Chapter 17 - Update #6 - July 25, 2014
I wanted you to hear directly from each team member on their thoughts of Raining Hope since they arrived.
“When we pulled up to the Raining Hope house, I had some expectations running through my mind. What if they are afraid of us? What if they don’t like me? As we entered the property, I saw children running beside the van. And when the door was opened, we were flooded with huge smiles and loving hugs. All of my expectations were wrong. These children truly loved us and wholeheartedly welcomed us to their home. I’ve never seen the kind of joy that these kids were sharing with us. As we played and worshipping with them, I thought to myself, ‘This is truly a glimpse of heaven given to me by God.’ I have never felt so filled with love that tears just came flowing out of my eyes. These children truly know what it is to be content in the presence of the Lord. I am so amazed by the many things that Raining Hope is teaching these children.”
My first impression with Raining Hope was that God has given these kids a lot of talent. Our first night with them they performed a variety of worship songs. All of the kids were singing and dancing as one played the drums.
Their energy and joy was first apparent as we pulled in the driveway the first night. They swarmed the van with hugs and huge grins. After spending 7 nights with them, I’ve been blessed to discover the depth of their relationship with Christ. Every night we have a time of worship in which the kids share with all the rest of the home what God is doing in their lives. Each child always ensures that God gets all the glory constantly repeating, “Praise God.” I have been encouraged to observe that they are being trained up in wisdom and truth. I was speaking with one of the girls and in a casual conversation she began to encourage me, “Everything I do I do for God. If I’m dancing, I dance my best for God. If I’m singing, I sing my best for God. If I’m preaching, I preach my best for God.” She even went on to inspire me, “In Philippians it says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’ She was reminding me of this as she was trying to get me to dance. I had been telling her, “I can’t dance.” (Side note from Eydie...I have been watching Katie dance with the children! She is dancing with the joy of the Lord!) The kids at Raining Hope are a blessing!
First Impression of Raining Hope:
I was not ready for the crazy welcome we received when we first arrived at Raining Hope. The children crowded around the van, hugged us all when we got out, then paraded us into the house. I have never felt that much love and acceptance from people that I had never met. These children are a TRUE gift from God. Their passion and zeal for God exudes when they dance, sing, and pray. Their worship time at the end of the day is one of the most amazing sights! They praise God with all of their hearts and bodies. Every song is lifted high to the heavens. It is something that will truly bless your heart. These children are amazing, and have taught me to worship with abandon.
The first day we went to Raining Hope, as the van drove up to the gates, I could hear the joyful shouts of the children. They practically climbed all over each other to open the door, give us hugs and take our bags. They greeted us - some shyly, some with great ease and confidence, and all with wide, beautiful smiles on their faces. As our time here has gone by, I have gotten closer to some of the children, but all of them never fail to hug me goodbye or greet me joyfully. Each time we share evening devotions, I am struck again and again by their joy - not just because we are having fun together, but because we all love Jesus and are celebrating Him together. I have learned much about trusting God, working as unto the Lord, Christian hospitality, service, and love, and most of all that the joy of the Lord fuels all the endeavors of our lives. I will never be the same now that I have spent time with these children, and I hold them in my heart. Philippians 1:3-7a
There is no place on earth like Raining Hope! The people of Raining Hope (children and staff alike) are some of the brightest and most talented people I know. They are also deeply devoted to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As soon as one enters the ground of Raining Hope, they know they are somewhere special. All people (first time visitors and old friends alike) are greeted with the the same enthusiastic cheers and hugs. The days at Raining Hope are filled with love: for God and for people. This is the real thing too: no pretense here. These young people are so grateful for what God has done in their lives, that the praise and worship never stops. Neither does the love. It flows from one person to another and then back around again, throughout the Raining Hope family and spills on anyone close enough to bask in the warm glow of love and praises for God! An evening at Raining Hope is unique. After all of the greetings and hugs, there is some time visiting, game playing and crafts. But the best part of the evening is when the music starts. Someone begins clapping and singing and before you know it, you are caught up in the miracle of enthusiastic praise and worship of God, through celebration, song and dance unto the Lord. These kids are seriously talented and seriously in love with Jesus. After all, He has set them free and given them abundant life. The kids of Raining Hope share that love and grace with everyone. They are leaders in their schools, active in their churches, and fully devoted to God and to each other. It is a joy to be with the people of Raining Hope. It is a joy to support what God is doing among these kids. In fact, that may be the best word to some up Raining Hope Children's Home: JOY!
My team is incredible. They are sharing the love of Jesus. They are making a difference. God is using the children of Raining Hope to make a lasting impact in their lives. As a parent, I couldn’t be any more proud of how these children have welcomed and loved on the team. The children and the team are making a difference in the Kingdom! My heart is so full of LOVE in Uganda. I am blessed! Mama Eydie Kisakye
- PRAISE - Pastor Gerald & Pastor Godfrey are doing well now!
- Teacher Training & VBS are going well! Pray for us as we have the last session at Cornerstone today.
- Some of our team have come down with colds and/or sore throats. It is not keeping us down. Pray for us that we are completely healed and that we finish well!
- Saturday will be our final debrief with the team. This is a significant time for us. Pray for us as we meet for most of the morning and then late evening.