May 11th of this year I dragged my feet out of the gates of the Arise and Shine babies home in Jinja, Uganda. Tears flooded my eyes and heart ached for the distance I immediately faced upon making a left hand turn down the red dirt African roads. In a short week I had grown to love so many beautiful souls whose ages ranged from newborn to 13 years old. I promised I would be back for Christmas and as the next 6 months passed, one day didn’t go by that I didn’t think and pray for these children.
Six months later, I am reunited with this beautiful family of children. There are many faces I recognize and was greeted by shouting “Auntie Mary!” and a warm embrace around my legs upon arrival. There were many more faces I did not recognize but finally met in person and immediately fell in love with their beautiful smiles. I couldn’t help but be a bit overwhelmed instantly by the vast amount of children (43 as of right now). So many newborns and young children have been welcomed into the Arise and Shine babies home and as wonderful as it is that they have a place to call home and people to take care of them…it’s still tragic reality that these children do not have families as of right now. Each child has such a unique story…a story only God could come up with..it’s amazing think of what He has in store for these children next.
It’s been a wonderful 24 hours getting to catch up with some of the children, get to know most of them, shop and decorate for Christmas, pick flowers for the aunties that take care of the children, play on the swing set and just sit and be with one another. I am yearning for tomorrow when I will see these children again. When I can see Job ride his bicycle in circles around Dina the cow, when I can hold and snuggle sweet Stella who cannot walk on her own but loves to be held, when I can teach Sharon more about photography, when triplets Lisa, Lola and Loise yell “Auntie Mary” over and over again and when I can tickle Fiona until she smiles and giggles the best laugh I have ever heard.
I can’t wait for tomorrow.