The Slums of Uganda

I got up early and took a completely cold sponge bath (yippee my favorite!) and dressed and ran (to warm up) to see my sweet babies. Elijah had already been crying in his crib and saying, “mama, mama, mama”….Oh yes, indeed, he knows he has a mama and he was already (it was just 7am wondering what that woman was!)!! I couldn’t be more overjoyed!! He has the sweetest little grin. But I have noticed that when I tuck him in and promise to come in the morning, he gets a far-off look, as if to say, “I’m not sure I believe you.” It breaks my heart.

Elizabeth is a dolly and today I showed her and Elijah pictures of our family (thanks to you Julie and Curtis). She kissed Isaiah’s picture and said, “Liberlee”…it was just so stinkin’ sweet. Later tonight we were talking on the phone with TaTa and she told both of the kids, “I love you Liberlee” and “I love you Isaiah”….Liberlee and Isaiah were thrilled to pieces!!

By the way, I want to give a bit of a disclaimer here. It is 10:00pm Ugandan time and I am almost falling asleep at the computer. We walked all over the city of Kampala today and this lady is feelin’ it. So should I say – give me grace if this post makes little sense, I am whipped! But my kids are on Facebook and enjoying typing/texting through the computer with their friends….so I will keep plugging away….besides you must know what we did today!

We took off before lunch to go to the slums to minister with Jess and Tony (our son). I was briskly walking on the roadside and managed to fall hard on all fours onto the pavement. I cut my knees so that they are bleeding, had roadrash on my shins and cut my palms of my hand. Graham scooped me toward the side of the road just before a bus came speeding by. I wouldn’t say I was almost hit, but I would say, if I had laid there another few seconds I would have been hit. My knees are quite swollen now and so I am feelin’ my age.

Funny thing, I remember hearing when I was probably 30ish how when you get older ya’ just feel it. I would scoff in my head and think, “whatever dude, I am going to be kickin’ butt when I am that age and it will not slow me down one bit!” Yeah, well this dudette readily admits that there is something about the body and the aging process and it really isn’t as much fun as it looks and I really do feel (after falling and banging up my ol’ body) like the big 5-0 has come in with a thud! ugh

Anyway, we went to the market to buy some used clothes for the street kids in the slums. I had no idea what to expect from the market, but it was incredibly psycho. I would have taken pictures, but my camera would have been stolen off my arm I have been told. So suffice it to say that there were thousands of people crammed through this place that had everything you could imagine, with walkways through the crowd that were only about 2-3 feet wide. Incredible. Graham was gracious enough after my fall to hold my hand the whole way as the ground was very unsteady and I was feeling rather unsteady myself.

We found some shirts and pants for the street boys, grabbed some lunch at a local restaurant (rice and beans) and off to the slums. Nothing I could say could really explain them. The pictures are from the boys that we ministered to. All of them just live on the streets. They do not have family or anywhere to lay their head at night. Many come into the little shanty and just fall asleep, simply because it is safe. Emma helped bandage up boys that had been cut or injured.

I hadn’t ever thought about it before. If you are a street child, just surviving alone on the streets, if you cut yourself – who cares for you?? Where do you find a bandaid and ointment? Simple things like that is done at the little slum ministry. Jess handed out the clothes. Simple, used shirts and pants/shorts. One boy was glowing when she gave him his shirt. But soon I saw him without a shirt on. I made the motion of “where is your shirt?” He grinned from ear to ear. He said, “Christmas!” He was saving it to wear on Christmas.

My eyes welled with tears. Who cares that that little boy is on the streets and is saving his “new” shirt to wear on Christmas? Who cares that the little girl who came is homeless and is trying to be forced into prostitution – but so far, she has escaped? Who cares that the one little street boy has malaria and is very sick and lay in a corner of the little shanty the whole time I was there?

My heart broke and I am sure it will take me some time to process what we saw there. I am wrestling now with what I can do to help on a regular basis from my uncomfortably comfortable home? I am reminded of the scripture in Proverbs that talks about how once you know that something is going on you can’t turn your back, because He knows you know. My heart grieves for each of the kids I met. They could be me. They could be my kids. They could be you.

10 thoughts on “The Slums of Uganda

  1. It is terribly heartbreaking, I know. And it seems so overwhelming, but GOD!!! Praise Jesus that he know each individual one by name and has a plan on how to reach out to each and every one of them 🙂 I love that Jesus!

    Yes, African marketplaces (and all third world country marketplaces for that matter) are a very interesting experience. Even Benjie hardly goes out to the market without his mother. And there is just a certain smell about the marketplace that just remains in my brain…ha ha….thanks for keeping us posted on how Uganda is! I know the internet speed and connection can be atrocious!

  2. Thank you so much for loving on these precious children. You were Jesus’ hands and feet today, and the hands and feet of all of those who would like to be there with you on this day.
    Blessings to you,

  3. I’m so glad you’re ok from your fall. Your trip today brings back so many memories from our trip last year… It is so heartbreaking to see the children with no place to go…no one to love them and care for them. To think that that precious child would save his new shirt for Christmas…ugh… I wish I could just go take him another one so he wouldn’t have to wait. It’s impossible to walk away and not be changed.

    Hugs friend…

  4. Oh Linn…that was so moving. I keep thinking that it was no accident that you went to Uganda instead of Dw (sorry Dw!)…we are seeing it through your eyes and your gifted ability to relay it to us is incredible. Eyes have been opened and hearts softened because of your experience. God certainly knows what He is doing when He changes OUR plans…I’m so thankful for that!

    I’m praying for you girlfriend!

    Love you guys!!!

  5. Have I been checking the pictures! When haven’t I? I just leave it up so it automatically refreshes! 🙂 I love you guys so much. I’m so glad you are holding your dear sweet babies, and I’m so glad that you have such a huge following and that because of it a bunch more kids are going to have homes soon! I just know it! Give each of the kids a hug for us! I always prayed and thought we would go to Uganda someday and care for those kids, but since the Lord brought us here I will rejoice, because what He is doing here is so far above our ability it is only HIM!!

    It is funny that you were writing this at 10 your time. I woke up at about 10:15 your time a little irritated that I was awake and I was just moved to pray that you would sleep and get rest for the days ahead! So I do hope you slept soon after! 🙂

    Love you! Love you Elizabeth and Elijah!!

  6. God bless you Linn!! Keep sharing- I will pray for all of you. I am pretty exhausted myself lately but I am thinking it will get better soon. Be nice to yourself (take care of you) so you can do Gods work!
    ps- I think you have an awesome hubby!

  7. Speechless. What a journey. Think of all the lives you are impacting- NOT just in Uganda, but here in the states with those reading your spoken word and seeing these incredible pictures. You just never know how God will use all this. Love from home!

  8. Linn,

    Love reading about your new babes, and how they already celebrate your presence! Thank you Jesus!

    Thank you for sharing about your trip into the slums– It makes my heart ache — in a way that my heart needs to ache — to be moved to act. “Saving” a used shirt to wear for Christmas when it means going with NO shirt– a reality in Uganda, and countless other places as well–but something I wouldn’t even think of . . . until you shared. Thank you for making me stop to think, to pray . . . Oh Father protect your children, hide them under Your wing Lord. Linn, thank you for being His hands and feet.

    Praying for your strength and healing my new friend. You have no idea how God is using you to speak to my heart–on many different levels. Thank you, thank you.

    Blessings from Texas~


  9. Linn… I was thinking the exact same thing… who is there to care that this sweet little man is saving his shirt for Christmas? If not us… who then?

    You will not be the same… and neither will any of us witnessing and just getting even a little taste here on your blog….

    And I am so thankful that I wont… be the same.

    Hugs to you dear friend!

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