When we moved to the bush of Africa in 2016, to serve the Lord and the Acholi people of Northern Uganda, God ordained that we should oversee the Child Development Program at Abaana’s Hope as one of our responsibilities here on the mission field. This has brought us unimaginable joy as we have grown to know and love each child deeply. Every day has brought us amazing opportunities to disciple whole family units and witness lives redeemed, transformed and restored through the hope of the Gospel. The beauty of little faces shining with new life, and eyes filled with hope, is simply indescribable.
This past week has been filled with wonder at the limitless love of God. His compassion and grace has been on display in the most amazing ways as He has intervened on behalf of a young boy in our CDP program, and the sheer magnitude of it has filled our eyes with tears of joy and our hearts with praise and thanksgiving.
We would love to introduce you to Opiyo Denis. He is the youngest son of a widow who works in our kitchen here at Abaana’s Hope. Over the past year and a half we have watched as Denis’ eyesight slowly deteriorates, praying and asking God how to help him, and watching his hopes of ever receiving an education fade away. Our staff has taken him many times to see eye doctors in Gulu, the closest town to our village. He was given glasses and medicine, but nothing seemed to be helping and the prognosis was not good. Finally, one of our staff members traveled several hours away with him, to a town near the border of Uganda where there is a specialized eye clinic, hoping and praying for any kind of positive news. What we received instead though was disheartening and discouraging. The doctor said that his eye condition was untreatable and that eventually he would be blind. He recommended we enroll Denis immediately into a special school that could help him with his disability.
We turned to God and prayerfully asked Him for wisdom and guidance. Finding a school that could actually help Denis, and that was close enough to our village that we could send him to it, seemed impossible. We are not exactly living in a large metropolitan area. But, with God, all things are possible! In His perfect timing He directed us exactly where we needed to go. This past week God led us to a school in Gulu that works with various special needs children and has a program designed specifically for the blind.
While we were having Denis assessed and enrolled in the school, the Lord was graciously showing him examples of how He planned to care and provide for him. Denis met 2 of his new teachers, both graduates of the school he was now enrolled in…1 was mostly blind and the other teacher was completely blind. They had been taught here and now they were giving back and serving others in need. Next, God introduced him to a 16 year old boy who had arrived at this school a couple of years before, and much like Denis, he was going blind at the time. Denis could see this boy, who was now totally blind, thriving in school and in life. Finally the Lord showed Denis, who had struggled for years in school and who had lost all hope of ever receiving an education because of his condition, a small boy who was fully blind solving math problems with ease. For the first time since we’ve moved here, we saw hope in Denis’ eyes where education is concerned. We were witnessing God restoring hope to this young man right before our very eyes. For years Denis has believed that he would never be able to accomplish anything. As his world has slowly gone dark, every thought of the future has faded with his eyesight. But today, Denis’ eyes have been opened to the wondrous riches of God’s grace, which is greater than anything any of us could have hoped for or imagined! Our souls rejoice with the insurmountable and indescribable love of God on display through Denis’ life and we can’t wait to see all the Lord has in store for him.
Opiyo Denis is still in need of a sponsor. If you would like to sponsor Denis and be a part of what God is doing for him, please click here http://www.fourcorners.org/app-child-development/opiyo-denis-son-of-lalango-rose and join us in serving this young man and impacting his life eternally for the Kingdom of God.
The truth is, serving the precious CDP children here has brought with it a measure of heartache as we have faced various challenges and witnessed the sorrow and suffering so many of our children endure here in the bush. But, it has also brought with it the majesty and beauty of an all powerful God, who stepped off His throne of glory, to walk among us sinners and give us a life filled with abundant grace and love. He has given us a glimpse of His glory as He intimately and intentionally directs and guides our steps to serve the children here at Abaana’s Hope. And while we will never be able to alleviate all the challenges experienced here, we praise and thank God that we do not navigate these trials alone. We thank Him for walking with us, through all the difficult situations that arise and for granting us wisdom so that we may victoriously overcome some of the hardships our children face. Our prayer is that through these situations, our kids will see the majesty and glory of God and that their faith in Christ will be strengthened as they lean on Him and trust Him with all of their hearts.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.” Psalm 28:7-8