Raining Hope - Chapter 19 - Update #4 - April 17, 2015
I am speechless. Last night driving home from the home, I sat in the van and told Godfrey that I didn’t even know how to feel. He thought that was the funniest thing but he felt the same way. I don’t know if there has ever been a time that I have felt the way I did last night when I left the home.
We did not go to the home until close to 5:30 pm. The children begged Godfrey to not bring me until they were all home from school. After all, the purpose of the whole trip was to experience the new home TOGETHER! So Godfrey and I spent the afternoon in town buying supplies and visiting friends! The funny thing was, Godfrey kept asking me questions such as what were the words to the song, “How He Loves” which is the song my ISP team sang when we had my African naming ceremony. He said, “The children just want to learn the chorus.” He would then say, “Well, they need it today.” He continued to be very insistent about getting to the home at a specific time. He finally couldn’t contain it any longer. He said, “The children have a surprise you today so they all have to be there before we show up! He didn’t realize telling me that they had a surprise was blowing the element of surprise!
The anticipation of just seeing the house was more than any one person can handle...this person in particular! But what surprise was waiting for me was more than I could have ever imagined.
God has given us HIS BEST! The house is amazing! The day they called me when they got into the house, Henry’s words echoed what I felt yesterday! I was SPEECHLESS! There are no words that can give justice to what happened when I arrived.
They had been watching and waiting. So as soon as they saw the van, I heard shouts of joy and excitement! Then I heard some music playing when we drove into the compound. As we rounded the corner to the large porch area, I saw smiling faces as they jumped up and down for joy. I heard, “Welcome Mama Kisakye!” But as my eyes focused on the children, I saw they had made a special walkway for me and balloons were everywhere! I then began to notice the bubbles they were blowing to usher me in! At this point I don’t know how much more I saw among the tears that were streaming from my face. Godfrey stopped the van and said, “Are you ready?” I wasn’t sure if I was or not. As I exited the van, Florence was the first to welcome me with a huge smile on her face & just a big of a hug. Jonathan then was standing there as a complete gentleman. He offered his arm out to me for me to take so he could escort me into our new home! I pretty much needed it because I think I went weak in the knees from the overwhelming outpouring of love! I think it was Jemimah that then handed me a little bouquet of wildflowers! As I walked through their balloon lined walk way, they began throwing confetti at me and at my feet in front of my path! I felt totally honored as a bride would in a wedding ceremony! So if you are not crying by this point...just wait!
As I got closer to the door of the house, I realized that the music I was hearing was “Giants Fall!” Inside the house the music was blasting, they were singing the words to the song, balloons, confetti and bubbles everywhere! They had recently been able to re-cover all of our broken furniture! My team last year will remember how they were all falling apart! The couches and arm chairs looked beautiful! Then Jonathan directed me to a special chair of honor! They decorated my chair with balloons and a paper on the seat with a cross. I felt like I was in a dream! As the song finished, they restarted it and we went through “Giants Fall” from the beginning. For those that don’t know the story of how important this song was for us in January, I will include the words to that song at the end of this update. Basically, the new house represents all the years of ups and downs, being told we couldn’t and shouldn’t proceed. Yet, with God all things are possible! Miracles are happening and they have watched giants fall!
This was just the beginning! Then they said they had a special presentation for me. As I sat, they started the song one more time. They had choreographed dance moves to the whole song! I wept through most of it. They sang the whole song from their precious hearts. They know they are victorious in Jesus Christ. That moment was indescribable.
They then arranged for various students to come and say thanks on behalf of the group. Hillary was the presenter for the whole event. Words just rolled from his mouth directly to my heart. They had previously chosen students who are normally not the ones who stand up in front to make the presentations. Three of the students gave wonderful testimony of all that God is doing! It was all so well organized and thought out. I still cried through most of it!
Before we proceeded with the program, we took a tour of the house and the compound. With each step I took, the more amazed I became at the gift the Lord has given us with this house. It is in extremely good condition. The layout of the house is amazing. The bedrooms are huge! Compared to all of the houses that we have been in the last 8 years, this is definitely the best!
Godfrey had told me when we bought the house that it had a secondary house. When I saw the video I was under the impression that the whole house needed renovating on the inside. But it is only half of the house that needs remodeling. They are currently using the finished half for the boys quarters and for Godfrey and his family. The main house is the girls quarters with Annet. Once we complete the renovations, we will have an amazing amount of room. Godfrey said we can use that section for the Raining Hope office. Speechless.
The compound (grounds) itself is amazing!! As we walked around the house, I was so amazed at how much room there is for the students to play! Godfrey said this house & compound is larger than the house we were renting. It is definitely better than the first house we thought we were going to buy!
The location is amazing. Right after we cross the bridge over the Nile River, we turn left on a road that is directly across from the petro station. We then go just a short “block” and we arrive at our home! The area is known as Amber Court. Right next door to us, Godfrey showed me a house that use to be the Queen of England’s home when she visited Uganda! I thought, “Wow, we are in good company!” It is run down now and has new owners. But it really is a cool bit of information!
So many people still want the house! Our advocate suggested that we post signs on the house that say, “House is not for sale.” Godfrey said they get inquiries all the time. One of the first priorities is the need for a perimeter wall and a gate. Right now there is no gate or way to secure the property. Funny, last night when Godfrey was taking me back in the van, out of habit, Joel ran ahead and said, “I will open the gate!” Ha ha! There was no gate to open. He still waited at the edge of the property, laughing at his mistake but nevertheless wanted to send me off with a “see you tomorrow!”
But back to the rest of the evening! After the tour we came back into the house. They still had more presentations to make. They presented another one of their songs. They had a few more people speak. Then our older Joan came to speak on behalf of all of them. They are all so thankful to everyone who has given support to make this dream a reality. Having a house that they can call their own is a huge deal in Uganda. It is hard to fully explain the extent of how much it impacts their lives. Many words were shared from Joan’s heart. As she specifically shared how much I meant to them, I could not contain the tears. She expressed that so many of them have never had a mum or a good role model as a mum in their lives. I have become their mum. Even Hillary said that I have been elevated from auntie to mum. He said, “We can no longer call you auntie because you truly are our mum because of the love that you have for us.” The majority of what Joan shared was more about my relationship with them as a mum than anything else. This was a moment that we needed to have together as a family. We cried, we laughed, we celebrated, we praised the Lord!
They gave me an opportunity to speak and i was so overwhelmed I didn’t know if I could. So I first opted to sign a song so I could gather my emotions! I signed, “How He Loves” because that was so important for that song to be a part of our celebration. Right before I signed the song, i read them this portion for a devotion book that I am reading, “Reckless Devotion” by Heidi & Rolland Baker. It was part of the devotion entitled, “Adopted.” “When we give our lives over to the Father, we discover that He adopts us. We’re not orphans. He takes us in, because He loves us and we are His kids. It’s not because of anything we can do or have done, not because we’re better than anyone else, not because we succeeded through hard work where others have failed. Before the foundations of the world He picked us out to receive His grace and mercy, and He just loves us because we are His kids. Period.”
I told the kids...God just loves us. Period. I just love them...they are my kids. They are your kids. They know how much you love them too and they are grateful and humbled.
After I spoke to them as mum to family...we signed and sang together one of our favorite new worship songs, “Alive!” Boy, was that room alive with His joy!!!!
We finished out the evening with a time of prayer that put it all over the top. Godfrey led out and we stood in a huge circle lifting up prayers to the Lord. Most of those praying were praying in Luganda. It was music to my ears to hear the absolute fervent prayers of a child being lifted up in unison together. After a long time of prayer, I thought we were done. But then Godfrey called for everyone to find one other person and pray together for each other. I was standing near Henry and Dan so I joined their group. There is a reason why those at school have started calling Henry, “Pastor Henry.” The prayer that he lifted up was so powerful. As I was also praying out loud for both he and Dan, I became so overwhelmed with the power and authority resonating from Henry, that I began to quiet my voice to receive what Henry was praying over me. It was a very humbling experience to have one of our children who I have known for 8 years, grow into such a powerful man of God who could pray with such conviction over me.
So you can see why driving back to the hotel last night I really didn’t know how to feel. I woke up this morning still in a sense of awe and wonder. The whole ceremony and celebration was their way of showing their thanksgiving. They want so much to do something not only for me but for all of you. They want so much to pay us back for loving them and providing them with this amazing home. This evening was their way of saying thank you in the only way they know how. Last night was a gift that I will never forget. It was worth more than any treasure on earth could hold.
I hope my words, even though not the same as being there, gives you a glimpse of how much they express their thanks to all of you. This is their thank you gift to you. I thank you for helping to make their dreams come true.
From the bottom of my soul I thank you,
mama eydie kisakye
Everyone's telling you - To let go of what you're holding to
It's too late, too far - You're too small, it's too hard
Throwing water on that spark - Living deep inside your heart
With oceans of reasons - The things you're not seeing
But oh, maybe they don't - Know what you know
That you're not alone
Don't you be afraid - Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything's possible
So step into the fight - He's right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be too small - But watch the giants fall
We could really live like this - Can't you imagine it
So bold, so brave - With childlike faith
Miracles could happen - Mountains would start moving
So whatever you may face
Ask and believe - You're gonna see - The hand of God in every little thing
Miracles can happen - Anything is possible - Watch the giants fall