Emily in Africa: Orphans in Uganda

Emily Crane, our Auburn campus rep, is spending 2 months in Africa this summer, and will be keeping us updated on all of her adventures and provide a glimpse into what Mocha Club is doing on the ground.

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What Is My Response?

Brown button eyes; apple blossom lips that constantly buzz together; soft curls that form a baby fro; constant giggles behind a precious smile. Whose sweet baby is this? Everyone in the room can’t wait to hold him, his parents must be so proud.

Unfortunately, he has no family. His parents have left him because his needs were beyond their means. He has lived in malnutrition and suffering for much of his life. He is an orphan. He is the face of orphan to me. Yet now, he is living in a home where he is cared for and well fed and has a hope for a bright future. His life is looking brighter. He is being shown the love of Jesus. This is the sweet little one I get to hold and love while I reflect upon what this word, “orphan”, means to me.

Orphan: a child who has been deprived of parental care and has not been adopted. There are an estimated 147 million orphans in this world. That is a staggering statistic. It is an overwhelming number. It should be something that we jump to correct; yet ironically, it is almost a paralyzing fact to most of us. However this horrifying statistic demands a response. Christ repeatedly calls us to care for the least of these. If we are seeking to live out the Word, we can no longer ignore this outrageous number. We must respond; we must take action. Easier said than done? I’d say so.

But while living over here in Uganda, I am trying to figure out what my long-term response will be.I am currently living in a home with twelve of these children the world labels as orphans. They give a face to that horrifying statistic. They embody life and joy despite this label. They have taught me what it means to love; they have shown me how I am called to serve. They have begun to mold what my response will be. While I’m here, it’s easy: I am living and loving these kids day-in and day-out. But what about when I leave? After weeks of pouring into these itty-bitties, I will suddenly be completely separated from their lives. It breaks my heart to think about leaving. It saddens me to think through what they’ll think. But that is a fact of living here in Africa, people often come and go. That is a fact for a child labeled as an orphan; they have no forever family, no permanent source of love and care being poured into them. My heart breaks for each precious child that I wish so badly could be placed in a home and cared for as I have been.

So what is my response? I honestly still don’t know. Am I called to adopt? Perhaps. For now, I’m just a 22 year old girl trying to figure out what the Lord has for me in the coming months. Seeking to yield my desires so His might shine forth. Seeking to give a voice to these voiceless orphans because now that I have seen and experienced life here, I am responsible. Now that I know not only the horrifying statistics but also the hearts and faces behind those numbers, I cannot stand idly by. Mocha Club’s Orphan Care projects are doing phenomenal work. I’m proud that I’ve been able to be a part of this for so long. But is that enough? Is Christ calling me to give my life away more and more? I think the answer is different for everyone. But I think it’s definitely a question worth evaluating.

Now that you know there are 147,000,000 orphans in this world, what will you do?

How will you respond?

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1 Comment

  • Reply Kelsey Collins July 8, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I love your blog posts Emily! (I can hear your accent in my head when I read them) I’m so glad you’re enjoying Uganda and continuing to be stretched and learn!

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