Meet the Children of the Hoffman Home! Part 1

February 25, 2014 - Jinja, Uganda

You can't effectively relationtionally minister to someone fully unless you know that person.  Unless you know their stories, their struggles, where they came from, the things that shaped them and made them into the person that they are today.  That is something that I have truly realized being at the Hoffman Home.  Yes, I can minister by singing songs, I can minister by giving hugs, I can minister by serving food and giving gifts, however, I'm never going to know the full extent to which those acts and those gifts impact and truly make a difference in the lives of these children unless I take the time to know them--to search their hearts--to truly earn their love, trust, and friendship.  I want to know the way that God is working in the hearts of these precious children and I'm not going to be able to get the slightest glimpse of it unless I intentionally learn and study their hearts and their stories.  That is something I'm feeling very called to do here at the Hoffman Home.

I have started to talk to each child individually by bringing them into the office at the Hoffman Home and explaining to them that I want to know them more, that I want to hear their stories so that I can tell their sponsors about them and about their stories.  I want to see how being in this place is making a difference in their lives.  I can see the outward impact in the joy that they have, the excitment, the smiles, the friendships...and that is a gift in and of itself.  But I want more.  I want to see the inward shaping and changing of the hearts, minds, and attitudes and the way that God is working in them to rescue them from the pain, dispair, and hurt that they have once seen, heard, and felt.

IMG_5931Meet Namulinda Agnes.  She walks into the office quietly and sits down in the chair across from me.  "Do you know your birthday?" I say.  She shakes her head as I tell her that her birthday is on Febuary 16th 2005, and that we are going to be celebrating it this weekend with cake and candles and sodas!!!!  The 9 year old smiles and ducks her chin into her chest as if to hide her excitement.  Agnes dreams of becoming a nurse someday, her favorite color is red, and she absolutely loves music and singing, as well as athletics and running. As I started asking about her life before the Hoffman Home she started picking at her hands, and I could feel the nerves radiating from her, as if she's afraid to tell of anything that she has been through.  After being orphaned by both her mother and father from AIDS, she lived with an Auntie out in the village where she attended Immanuel Education Center, another school that Pastor Sam is the director of and that True Impact has helped with in the past.  Eating the exact same type of food daily, Agnes would wake up early in the mornings, get a hoe to go and dig in the garden, fetch water, then help in cooking food and washing dishes at the house which was made of poles with iron sheets and mud.  Because the auntie isn't a biological mother, she wasn't a first priority for her. If they were buying clothes or getting something new, they wouldn't consider her…she would never get the best of anything because she didn't live with biological parents.  Her 6 cousins would get priority over her.  "When you have God, you have life," she explained when I asked her about her faith.  Since she's come here, she's gotten shoes for the first time, she has bathing sandals for the first time, and loves eating the good meals.  Where she came from she was eating only posho throughout the day, and loves having variety in her meals now.  She loves going to school now too! "Thank you for choosing to support me, i have reason to give thanks to God because of you.  Thank you for sending me clothes," she says to her sponsors in Lugandan due to the fact that she struggles to speak English.  She currently is in Primary 3 in school and enjoys learning and going to school each day.

IMG_5696Meet Nabirye Brenda.  I could tell that she was the oldest child in the household before I even met her.  The way she diligently works and cares for the younger children at the home points to her love and her affection to serve others, like an older sibling would.  Born on November 6, 2002, this 11 year old girl dreams of learning how to work with computers more and how to type as she intently focused on me typing away on my computer while asking her questions.  She lived with her Uncle and four cousins before coming to the Hoffman Home in a grass thatched house that was a two room house with a dirt floor. Her eyes became glazed and downcast when asking about her uncle and his family.  She seemed to take longer and longer to answer each question.  Brenda explained how she did so much domestic work at the home that she often missed school and even missed her year ending exams from last year because she was supposed to be working.  Refusing to pay for anything for Brenda, her uncle was more focused on caring for his biological children.  She was left to pay school fees by herself.  Even when she was sick, her uncle would tell her that she's just pretending. The other children (her cousins) looked at her more as a maid--they would yell at her and make fun of her whenever she wouldn't do things the right way.  As I asked her to explain more about her relationship with the other children at the house, she took her yellow shirt (her favorite color) and wiped away tears that started streaming down her face and explained that she had no sense of belonging.  I took her hands in mine and told her I don't want her to believe any of those lies that she heard.  That she is capable, loved, beautiful, and special.  That there is a God who created her and loves all of the work that she does and sings and rejoices over the beauty, talent, and wonder that is within her.  She turned to give thanks to God admist all of it, saying to me that God has given her wisdom of how to deal with problems and afflictions.  Although she was being treated wrongly, God gave her the wisdom not to react in anger or resentment towards her Uncle and those children.  God has provided for her and allowed her to come here and find true peace and acceptance.

Although these are only two, I pray that these words may open your hearts to the things that these children have seen and felt.  I pray that God has given me the words to say in order to affirm in all of you the way that you as sponsors and prayer warriors are impacting the lives of these children.  Please continue to pray for the children of the Hoffman Home and also if you are not a sponsor, please prayerfully consider changing a life and sponsoring a child.  For more information on sponsorship please feel free to email me or go to the True Impact website at www.trueimpactministries.com.

Be blessed,

Sarah

 


Pictures

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1 Comment

February 25, 2014
Namulinda Agnes shares my birthday - tell her that pc said happy birthday and God Bless. You're doing a great work sarah - and God is doing a great work in you! loveya!
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