I recently had to go to Lansing for some refresher training (something all troopers are rotated through every few years). As providence would have it, on the very same night in which I was going to be staying at the Academy the Watoto children's choir was going to be at the church that Jillian and I formerly attended in Marshall. I was able to go and see this worshipful group of youngsters sing, dance, and share their testimonies. Each of these children were orphans and several of them shared their moving stories of incredible suffering - and then the tremendous grace that they had been found and cared for by the Watoto group. These children who came from diversely dire situations were visibly grateful for God's grace in their lives through this tremendous ministry to orphans.
My friend and former pastor there knows the couple, who many years ago started a church in Uganda and then this Watoto ministry to orphans. The goal of these concerts is to raise money to build homes for the orphans and to supply many needs for many needy. I have been blessed to attend several of these Watoto concerts. This concert was very powerful and I was fighting to keep back the tears during most of it.
I was struck by the living illustrations of unconditional election. They had reported that there are approximately 60 million orphans in Africa. The AIDS epidemic and years of civil war in Uganda have devastated the population. Here these few, and several hundred like them, have been rescued from many calamities such as starvation, sickness, dire poverty, being alone, having no one to care for them or to teach them, having no hope, and constantly struggling under the weight of immense loss and suffering. These few chosen rescued ones now radiate with hope and gratefulness to God for His gracious and merciful intervention in their lives.
I could not help but see the similarities between the Watoto children and God's children. The orphans rescued from the atrocities of suffering in Uganda and the orphans rescued from the atrocities of sin have this in common: both have been rescued by God's, conscious and decisive, gracious and merciful intervention.
My heart thanked God for the couple who began that church in Uganda and then started this ministry to orphans. Their light, rather God's light through them, is shining in Uganda. Much fruit is visible on their tree.
Thank you Lord for salt in an otherwise bland world and for light that shines brightly in the darkness.
You too can help.