Whenever I am looking through my Soroti times, I always think of this girls. She would be about 16 years old now and I hope she was somehow connected to parents or others who would take care of her. She was taken care of and most kids of that size wouldn't be at the project that up to a couple hundred kids, usually in their teens. She always caught my attention, even for the couple days I had seen her. So, this was info I had shared shortly after being a blog person and loved seeing this girl. A few times I've put this photo on FB or other places to have people in our nation and others to get people to stop complaining when they didn't like their clothes, because they weren't perfect. Well, this was awful, and she smiled and smiled and smiled. It had been a serious ruined special dress. And she loved it. So, this is the info again.
Several years ago when I was in Soroti, Uganda, to help with the IDP situation after the LRA rebels had invaded the general area a few months earlier, I went to the local rescued children's camp to interview some of the kids. Out of the hundreds that were there, even though I was able to touch and bless many, many of them, I only interviewed about 20 during the visits -- and not one of those were "rescued" [as the camp was named] ... instead, each one had escaped, sometimes during very dangerous times, such as cross-fire between the rebels and the army/local militia, or were abandoned by the rebels because their legs or feet were damaged and they were no longer able to carry the heavy loads. They were left to die and had no food, water; miraculously they were found within a few days and survived. Some escaped simply by walking off when the rebels were distracted. Most stories made me cry or scream [which I did when I returned to the ministry compound where I was staying] and some made me want to laugh, simply because of the way God had opened a door for them to walk through.
The Lord laid it on me recently to start writing the book I've worked on off and on over these past few years. Just re-reading my journals and emails and letters has caused my heart to explode towards those children again. I have SO desired to return to Soroti to track down the children I interviewed [most aged 10 to 16 at the time, so young adults now] and see how they and their families have come through that terrible stretch of time.
This is one of the children I always think of. I didn't interview her. She was a young girl who had, most likely, been separated from her family while fleeing the rebels, and had either not been able to reconnect or was being kept in this camp because the parents in another camp couldn't feed her, which was not at all uncommon. I've always thought of her as a poster child for any person who says, while digging through their dresser drawer or closet, "I can't find anything to wear." To see her wearing this "fancy" dress, and smiling gently ... it always makes me make sure I keep my mouth shut if I am ever tempted to think that "nothing to wear" way.
She is definitely a child I would love to find....
And, re-reading and seeing her on here again, I love and miss so many from Soroti!!! Even though it's been nearly 13 years since I was there, I've thought of and focused on that part of the world, over and over again. IF I was younger and IF I could be there, I would run around and grab anyone I could. Some of the pastors were very strongly involved with me. I miss them very much and think of them and love them.