Yesterday was so bitter sweet…
We woke up and ate breakfast, just like normal, and then Josh got ready to go out with Austin (our Pastor’s son who is working here) and Zeke, to speak at a youth conference about 45 min. away. Shortly after the boys left many people from a nearby village started showing up at the guesthouse. Susan, one of the workers here, came over to me and said, “I want to explain to you so you know what is going on.”
She went on to tell me that Pastor Edward’s wife, Joy, had just passed away and that many of the family and friends were gathering because the body was about to arrive. She also told me that it may get kind of scary for the babies because it was about to get pretty crazy. When a Ugandan passes away they have an extended time of mourning and weeping as they grieve. We decided that it would be best for the babies to try to be napping when this occurred and that I should explain to Areyna so she wouldn’t freak out.
We went on with our day as usual.
Then Susan came over and asked me if Areyna would like to ride into town with her to meet the older children from the orphanage and help them pick out new shoes and get a fresh haircut. I wasn’t sure how Areyna would react, as she had just gotten a hold of her chicken for the day;) Next thing I knew Areyna was on the back of a boda-boda with Susan and none other than her beloved chicken, ha! Susan was all smiles as she held Rainy, and her chicken, tightly.
Areyna had a blast in the shoe store with the kids and then Susan took her out for ice cream before bringing her back…she is SO generous with our kids!
The van full of 22 kids from the orphanage came driving up and they filed into the dining room so we could serve them a special lunch. They were so quiet, so polite, so obedient, so patient…it was absolutely amazing! You’d have never believed that there were so many kids here!
After lunch they piled back into the van to take them back to Bukaleba so they could drop the older kids off and bring some of the younger ones, minus the babies. We were hoping that our niece, Laiti, would be among the younger ones, but she is still considered a “baby” so she had to stay back at the home:(
After the first rotation of kids left, Pastor Edward arrived with his wife’s body. For some reason I didn’t put two and two together and didn’t realize that it was THE Pastor Edward that we knew until he walked up the sidewalk. I went up and gave him a hug. He looked so tired. So exhausted. So sad…
The family and friends all piled into the lorry that contained the body so they could go back to the village to mourn. It was so sad. Joy was just shy of 30 years old and passed away from Cancer. Please pray for Pastor Edward as he has almost 15 children under his care right now, as well as a church body to maintain.
By the time my babies woke up from their nap the second bus load of kids from the orphanage was about to arrive to eat a special dinner. We had been telling Shabila that her friends were about to arrive but she didn’t seem very excited about it at all. We were shocked at her reaction to the kids arrival. She clung close to me, wouldn’t let me put her down, even to fix her dinner, and whimpered. She refused to go talk to them or play with them. She would hardly even acknowledge their presence.
We understand why she reacted that way. She was afraid that we were leaving her, but it was sad to see her like that. We still want her to have fond memories or her time at the babies home and we’d love for her to consider those boys and girls her friends, but we would rather her have this reaction that running away from us in tears, as she chases after the van because she’d rather go back to the orphanage with her friends.
So, it was a little bitter sweet for us. She is transitioning into this new family, while leaving her other behind…
Josh preached this morning at Pastor Edward’s church for him and spoke about Lazarus and how the Lord feels our pain and hears us. He said the atmosphere was very somber today.