“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
God never promised an easy life, but He did promise an abundant one.
That word translated “abundantly” in the original Greek language means “superior, exceedingly above and beyond measure.”
I have walked these dirt roads for years now. I have taken several children in along the way for periods of time. Each time they left, it was very hard as it felt like a piece of my heart was going away. When I first came to Uganda, it was because of the children who were running in fear for their lives from a rebel group. It was to hug them, love them, and show them Jesus. This has morphed and blossomed over the years, but that heart is something that God placed within me and that has remained: to minister to children and to love them. I just didn’t know how it would come to fruition.
Robb and I have a nephew named Brian. He is nine years old, and he is very special. He’s extremely intelligent, sensitive, and has a heart for the Lord. His parents abandoned him when he was only six months old, and our mom (Robb’s mom) has raised him ever since. It hasn’t been easy at all. There were times when they didn’t have enough food, money for school fees, or medicine for sickness. When Robb’s dad got sick and needed fulltime caretaking, this put an extra burden on Mom and on the family financially. Brian used to pray for food and then God would miraculously provide for them. One day several years ago, Brian was hit by a car on the road in Eastern Uganda. He still has the scars, but he is completely recovered. He could have easily lost his life that day, but God had other plans.
God has been stirring both my heart and Robb’s with such a deep love for Brian, and with a desire to give him more of ourselves (our time, our affection, our resources.) We want him to have a father and a mother who take care of him and support him, who encourage him to be all that he is created to be. It has been our heart that, if God wills, we could be that to him. We talked to Robb’s mom, who loves Brian so much but is also struggling with her own health and wellbeing as a widow in her 60’s. We would want their relationship to remain close and for them to spend time together, even if we will be living with Brian in Kitgum for a good portion of the time.
Nine years ago, as I ministered in Kitgum and desired to love the children, I had no idea that my own son was being born in another part of Uganda and that one day years later I would be able to wrap him in my arms and call him mine.
As of a few days ago, Robb and I have a son named Brian. He is nine years old, and he is the joy of our hearts.
There are still many logistics to work out (legal processes and hoops to jump through), but one thing is for sure: my life will never be the same.
This, indeed, is the abundant (far superior, exceedingly above measure) life that Jesus has promised.