We are going to Uganda in FIVE WEEKS people! So to celebrate, today I thought I'd give you a look inside one of the main ministries we'll be working with while in Uganda:
Ministry Spotlight: Cannan Children's Home
As mentioned in my last Uganda post, we will be living at Canaan Children’s Home for the majority of our stay in Uganda. I have to confess, it's fun to get people's reaction when I excitedly announce, "I get to living in an African orphanage for a week!"
In reality, we'll be staying in Canaan's on-property guesthouse. Complete with two rooms full of bunk beds, mosquito nets and probably hot water for at least one of the single bathrooms. Glorious compared the standard living conditions in Uganda. We are so grateful for Pastor Isaac's generosity in making this possible (more on him in a minute).
I truly feel so blessed to be staying at Canaan Children’s Home (which was only possible because of our small group - otherwise, we'd be in a hotel). To wake up and immediately get to spend time with the children all day fills me with such joy. It will probably fill me with exhaustion too... but so what? I get to love on these kids anytime I'm not sleeping and it's going to be amazing.
We'll be running a VBS-style program for the kids at Cannan and working with their "Papa" - Pastor Isaac Wagaba. This man has an incredible story and I am humbled to have the chance to serve in his ministry.
About Pastor Isaac:
During the terrorist dictatorship of Idi Amin (1971-1979), Pastor Isaac was among a remnant of persecuted pastors in Uganda. As a result Amin's orders, many churches were being burned and Christian pastors were told to stop preaching the name of Jesus and to convert to Islam. Because Pastor Isaac refused, he was put on Amin's Death List and was eventually captured. He and five other pastors were held for three day in one of Amin's prison camps. Their small cell was covered with human blood. When told to convert to Islam or die, four of the pastors gave in. Pastor Isaac and the remaining pastor refused and were taken outside to be shot by a firing squad. Afterward, their bodies were tossed into a truck and dumped into a mass grave.
However, the shot aimed to take his life miraculously only wounded Pastor Isaac's right hand. While laying in a pit filled with hundreds of Amin's victims, Pastor Isaac heard God say to him, "Isaac, I have saved your life so that you may save the lives of my fatherless children."
"In that state, I got a vision in which a lot of children were coming to me and these children were hungry and malnourished. In fact they were like naked, moving skeletons and the voice went on to say, 'Isaac, I will be the father of those children through you.' Immediately I felt strength in my life and stood up but failed; so I crawled on my knees from the dead bodies. "
- Pastor Isaac Wagaba
Though in terrible condition due to blood loss and three days in captivity, Pastor Isaac climbed from the grave and found help.
A number of years later, two orphans were left at his church and he remembered again the vision God had given him. He began taking steps to create a home for orphans and by 1998 he and his wife were caring for 24 orphaned Ugandan children. Canaan Children's Home has been growing ever since. Currently, there are around 150 children being cared for by Canaan.
Are you breathless yet? Speechless at least? Because that's how I felt when I first read the history behind Canaan Children's Home. Wow. Just wow.
To read more about Canaan Children's Home click here.
Fundraising Update: We have just about 75% of our support raised! Praise the Lord and a big "thank you" to all who have supported us! You all are incredible and have blown us away with your generosity.
(If you would be interested in supporting our trip - visit www.visitingorphans.com and click the "Donate" link in the upper right corner. Choose our trip from the drop down menu (Uganda- March 12-22) and designated the funds to Jennifer Hanson. Then may Gob bless your sweet little heart and the precious hearts of the people we'll be ministering to because of your support! Thank you.)