Last Tuesday we went to Elizabeth’s House for our team project day. Elizabeth’s House is a home for children with special needs. Mary is a girl who lived at Rafiki Africa Ministries for the past two years. She has Cerebal Palsy. Joseph and Sara loved having her here at the orphanage, but wanted her to be receiving the therapy and specialized care that she needs. After a LOT of searching, they found Elizabeth’s House.
The team was nervous before we went there, because the conditions at other special needs schools hasn’t been the greatest. But we were so happy to see where Mary lives.
The home was beautiful. They had a large classroom with shelves of toys and instructional materials, a room for the children to have physical therapy, separate houses with nice big beds for the kids to sleep in, a gazebo to give them shade to enjoy outside, and more. They have a big garden in the back, and raise pigs, turkeys, chickens, and goats. It was the cleanest place I’ve been in outside of our Rafiki home.
Then there are the children. They were beautiful. Families in Uganda often don’t know how to or don’t want to care for children with special needs. Some of these children have really sad backgrounds. One girl was raped at age 12 and now has a four year old. But they have such a good life at Elizabeth’s House. They go to school, they learn to feed themselves, dress themselves, and help with laundry. They play and laugh and sing and dance.
In the afternoon, we taught them songs and then they sang for us. It was like something happened when they began to sing. Their disabilities didn’t matter. They were filled with so much joy and the room was full of an incredible energy. It made my heart so happy and nearly makes me cry as I type about it here. It was just beautiful. I wish you could have been there. And it just kept getting better. They put on grass skirt things and did a traditional dance for us. I can’t even tell you how awesome it was. I got some great video of it, so perhaps when I’m back in the States I will be able to post that for you to experience for yourself. And yes, after that they gave US the skirts and played the drums while our team attempted their same traditional dance. Ridiculous and amazing.
We then just colored with them for the rest of the afternoon. The director thanked us for taking the time to come and visit and share love and happiness with the kids for the day. She said that people forget they are there, and it meant so much that we took the time to do life with them, even just for the day.
These kids had so much love to give. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. They are living life to the fullest. The joy of the Lord really is their strength. I am so happy that Mary (and all these kids) have a wonderful place to live and learn and grow. I know they probably won’t ever read this, but I want to thank those who work at Elizabeth’s House for their hard work, dedication, love, and humbleness in serving and helping here. You are doing amazing work.