Saturday, March 26, 2011

canaan children's home

so after our boat ride on beautiful Lake Victoria,
we sort out all our donations - figuring out
what shoes go where & who gets these books & who needed deodorant again?

so we all load up to head to our 1st stop.
our 1st group of kids.
our 1st orphanage.
the place (we were warned) we would fall in love with.

and oh they were right.

Canaan Children's Home

this is Papa Isaac.
that's what all the kids call him. :)

he is Canaan's founder and is one of the most humble & godly men i've ever met.

Canaan's is home to over 1oo orphans.
most of these kids came to live here after their parents died and they were dropped off at Canaan's as a last resort, or if Papa Isaac heard about the child and decided to take them in.

from age 2 up until 18. there are different rooms for little bitties, for young boys & young girls, for junior boys & junior girls, for oldest boys & oldest girls. each room has an "auntie" who takes care of that specific group of kids.

many of these kids lost their parents to AIDS or war.
some have been raped or molested.
most came to Canaan's neglected and malnourished.

these kids are some of the most precious people
i have ever known.

the young ones go to school on the main property,
while the bigger ones go to primary school down the road.

these kids are so bright and ambitious!
they want to be pastors and bank managers and pilots and musicians.
they study hard and have such an appetite for learning.

here are young kids to the left and big kids to the right. each classroom has SO many kids! with one teacher per room. we got to visit every room, play games, sing songs, and take pictures. their favorite thing on the planet is getting their picture taken :)

on the far left we have Debra, Joy, Sharon, and Rebecca. these girls live at Canaan's, & are standing in front of their school.

in the next picture we have Uganda's version of the cafeteria line. lunch is a bowl of posho, a soupy dish made from cassava root or maize.

not all of the kids who attend school at Canaan's live at Canaan's.
some just come from the surrounding community.
for the kids who do live at Canaan's, their other meals consist generally of rice & beans, sometimes with mushrooms & veggies added in when available.

you never heard a peep of complaint from these kids.
they were grateful for all that they had.
full of joy
and gratitude
and LOVE.

oh how these kids love!
they are obviously so hungry for it.

from sun up to sun down
each of us had dozens of kids
wanting to hold hands or be held,
falling asleep in your lap,
just wanting to sit and talk.

tickling, laughing,
praying, crying, sharing stories,
trading words both Lugandan and English.

these kids
both received & gave love

so easily
so quickly
so eagerly.

it amazed me:
they gave it (love) to us,
wrote it to us in letters,
told us countless time,
even though they knew we would be leaving soon.

they didn't hold back.

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