Things Kids Say

When Saap is not wearing his bright orange St Mark school uniform, he is wearing the blue striped soccer jersey. He walks home from kindergarten with the other kids, takes a bucket bath in the courtyard, and puts on his evening garb.

We play a game where I say, what about pineapple, and he tells me the word for Pineapple in Luganda.

What about beans?

I used to teach him English this way.  But now he says, what about leaf, grasshopper, tree, clouds, chin, elbow and I shake my head and try to remember the Lugandan he teaches me.

During worship, William asks the children if any of them have testimonies to share.  Saap stands in line and when it is his turn, he speaks, "I praise God for what I am and I praise God because I am alive."

We were walking in the dark to the Safe House for devotions.  Faridah came with us.  Faridah and I walked together and we talked. That alone is a beautiful thing.
The shadows showed us where the dips and puddles in the road were.  The candles in the shop windows provided the shadows.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ahh.  She paused.
I want to be an accountant like daddy William.
Wow! I said, An accountant! Like daddy William! My voice trailed off-it is good to hear that she wants to be like her daddy. Are you good at math? I asked.
Yes, I like math.  I always want to be a singer too.  
I side-stepped a puddle, A singer, really? Are you a good singer?
I'm alright.  Even Becca, she wants to be a singer so much.  Many kids want to be singers.  I just love to sing.  If I could always be singing...
Yea, you are a good singer, I think. 
Do you know what I want to do someday?
No, what?
I want to start a house for children.  But for me, I think you need to care for little children so you can, so that you can grow them.  You know? Sometimes if they are too old...they need to be young so you can...
Teach them?
Yes.  Do you know what I want to call my house?
No, what do you want to call it?
Can you guess?
Guess the name?  Ummm, Faridah's House of Hope? I guessed.
Faridah paused and thought about the name. Hmmm, yes, maybe.  
I offered her a few other name options.  She liked them all.  Then the conversation switched and she took my hand.
Do you know which word I love so much? 
What word?
Mercy.  I really love it so much. I don't know why, but I love it so much.  I see it in the Bible. 
Yea, that is a good word.
But, what does it mean? She asked me.

Well, that's a really good question.  I'm not sure how to explain it.  
I didn't have to. Faridah started talking about a new topic and I kept watching the shadows so I wouldn't fall.

Derek has only been at the orphanage for a little while.  He was a new boy last time we visited.  He did not have a sponsor yet.  While we were there, Charlie decided that he could sponsor someone, and so we told Derek that Charlie was going to be his sponsor.

On Thursday night-just a week ago-I said good bye to all of the kids.  I was walking out of the orphanage when Derek ran up to me.  All of the other kids had gone back inside. He grabbed my hand and I bent lower to hear him.

Tell Uncle Charlie that I love him so much. 
Derek gave me his message and waited for my response,
Ok, I will.  I'll tell him.  I gave Derek a hug and he ran back inside with the other kids.

There was so much urgency in Derek-it was so important to him.
Charlie must know, he must know that I love him.  So much.