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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Worship Day at Amazima...."Uncle" Mike here

Today (Saturday) was, to say the least, a day like Ive never had before.  It was worship day at Amazima.  I didnt know really what to expect, and I got a whole lot more than I expected.   At around 8:30 or 9 a.m., little faces began to appear, at first glancing through the opening in the front gate or through the cracks in the fence.  I would see one of them peer through a crack, then disappear, then eventually make his or her way through the front gate into the yard.  I think some of their hesitation was that they could see quite a few "vis-tas" (as we American visitors are affectionately called) so they had to scope things out before they committed.  Before I knew it there were 200-250 kids in the yard...  they just kept coming!!  By about 11 a.m. Raul (the worship leader here) had them all gathered together on and around the porch (we will publish pictures once we can get them downloaded) singing African worship songs...200 or so little voices lifting up praise...quite a sight....i hope our video came out well.  After the praise and worship time, then came the games.  Girls against boys, of course (some things are universal), and Grace, Mallory and Michael all right in.    Sack races, balloon games, etc...  The girls won and had to rub it in a little (again, some things are the same everywhere!).  After the game came snack time.  250+ hard boiled eggs!  Best hard boiled egg Ive ever had (with a piece of white bread to wash it down!).  All the kids line up in a single file line, smallest to largest, to receive their egg from Auntie Katie.  I'd guess the last ones in line had to wait 20 minutes or so to receive theirs, but oh were they grateful for that egg.   
After more playtime and games, then came dinner...rice, beans, and chicken.  Someone actually did bring a gift (a live chicken) to Katie yesterday.  We didnt eat him but hes in the closet right now awaiting his fate, which Im sure will come soon.  I digress.  Again they waited for their food, all in a single file line, smallest to largest (its amazing how the older kids just instinctively become caretakers of the younger ones).  The food had been cooking all day in large pots outside. In fact, when i got up Saturday morning, I thought I was the first one awake, but found Prossi, one of Katie's oldest, outside builiding a fire underneath the pots, getting ready for the day.  What struck me is that no one asked her to do it...she just did...she's 13.
One thing that really grabbed me today about these kids...  They just long for love and attention.  They came from nearby villages (these are all kids in Katies program) so I didnt really know their individual stories, but I could almost write them by looking in their eyes.  They long for love and attention.  They would glance your way, at first with what seemed like an emptiness in their eyes.  Then when you give them a glance and a smile, a little smile would break across their faces and they look at you as if to say "Me?  Are you smiling at ME?  Are you really interested in ME?"... with surprise and disbelief.   Of course, once that barrier was broken, you could just see their joy as they climbed in your lap, sometimes 5 or 6 at a time!  It is amazing how there is so much pain, yet so much joy, all at the same time, in these kids.  I saw the "least of these" today ....and it was GOOD.
On a final note, 4 of our bags didnt make the flight.  3 of them contained water purifiers, food, tshirts for the kids, blankets, etc.  The 4th has all of mine and Michaels clothes in it.  Got a call from the airline today and they said two of the bags have arrived...but of course its not the one with our clothes and toiletries (they cant even find them).  So yes, Ive been a little perturbed  at having to make it on basically one pair of pants, a couple of t shirts, a pair of socks and two pair of underwear.  But you know, thats about as much as most people have here so I guess I shouldnt get too worked up.  God does have a sense of humor.


Small Stones said...

Thank you, Uncle Mike, for the wonderful post!!!!!! I so look forward to reading everyone's posts (THANK YOU, too, to Grace!). God is doing amazing things through Katie and all of you. Praying for you all!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mike, for painting such a beautiful word picture for us about that very special Saturday at Katie's. I almost feel like I was there with you! Love and blessings to all of you. We are praying for you continuously and can't wait to see what God will do there today. Give a big hug to my precious girl!
Love to all,
Anna's Mom

Oatsvall Team said...

I think the name "Uncle Mike" fits great ...from hearing Katie tell about this day so much, I can actually picture it happening as you describe .... I am thankful for all the eyes you looked into today and I know God used those moments to shape you and all the amazing Amazima children ... I can't wait to see pictures and video, so don't think I am leaving your house until I see them all of them ... hee hee !!!!

Blessings to you all on the GLORIOUS SUNDAY MORNING !!!! LOVE AND MISS YOU !!!

Diane said...

:) I think not receiving your luggage is a gift for you!! You are able to, just for the moment, for the day, you understand the frustration of real want and need. For you, fortunately it is just clothing....for the orphan and oppressed world wide, it is food, health care, love, education, both Spiritual and academic...etc..etc...etc:) You get the picture. So, to be broken a bit, with no clothing is a Gift given to you by a loving (yes, humorous) Father.

Thank you for being a Father to these children you are with, for the moment. You represent many a Father and I am thankful for your loving Servant's heart and the hearts of love of your family and friends!!!

Hope the clothes arrive....kinda/sorta:)!!

Jenn in GA said...

it's so good to hear from each of you and to see through your eyes what goes on during a typical day in katie's world. glad you're each taking a turn writing!

i know so much effort went into procuring supplies and other things for amazima, so i pray that the missing luggage arrives!

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

So glad that God is allowing you to be blessed by the orpans in a new way. Have you ever felt God's presence more palpably than in the presence of an orphan?

Praying you through, friends!

Tara said...

"uncle" Mike... What a great name for you! I can't imagine the number of children that you have blessed just by being there and givning them a friendly smile and interacting and playing with them. Children really only need so little from us to feel loved and you are giving that to them. Can't wait to hear more! Tara

Auntie Amanda said...

you've got the right attitude about the luggage/clothes for sure! remember, everything you need is already there :) oh, i wish i wouldve gotten to see a worship day at Amazima, thank you for sharing about it!

Abbie said...

Hey Uncle Mike!!!

I hope you are having an absolutely life changing time. You sound like you are having a fun time. :) I love you and your family so incredibly much and I want to hear all about your trip when you get back. I love you SO SO SO much!



Brian and Mandy Harvey said...

okay, bro, yours was the last blog I read...missed it the first time around. Really wish I wasn't eating chips when reading about your experience as it made it hard to swallow through the tears. :-) Love you and praying. I am truly blessed from hearing your stories. We serve an amazing Father! Love you!


carissamp said...

Pereira fam is praying for you tonight!!! Isn't God so evident in Africa? We cannot wait for movie night to see and hear in person your week!! Give it up for going "commando!" Carissa

Anonymous said...

What a blessing it is to see God working in and through your lives. The messages you all shared have touched my life as I have read them over and over again, each time reflecting on my own personal relationship with Jesus Christ and understanding the very essence of Christiainity. You all have the picture and for that I am grateful. I am also very proud to be your POP.

Mom/Gran said...

As I read all of the blogs and comments and listen to the words of "Amazing Grace", I am truly reminded of the amazing grace of our God and how He supplies our every need at the time we need it and how He has supplied your needs for this trip before going, while there, and on your safe return home. So many people need to feel His love and grace, and by all of you sharing in Uganda, you have made many aware of what love really is. Thank you for going; thank you for sharing; and I am so proud of all of you. Also, thanks for allowing me to be a small part of your trip by being able to spend some time with my grandchildren here in the good old U.S.A., which we take for granted so many times. Welcome home! I love you very much. Mom/Gran


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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