addition together. We had meetings for encouragement and brainstorming.
After busy and fruitful ministry in other parts of Uganda, we enjoyed Elaine and Bruce again for their last few days in the country. We had time for fellowship. They treated the staff to an appreciation lunch. And they spent as much time as they could with our boys who were once street boys and are now school boys.
These are Elaine’s reflections on her last night in Kabale before returning home:
Before returning to the states Bruce and I wanted to spend some more time with the boys at TSC. We arranged for them to have a special meal. This meal consisted of hot milk, a hard boiled egg, a bun, bananas, and a soda. Not what you would call special to an American, but greatly enjoyed by the boys. As we were eating, the power went out, so we gathered together for a dimly lit meal.
The struggle for me was that they do not have tables and benches to sit on. So they sat wherever they could: in chairs, on the couch all packed in together, or the floor.
As a mother, dinner time was always important to us. We would sit at the table together and talk about our day and how we served an awesome God.
For these boys, it just seemed incomplete and very crowded to me. They finished their dinner and gathered in the dark for a time of fellowship. After some singing, I was able to share the gospel message with them and encourage them. After praying with them, I then felt a release to return to the States.
When I look at this group of boys–some of them only being off the street for three weeks–I see greatness, potential, and future leaders. I also see a road ahead where much prayer is needed.
Of course I also see a need to purchase tables and benches so these boys can have a place to do homework and share a meal.