One of the challenges for our children moving to Africa, is that they stand out like a sore thumb. During our first week here, we were all at the gate to Good Shepherd's Fold along with the 90 kids living here, the house moms, and the 450 or so school kids from the local villages. Ezra's white-blonde hair was so unusual to them all, that many children gathered around him to observe/touch him. At one point when they were all gathering around laughing, he began to try to defend himself.
It has taken Ezra a bit longer than my other kids to feel comfortable with the kids here. Many children his age don't speak much English, since that is something learned mostly in school. Ezra has become close friends with one other missionary kid, but his buddy just left on furlough for a few months. Ezra was particularly sad about that friend going away for some time. I have been praying that God would provide opportunities for Ezra to develop some friendships with Ugandan kids here too.
One afternoon last week, we were up looking at our new house and I saw some of my neighbors. As I greeted the woman, I invited her son to come play with Ezra. He was busy building things with the various building material around the work site. I suggested that the boys could build together. Ezra does not speak much Luganda and Katende does not speak any English, but they found a way to work together building with bricks and sand.
While we were there I spoke some with Esezza, Katende's mom. She doesn't speak any English, but we are beginning a friendship. She tries to understand my broken Luganda, and we communicate as best as we are able. She has attended church with us 3 weeks now. This Sunday the sermon was from a visiting pastor about the Word of God. At the end of the service, one of our pastors reminded the congregation that they had Bibles available. Esezza, expressed that she would like one. It made me so happy to walk home from church with her as she and her son carried her new Bible.
I am so grateful that God has provided a boy who lives right next door to our new house as a new friend for Ezra. I am also hopeful that God will use our friendships with our neighbors to build His kingdom in this part of Uganda. Please continue to pray with us for God's work in the hearts and lives of the people of Buundo village.