By: Mark “Epa” Barret
I have been looking forward to this day for a long, long time. Sometimes you start serving Jesus in one area, and soon enough He redirects your path to help others you never knew even existed. We started to get to know about the kids that live in the streets of Mbarara in late 2015. Kiconco and I met some of them up close and personal and were fascinated with their stories. We began to minister to them and seek ways we could help Pastor Willy advance the good works he is doing already with them.
Basically, kids leave the home for various reasons and end up eating any food found in the trash containers. Here, they get introduced to addicting drugs and everything changes for their immediate future.
Pastor Willy occasionally has dinners at his church where these children are given an opportunity to give up these hardships. They get weaned off their drugs (mainly marijuana and inhaling gasoline) and brought to Willy’s church. As they begin to improve, they get to move to Denis and Rebecca’s home where greater than 50 of these children now live. That is where our story starts today.
“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
Having been here in Uganda a few times, we have washed the feet of pastors, teachers and our entire staff at Glory FM. Today would be different. Today we were washing the feet of some precious children, like Edward, our #1 cymbal player in the street kids band.
We were welcomed with plenty of pomp and circumstance which has become the norm now.
We had all we needed
so without further ado, Kiconco took the lead and began washing first.
Why are we washing these precious little feet? The answer of course is in the Word.
“But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. “For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
We were here to serve today and put on new shoes
to all the kids that call this place home.
What we didn’t understand is the impact we are having with these kids. Over a year ago, the focus was to get more kids off the streets. Focus on their spiritual needs. We delivered bread on the streets and helped increase the number of these kids at Willy’s church.
What we didn’t know is the lasting affect our presence is beginning to have with this ministry. People started to help us provide special meals for these beautiful children. A few PCM supporters are covering all of the food these kids will eat for an entire year. Someone else is covering Denis’ salary.
Today each and every child present received a brand new pair of shoes. 75% of them, this was their first brand new pair ever.
What is even more impressive is these beautiful children of God are now becoming quite the evangelism team. Once the problem of local society, they are now reaching out to peers on the street and have been quite successful. Take for instance Edward.
His entire family is on the streets and he was the only one willing to give up a life of drugs and digging through the trash. Edward’s desire is to become a preacher, and if his fruit is any indication, watch out world. In just a few months he has helped convince two of his siblings to give up the street world and turn to Christ. Wow………way to go Edward.
Former street kids Brian and Ronald from Katyazo are regulars at Denis and Rebecca’s house to help guide these young believers down the straight and narrow path.
As we were leaving tonight, the sun had gone down already and former children we remember giving bread to on the streets were so encouraged by the new leather wrapped around their feet. No more foreign body removals of glass from their feet.
These kids are marching through town with a whole new confidence as young believers.
Watch out world………here they come.