Meet my new friend Daniel. Meeting him yesterday in the slums was a highlight for me... And the most heartbreaking...
After we were done playing soccer I asked him how old he was... "16... Born in 1997" was his response...
I then proceeded to point out Louis to him... "My son, he is 16 too" I stated... He couldn't believe it... Both 16... He is small... What a personality came out of him... We joked and laughed about how big Louis and Caleb seemed to him... God was quickly chipping away at my thoughts of... how can I a 42 year old woman relate to a homeless street boy in Uganda?
During worship Daniel was one of the boys leading the singing... Worshipping with a passion that was amazing!!
After worship and program Daniel and I talked. right away he told me... "You be my mom!" I said, "Yes, you be my son!" He lit up. I started asking him questions... he has been living on the streets since he was 5. FOR ELEVEN YEARS!! He doesn't have a mother or father... no family he can remember. He told me that he sleeps with a few other street boys and that they must move sleeping spots every night so that they aren't caught by the police and put in a prison... not a nice place at all for street boys... worse than the streets... If you can imagine that.
Life is extremely dangerous for street boys in Uganda... child sacrifice still happens here and nobody would miss a street boy... they can be easy targets... it has been said that they will turn to drugs or huffing jet fuel to ease the hunger pains they feel. They are often times beaten or molested. They beg for food or collect scrap plastic or metal to sell for food. Then they can easily robbed for what small money they can find or make. It is a dangerous hard life.
We continued talking... mostly about God's word... he was reciting scripture and told me he only had a new testament but wanted the whole bible... I said I would bring him one next week... I am so thankful my friend from church, Kim, made sure to get bibles to pack and bring along with her. I urged him to continue to hide God's word in his heart and never forget it. And to draw upon that for strength When needed.
There were so many times while we talked that I had to look away. I didn't want him to see the tears in my eyes. The minute he said to me... "you be my mom" my heart saw him in a different way... what if he was my son?? My heart broke for him, and all that he goes through each day. I don't know why He said that to me... maybe because he saw me with my sons so close to him in age... maybe because he longs for a mom, even at 16...
Tonight I just kept thinking... where was he? Is he safe? Is he sleeping? Is he too scared to sleep? Did he eat anything else today? (I know the answer to that one... he put some of his lunch in a bag he picked up and was saving it for later... survival)
Please pray for my new friend Daniel... and the rest of the boys that are sleeping on the streets tonight... pray that God continues to work in his heart and life and draws him closer to himself everyday. Pray that the Lord could use the life of my Daniel in an amazing way here... pray he will do whatever it takes to get off the streets... I will share later next week about how that can be possible for some of the street boys through a great ministry here.