As you can see from this picture, Ronnie is adorable. He is the younger brother of Atim, who you might have read about in this blog post. As the people of Sojourn were challenged with what it might look like to love this family well through this, we had an unexpected couple raise their hands and say they would look after Ronnie, giving his mom a chance to clean herself up.
Who is this unexpected couple, you ask? Bolton and BW’s. Two twenty year old, single men who are both studying at local universities. Recently these two moved into what used to be a store room at the Sojourn offices. As we speak they are in the process of building a little bed for Ronnie and he’ll be moving in with them any day now. Their response was awesome. Not a, “Well, I guess we can help…” kind of thing, but, “of course we’ll do this, how could we not?!”
We just had two individuals in the states commit to financially supporting Plant:Uganda by sponsoring a child. I am so happy to say, Ronnie is one of the two who will be starting school on Monday.
Ronnie is just a little guy. The teachers at the nursery school he will be attending say he is 4 or 5. He says he is 7. His mom has said he is 7, 6, 5 and then today admitted she did not know. Today when we asked what his second name is, he did not know. (Most Ugandans are given a “Christian” or western name and then a Tribal name) So when BW’s dropped him back off he asked the mother. She also did not know. BW’s asked what his surname is (which, much like in America, would be his father’s name). Ronnie’s mom admitted she did not know the dad’s name, that he was out of the picture before Ronnie was even born.
I do not doubt that Ronnie’s mom, Awuma Grace, loves him. She dotes on him, in her own way. Yet, sadly, she is consumed by her addiction to alcohol and her children bare the brunt of it’s effects. Even today, Ronnie was showing us a cut on his lip from where his mom had come home drunk last night and beaten him. You hear such terrible things and you see the kid wearing an old onesy for a shirt and raggedy shorts, that don’t fit, with a big rip in the rear. Like he has everything going against him. But he is such an awesome kid. He’s one of the biggest little kids I’ve even known.s
It’s heartbreaking. It could be crushing, but today, today I am thankful.
Thankful for the resilient spirit God has given Ronnie and his big sister, Atim. Thankful that God (through our FDM-Family Development Ministry/Plant:Uganda) brought their little family into the Sojourn community. Thankful for BW’s and Bolton and how they are joyously responding to the gospel. Thankful to know there are people praying over this situation; in Wabigalo, North Carolina and beyond. Thankful to see how God is working in these kids lives, how he loves them and is making a way for them.
Please keep the prayers coming. (We are still looking for a temporary home for Atim, Ronnie’s sister.)
If you are interested in receiving more information on how to become a part of Plant:Uganda and help the people of Sojourn Church make Jesus famous in Wabigalo simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.