The Streets

She said she was ten years old.  
With strained difficulty she had tried to get
to where we were handing out food.
As she struggled to walk, 
Emma looked toward the young girl’s foot,
no wonder she was hobbling – her foot was completely mangled.
In fact it was hard to recognize that it was even her foot.
Her mom was with her.
They didn’t speak English, but rather a tribal dialect. 
Quickly Emma looked around trying desperately 
to find a place where we could get her help.
As the Lord would have it, we were standing almost directly 
in front of a building that had a little tiny upstairs medical office.
Since their language presented a barrier,
Emma called an Ugandan friend who speaks this tribal dialect.
He was able to explain to the mom and daughter that we
merely wanted to get medical help for her mangled foot.
Ahhhh, now they understood what we were trying to do.
Thank you, Lord, for the interpretation of a trusted friend.
Once at the medical facility the doctor worked for a long, long time
to try to get the infection out of the deep wound.  He also explained that 
if she hadn’t gotten help she could have actually quite possibly lose her foot. 
It turns out that she had had her foot run over as they begged.
One of our team, Laura, sat with her as the doctor worked on her foot.
No doubt, it was extremely painful.
She was so brave.
We sat out in the waiting room and waited and prayed.
This is ordinary life for the people of Kampala who
beg on the streets.
Their lives have such pain, both physical and emotional.
We ministered as best we could given the circumstances and
we found continued medical care for the days to come.
I think of that girl and I always 
think of an ordinary tube of Chap Stick.
To the person who has nothing, medical care is out of reach.
To the person on the streets with chapped lips, 
even Chap stick is out of reach.
When I realized that one day, many years ago, 
I asked the Lord to remind me never to take chap stick for granted.
It’s so easy to take Chapstick for granted.  
How can we pretend we don’t know?
How can we turn our backs?
Ignoring the needs, when we have the means to help.
“Lord continue to break our hearts with the things that break yours.”

6 thoughts on “The Streets

  1. The next time you go to Uganda, if you plan to bring medical supplies and chap stick to Emma for her mission, please let us know. I can get that sort of stuff for close to free by using coupons. When I can get it for that price, I buy what I can (usually four of things as that is how many newspapers I buy each week) and donate them locally. I would be more than happy to send you things like aspirin and chap stick to shove in your suitcase if it would help in a tiny way.

    This story breaks my heart because I do get annoyed when my lips are chapped. But I almost always have at least one tube at the bottom of my purse. And I have like 20 that I got free with coupons in a drawer waiting to be used. How silly that I would ever get annoyed when I clearly have soooo much. Good reality check!


  2. I wish I am able to help practically in things like this! to be able to provide relief and to tend to… I am very thankful that Emma is where she is able to help 🙂

  3. Linny, Have you read "Outlive Your Life" by Max Lucado?? In one of the first few chapters he talks about how we live in "clam shells" and when the world gets too scary or makes us uncomfortable, we close the lid and hide. I'd say he's right on target. So many people refuse to open their eyes to the hurt and needy of this world because they feel helpless to do anything to change it. When in reality if we ALL did something this world would look drastically different!!

  4. No one knows poverty until they see a truth like this – no one knows the Hand of God until they hear a story such as this!

    hugs – continued prayers – and always thanks!

    aus and co.

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