Saturday, January 08, 2011

El Roi Saw Andrew

I had a couple hours this morning that I could have finally have slept in...yet, I was awoken at 6 AM. As usual, I tried to go back to sleep but as I tried, the memories and realities of our last fourteen days rushed in. I've had no time to process everything as the leader. I'm always "on". Always... but here at the Adonai Hotel which feels like a big hug, thanks to their sweet service and lovely accommodations, I've had some down time and some time alone. We leave tomorrow night so our schedule has slowed down some as I'm trying to be sensitive to the team's emotions and energy which is quickly running out.

As I began processing these last two weeks, I suddenly remembered the news I heard yesterday which, had I been in the privacy of my home and not having to "hold it together" for the team, would have brought me to my knees.

On Monday we visited Renee Bach's ministry, Serving His Children in Jinja. Renee is doing an extraordinary service through her ministry to starving and malnourished children among the least of these in Jinja. What makes her even more extraordinary is that many times as she is nursing a child or young man or woman back to health, they will pass away in her sweet arms. Yet, she keeps on going and serving, loving her God, by loving and fighting for these children.

Our team had the honor and privilege to meet sweet Andrew who was in her care. He was four years old and had been left by his mom in a starving condition at his grandmother's front door just a few days earlier. He was at Renee's when our team visited.

We were all stunned and shocked that he could be four, yet he barely weighed anything. I held little Andrew's feet as they were so cold and I could tell he wanted to sleep. I know when my feet are cold that I can't get comfortable enough to sleep. So, I held his little feet in my hands and rubbed them until they grew warm. It's all I knew to do. We all gathered around him and asked questions, spoke to him in our English, which he did not understand and tried to let him know we loved him.

But, you could tell he was so scared. So sad and so uncomfortable. Renee in her beauty, grace, peace and strength just calmly reassured him all the while answering our many questions. We just could not understand how someone could let their child starve. There are many questions that will never be answered. How could this team of white people ever understand life in a small mud home that has probably been visited by death and sickness many times over. Most of these poor women just give up when they find their children very sick, or when they can't find the resources to care for them.

But this sweet Andrew's grandmother had the love to take him to the hospital where Renee found him. His last couple of days were spent with two sweet women of God, Renee and her best friend, Shana, as they stayed up every hour all night long, just to feed him two tablespoons of this special mixture they make, as that is all he would eat. Every hour....all night long.

Yet, the news I heard yesterday was that Andrew passed away. What breaks me the most is that his last words were "I want my mommy". In all the love and care that Shana and Renee poured on him, he just wanted his mommy. But his mommy was nowhere to be found. I don't say this to bash her. We do NOT know her circumstances. But, I think of the MILLIONS of children who are in Andrew's condition, who die alone just wanting their mommy and it WRECKS me. In his last minute, he just wanted his mommy.

I think of Jesus who died on the cross and how forsaken He felt in those last minutes...He felt abandoned by his own Father, the God of this universe. Even he wanted to live. Even he wanted his daddy in his last few minutes here on this rotten earth.

They all just want their mommy and daddy and they are left alone.

I weep as I write this as the idea of now returning to our plush, seemingly lifeless reality hits me. We are sick in America. We are sick with fatness, complacency, indulgence, entertainment, the pursuit of success and distraction. The enemy's goal is to lull us to make us so comfortable we cannot move!!!!!!!!!! And yet, there are starving orphans, literally, left alone to die.

I hope this blog post WAKES YOU UP!!! I hope it makes you stop eating all those lifeless foods which are trying to put you to sleep. I hope it makes you turn off that movie or television which steals your time and WASTES it. And lastly I hope it convicts you of the reality of the life of an orphan here in Africa and many other nations. And I pray as well that I will return with this same conviction and never return to that place.

A few minutes ago I went into the kitchen at this guest home to get my cup of coffee. Above the coffee maker was a sign that said, "El Roi - The Strong God Who Sees".
God sees these children and he saw Andrew. This strong loving Father picked sweet Andrew up and placed him in Renee's arms. I pray he some how knew that His loving, heavenly Father never forsook him. He loved him so much that he took him home to be with him. Home where there is no sin or death. Home where he is surrounded and engulfed by Love. Not the emotion or feeling, but the One who is Love.

We love you Renee and we are so sorry. Thank you for always getting up and going forward, even when your heart breaks so much. We are praying for you. And you inspire those of us whose hearts break. We can't give up either... There is too much at stake.


  1. I understand what your saying and where your coming from. It's hard...
    What I also struggle with is what all I can do to help, I don't feel giving away all my money is the answer. I am praying about how God will use me to help the orphaned. thanks for the post.

  2. Amanda-

    This blog just broke my heart in a huge way. Austin and I have been convicted and inspired to adopt because of this past trip to Rwanda and Ethiopia with you all and this blog post just confirms even more why we need to and why we need to keep living missional lives. Visiting Orphans is such a blessing! I love you guys!

  3. Thanks for this beautiful post. I am in a place where this life and all its comforts are uncomfortable, and I'm figuring out exactly how God wants to use me and my family. I recently began praying for Uganda sort of out of the blue, as just the word came to me while praying and journalling. I just discovered Visiting Orphans and am definitely praying about a trip with y'all in the future. Thanks for what you do~ I hope to never be comfortable in my faith again!

  4. Rocked to the core! Thank you for the WAKE UP. This little boys legacy will live in my heart! , Bless you.