A New Beginning in Uganda

01/16/09

The New Year couldn’t have begun on a better note as a COTN-led Vision Team to Uganda and Malawi earlier this month celebrated the long-awaited groundbreaking of our new Children’s Village in Lira, Uganda.

The team, comprised of COTN International President, Chris Clark, and other COTN staff/guests made the three-day long trek to Lira, Uganda to visit 29 children currently being cared for in our children’s home in Lira. While there, the team had the opportunity to meet with and encourage COTN–Uganda staff members and house parents, spend time with the children (who have now lived in their new home for one year), and walk among the neighboring villages near where our children live.

On Saturday, January 10th the team, along with COTN–Uganda staff, board members, children and neighboring guests took part in a groundbreaking ceremony on the property recently purchased for our future Uganda Children’s Village, which will include homes, a primary school and other buildings. The recent purchase is the answer to many prayers of children who have long waited for a place to call home since being displaced by the effects of the rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

The celebration marked the beginning of something miraculous where God’s Spirit now resides. In his prayer of dedication to the Lord, COTN president Chris Clark verbally called upon God to “reside in the land…This land no longer belongs to the Spirit of Darkness…No more hate, no more trauma, no more pain will take place here.” This place belongs to love, healing and hope.

The hot afternoon sun blazed above the group as they took communion together, singing praises to God under an acacia tree’s thorn-filled branches. Elders, mothers with babies tied to their backs, and children with torn and tattered clothes from nearby villages walked to the far corners of the property with the COTN staff and visiting team to pray over the land.

As people pressed in to see and hear, little children came to the front of the crowd. And then, as if a representation of things to come, the ground opened up underneath the swing of the hoe by Chris Clark. Soon thereafter, two children from the COTN- Uganda children’s home took part in digging the hole. A young boy from one of the nearby villages came forward and was given a tool to join in the activity, resembling the future that this village will one day become—a place of hope and restoration to those like him who are in need of Jesus’ love.

The day ended in song, dancing and great anticipation of the coming months when the cornerstone will be laid and new buildings will begin to sprout up from this desolate land. A new beginning is here for the orphaned and destitute children of Uganda…praise the Lord!