Celebrating A Beautiful Life

Hasifah (Muslim name meaning Wise), one of our kids recently went to be with Jesus last week on March 12, 2022 at 8am.

She was born on April 13, 2008 at Mulago Hospital. Mulago is Uganda’s national referral hospital that offers free treatment paid for by the government. Hasifah’s parents were both Muslims living in Katanga slums, one of Uganda’s largest slums.

At the time of her birth, doctors were striking because of low and delayed payments from the government, and they were not attending to their patients. This was Mama Hasifah’s 4th child and based on her health condition, doctors had advised that all her kids were to be born by C-section. She could not afford to pay for a private hospital and ended up staying at Mulago.

She developed complications and no health care personnel was there to attend to her for several hours. A doctor finally came and helped, but at this point they thought she was going to die. She was rushed in for surgery and was later admitted to the ICU. At first, they thought Hasifah had died, but later on they found out she was still alive and took her to the special care unit.

As a result of these conditions, Hasifah developed special needs and Cerebral Palsy.

We met Hasifah and her family in the slums nine years ago, when the mother was one of the ladies in our micro loans program. We started sponsoring Hasifah to help pay for her therapy, treatment and supplementary feeding. Later, with the support of one of our donors, we built them a decent home next to Mercy Church and Mercy Medical Center and they left the slums.

The entire family gave their lives to Christ and currently go to Mercy Church. At some point, Hasifah’s mother has helped take care of many children from Mercy and they have even adopted Dalton.

God has used Hasifah’s life and death to minister to many of the family members and because of her, many have come to know the Lord.

We held a funeral for her at her family burial ground. Pastor Wilfred shared Hasifah’s life story, preached about the story of the rich man and Lazarus, and then presented the gospel to her family members, most of whom were Muslims.

A day later, Mum Hasifah came giving a testimony of how many family members had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior after the message shared during Hasifah’s funeral service. They are asking us to consider planting a church in their village, a predominantly muslim village.

Join me as we celebrate the beautiful life of Hasifah.

End of School: First Term

This week has had its ups and downs; our kids did their end-of-school term exams two weeks ago, and then school ended last Tuesday, and they all picked up their report cards.

Last Sunday, one of our kids, Swabra, lost her biological father to AIDS. Doreen, our social worker, went with her to the village about six hours away to attend the funeral. What breaks my heart the most, is that Swabra’s dad died a devout Muslim. I had a few opportunities were I was able to share the gospel to him, and the family was so touched by the love Christians continue to pour into Swabra.

Since he comes from a devout Muslim family, the burial had to be done right away. We found out after his funeral, that he had two other daughters, step-sisters to Swabra. Shamira Babirya who is 13 years old and Quruthum Kiiza who is 11 years old. Their mother had died, and they were living in Katanga slums with their dad. A few months before he died, he sold his small shack and all his property to pay for his treatment. He took his girls from school so that they could care for him.

Since the father passed away, no family member was willing to stay with his daughters, and they came to the decision to marry them off. This is a common practice in rural Muslim communities, where young girls are offered into marriage to very rich, old Muslim men. Doreen could not allow that, and she brought the girls back with her. We have decided to take the girls in and give them a Christian education at Mercy Christian School.

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Last Thursday, after a prayer service at the Worship House Church, two kids were reported abandoned. They were sent to the police and Social Welfare office, and finally, they were sent to us. Both have special needs and are non-verbal. We have not given them names yet, but I have decided to name them Micah (meaning humble) and Asher (meaning happiness.)

Micah is a hyperactive, 5 year old boy, and Asher is a young girl around the age of 12. Asher can’t talk but seems to listen. We will have specialists look at them and identify their specific needs.

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Ways to Pray:

  • Pray for Micah and Asher, as we search for their family and  that God will lead us on the best way to share his love with them.
  • Pray Quruthum and Shamira. They have been raised as Muslim, but pray that they will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
  • Pray for the above kids to get sponsored.
  • Pray for safety and health of the kids. Pray that our kids will let their light shine.

Ways YOU can help:

Please share this blog and email to help us find a sponsor for each kid. If you would like to sponsor, please email me back or email Liah at liah@childrentolove.org.

It is now school break until May 17. For kids that have extended family, we have sent them to visit their relatives. For children with no know family, we have encouraged church members to take them into their homes for holiday visit.

My Birthday Wish

It has been a while since I last updated this blog. A lot has been going on, busy with ministry as usual. We hosted our dear friends from Austin and Los Angeles. We did a medical outreach, and we were able to see 120 patients and give them free medical care. We were also able to take our kids to a park where they were able to swim, have fun and also visit a nearby Zoo. The kids loved it, my highlight was William, one of our special needs kids enjoyed playing in water and it was hard to get him out.

My boys are now on school break, and Vena is spending a lot of time home with them. We are focusing on teaching them house chores this break, and we have also talked about sending them for Music school. We are looking at different Christian schools around as we plan to switch them to a new school next school term.

This afternoon, my heart broke for Ritah (real name reserved for privacy,) a young lady 20 years old. She grew up as an orphan, as her parents sent her into the city to find work. She stayed with a male family friend in the city, who at first offered free housing. Later on, the guy took advantage of her and she conceived. He became very abusive and would beat her every night. One day the guy came, he took everything that was in the rented house and abandoned her there with the pregnancy and went to an unknown place.

I met her about one month ago at the Worship house when she came for prayer stranded. She had complications with her pregnancy and needed care.

I am so thankful for all your support towards Mercy Medical Center. We were able to take her in, and she was able to get the required medical care. With a lot of complications and by the grace of God, she gave birth to a baby girl via C-Section two days ago at the medical center.

The baby was first managed, but was later referred to our national referral hospital for more care. Yesterday evening, I received the sad news that the baby passed away.

My heart breaks for the mother. I ask that you would be in prayer for this young lady as she is still at Mercy Medical Center recovering. She does not know about the sad news yet because of her health condition. Her blood pressure is not stable, and according to tradition the baby was buried yesterday.

I am thankful for the staff at Mercy Medical Center who did their best. If she had been in a normal center the chances of the mother also losing her life would be high. I thank every one that gave towards the operating room when I celebrated my 31st birthday.

As I celebrate 33 years, I am challenging my self to run 33 kilometers. For $20,000 we can buy an X-ray machine and build an X-ray room at our hospital. This will be the only X-ray machine in our sub-county, Mende, with a population of 26,000. We are located along Hoima road, one of the major highways, and we receive so many accident cases. We have to drive them at least 5 kilometers away for an X-ray and bring them back which is painful for them. I am asking you to give a gift towards this cause. By the grace of God, we can put an end to this in our community.

There are two ways you can give:

1.) You can write a check to Children to Love, and in the memo write Mercy X-Ray.

Children to Love International

P.O. Box 9575

Bakersfield, CA 93389

2.) You can give online at this link: https://childrentolove.givingfuel.com/give-now

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Raising Special Needs Kids in Africa

Welcome back from Easter holidays!! On Easter Sunday, we had the privilege of baptizing 8 new converts at Mercy Church. Please pray for them that they will grow in their faith and pursue God’s will for their life.

Since Good Friday, at our main Church, The Worship house, we have had a revival conference going on. We have invited the most respected men of God in our country to come and share. We are having over 3,000 people attend each day from 4 to 11 pm, and on some days, we have people outside in the overflow tents. Yesterday, we had the president’s daughter attend and share for a few minutes.

In African society, one of the benefits of having many kids is first for protection. The more kids you have, the safer you are. The second reason, is since most people don’t have a retirement program, when you grow older, your kids are expected to provide and take care of you in your old age. Having many kids, means you will not be lonely and destitute in your old age.

In such a society, when a parent gives birth to a child with special needs, they know that this child will not do any of the roles mentioned above and most see it as a huge disappointment. On top of that, most of these kids are born with health complications, and they need continuous treatment, therapy and assistive devices such as a wheel chair. Many of the families cannot afford these things since there is no government support available to help them. In society, there is also a stigma attached to having special needs children. People think that the mother or someone in the family did something wrong, and the gods are punishing them. As a child growing up, the way we knew that some families had a special needs child was when the child had died. Some people end up hiding their kids in the rooms.

One of the doctors told Vena that with the condition that led to the death of our daughter, birth asphyxia, that if she had been born, there was a high chance she would be with special needs. This changed how I see these kids because now I see my daughter in them. We try to make everything we do inclusive; we built ramps in the children’s village to allow easy access for special needs kids.

We now have over 20 special needs kids supported in our program. Six of them stay at our children’s village. For most of them, their fathers abandoned the homes for fear of being associated with a curse. These single mothers do the best to care for their kids. For some of them, their parents abandoned them, and we brought them to the village.

We are organizing a camp for children with special needs from April 9th to the 12th. We will be giving free Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy to children in our neighborhood that cannot afford these services. We are looking at serving around 50 children.

We are mobilizing volunteer therapists to donate their time.

For $20 you can sponsor a child for this camp.

Ways to Pray:

  • Pray for financial provision
  • Pray for the therapists as this is going to be a very busy and intense time for them.
  • Pray that more people are encouraged and come to the Lord through this revival meeting.